Archive for the ‘Satire’ Category

Book #54: A Modest Proposal

I love Jonathan Swift. His wisdom and insight into social situations is astounding. I don’t know why “A Modest Proposal” wasn’t more well-received. I’m not sure why no one took his advice. It probably would have made the situation much, much better much, much faster. In my opinion, anyway.

Plus, there wouldn’t be so many annoying, snot-nosed, screeching loud babies around if we were allowed to eat them.

This was my second reading of “A Modest Proposal.” The first time I read it was in high school, and our teacher assigned it with no preface. He was just like, “Okay. This is the reading assignment for tomorrow. Bye.” I’d never heard of satire as a literary genre. All I knew was that Saturday Night Live did satire and it was pretty hilarious.

I remember being pretty horrified at first. Back then I wasn’t so great at reading older texts or complicated books, so it was a sort of difficult read for me, too. I was reading it very slowly and it actually took me awhile to realize that he was talking about eating babies. For some reason I didn’t grasp that right away. Once I did, I think I went back and re-read the first section multiple times. I was like “…WHAT? Really? WHAT? This CAN’T be real.”

I think I was actually offended, a little. I didn’t know why anyone would write such a thing and I had no idea why on earth people would still read it. I don’t think I realized that he wasn’t serious until the next day at school when I asked my friend Kristin if she’d read it and if she was horrified like I was. She gave me this “you’re so stupid” look and was like, “Um, you know he’s not serious, right?”

Anyway, then we learned about satire and I was like, “Ah. This is a thing. Cool.” Then we got to write our own satires. After that, I went through a huge satire-writing phase that continued into college. I still sometimes try and write satires, but they’re not that good. I actually wanted to write a satire for this post, but it just wasn’t turning out.

Clearly I need to read “A Modest Proposal” a few more times. It really is a near-perfect example of satire. You should read it, if you haven’t already.

I just wish I was better at it myself! I’d love to be a satirist.

Rating: ****
Up Next: Notes From Underground

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