satire characteristics and purpose

Analysis of Satirical Techniques in the Works of Alexander Pope and Jonathan Swift

Pope's Reflection on the Upper-Class Lifestyle

Both Alexander Pope and Jonathan Swift used satirical techniques in their works to share their views on the upper-class lifestyle of the English people as well as frivolous politics. While Pope's poem The Rape of the Lock reflects on the upper-class lifestyle, Swift's book focuses on Irish and English politics, highlighting the unequal ruling and responsiveness of the English.

Pope's Use of Horatian Humor and Formal Mocking Style

Pope employed Horatian humor, which had a light touch, often perplexing his readers by endorsing what he condemned. He used a formal mocking style in his work than Swift, citing an example using a card game 'Ombre' and dramatizing funnily how the upper class grabbed their card game. Moreover, the incident of a lock of hair stolen and the reaction afterward is meant to show how the upper class is withdrawn from the society.

Swift's Use of Juvenalian Satire and Criticism of English Leadership

On the other hand, in A Model Proposal Swift used the Juvenalian satire, which is harsh, shocking and provocative. He suggests that some people should be used to acquire food especially the poor children who should be sold to boost the economy. Such children could be of importance hence selling them would bring profit to the absentee landlords because the English have forbidden the Irish from the effective use of their land. With this, he tries to criticize the leadership of England indirectly.

The Long-Lasting Impact of Swift's A Modest Proposal

The most effective satire is Swift’s A Modest Proposal since in his work he suggests some ways to eradicate poverty in Ireland. His ideas are still practically applying in the modern society because politics are crowned with dirt. In comparison to the contemporary society, these satires are used in different contexts to build a morally upright society. For example, television shows and political cartoons are often used to criticize the human imperfection, political habits, decision policies, and the flawed personal traits of the politicians.

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