Sick Swift – Analysing an article from the Irish herald that discussed Jonathan Swift’s viel suggestion of human child digestion
The publication A Modest Proposal by former distinguished writer Jonathan Swift was released yesterday among a large air of controversy. The outline of this publication was meant to show the harsh ways that the Irish landlords were treating their tenants, but this has spat back in Swift’s face. The Irish born writer who later moved to England wanted to create a real picture of the state and standard of living of the common landlord tenants. He tries to use humour to show what would be an ideal solution to the supposed problem of poor working and living conditions of these tenants.
He says that the way to solve the problem would to be to kill all of the children and eat them thus solving two problems at once. If all the children were eaten, then the tenant’s standard of living would increase because there would be once less mouth to feed but the child would also provide food for the parents and family so they could have a higher standard of living. This so called Irish writer who has betrayed his country by moving to England hasn’t set foot in Ireland for years.
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He wouldn’t know what the conditions are like for workers in the countryside let alone know how fairly the landlords treat their tenants. Most outraged of all people seem to be the landlords who have been accused at the highest in this false allegation by Swift. We read some of the passage to some members of the public, this is the part we read out taken from A Modest Proposal “As to my own part, having turned my Thoughts for many Years, upon this important Subject, and maturely weighed the several Schemes of other Projectors, I have always found them grosly mistaken in their Computation.
It is true a Child, just dropt from its Dam, may be supported by her Milk, for a solar year with little other Nourishment; at most not above the Value of two Shillings; which the Mother may certainly get or the Value in Scraps, by her lawful Occupation of Begging. ” One landlord from just outside Dublin spoke to the Irish Herald “This Swift character doesn’t know the half of it, most Landlords treat their workers and tenants with respect and certainly not treat them as Swift describes in his latest writings.
For one to accuse his own Irish brothers, is a traitor and does not deserve to be called ‘Irish’. ” Views like this one are commonplace about Swift’s invention of accusations. Even the workers and tenants living on land owned by landlords think that Swift is going to far in his inhumane and veil solution to his imaginary problem. Some would say its unfortunately that Jonathan Swift’s writing hasn’t gone down well here, but if he wants his home nation’s heart back, he needs to spit it out first. I started off in this article by putting a short main headline to get the attention of the reader. Sick Swift” could mean two things as a headline. The first could be about the famous, popular writer Jonathan Swift being maybe life threateningly ill so to a popular public figure, this could be a tragic story. On the other hand, the main headline could suggest what it really means, that Jonathan Swift has produced something or done something sickly. By having this technique at the start of the article, then it draws the reader’s attention and already starts sparking off ideas in the reader’s head about what the article could be about.
I would have this story on the front page of the newspaper because then the reader would see this story first and be more likely to read it thoroughly that is it was on the fourth or fifth page. The sub heading “Jonathan Swift’s Veil Suggestion of Human Child Digestion” shows the tabloid character of headings in newspapers because they always try and invent a headline that will sound good and will portray the whole story up in a fairly accurate summary, which will also try and catch the readers attention.
I decided to create a newspaper called the “Irish Herald” because I wanted to use the viewpoint of the wealthy Irish Catholics who would be the main attackers of this text. As Jonathan Swift was bought up in an Catholic family in Ireland, it would have a larger impact on the people reading it putting opinions into their minds such as “I can’t believe a fellow Catholic would say such a thing”, making it sound much worse than it actually is. To persuade the readers of this newspaper to go against Swift I used the idea that he had betrayed his own country to provoke the anger of the readers against Swift.
This idea of being a traitor to his country would get very angry responses from the Irish public as that this time the tension between Ireland and the rest of the United Kingdom was quite strong. The idea that a fellow Irishman attacking any part of his own country’s way of life or to criticise high status men would be an outrage. As the speech was written or said in a fairly difficult way, the common people i. e. the tenants and land workers would need someone to translate the speech for them.
If tabloid newspapers were around in that time, then this would be the only way that they could find out the story. At the same time as the newspapers were announcing this news, they could manipulate the meaning of the story to suit them which would also provoke the common people to have a negative view about Swift which is what my article does. I inserted a snippet of the speech written by Swift and I chose this particular piece to hide the rest of the story, which in some of it he shows the negative effects of this.
I did this again to manipulate the reader into thinking that the whole article was based upon these lines. I included an interview and opinions from Irish people to get the readers to think this was the common opinion among everyone in general as this is one technique of a tabloid journalist. I used imagery of spitting to start off the piece of writing and to end the writing to show the disgust of the newspaper and general public who may have had very strong opinions of this writing.
This actual idea and imagery of spitting is one of the most vulgar ways to show your anger or annoyance at something, which would really show bad negative feelings towards something. I wrote “The outline of this publication was meant to show the harsh ways that the Irish landlords were treating their tenants, but this has spat back in Swift’s face” which shows the subjective thoughts of the Irish Herald who thinks its ironic that Swift could think he could get away with writing this about the Irish.
I used at the end of the writing “if he wants his home nation’s heart back, he needs to spit it out first”. The meaning of this being that the paper is trying to generalise the public’s opinion about betrayal of their own country being as the heart is a symbol for love that he needs to be rid of all his Irish connections. I also wrote it to try and match the physical vulgar imagery used in A Modest Proposal of the image of Swift actually choking up his own heart that he would physically die because the paper has such a strong negative opinion of him.