Research archaic pronouns in the English language. Write down what they were and when the shift began from archaic pronouns so the ones we use today in modern English.
Assignment Part I
1. Find one example of each of the devices used to achieve irony in “A Modest Proposal.” List it and explain the contrast between apparent meaning and actual intent (what Swift says vs. what he really means):
a. Hyperbole c. Sarcasm
b. Understatement d. Incongruity
2. Discuss Swift’s use of verisimilitude in “A Modest Proposal.” How does he make even the most outrageous statements and claims seem sincere and “real”? How does he draw the reader into a momentary acceptance of the “truth” of his proposal?
3. Swift chooses diction that is deliberately shocking to the reader. Examine the italicized words or phrases below and explain what is incongruous, shocking, or almost horrifying about each one.
1. “[. . .] a fair, cheap, and easy method of making these children sound, useful members of the commonwealth.”
2. “It is true, a child just dropped from its dam [. . .] .”
3. “I calculate there may about two hundred thousand couple, whose wives are breeders [. . .].”
4. “[. . .] a boy or girl before twelve years old is no saleable commodity [. . .].”
5. Find at least 5 more examples of similar diction in the essay, list them, and answer these questions: What does Swift accomplish by using such diction? What, in your opinion, is the most shocking statement in the essay? Give reasons for your choice.
4. As is typical of eighteenth-century prose, Swift’s essay is clearly structured, with each major idea supported by ample explanatory detail. The essay is divided into five distinct sections, each signaled by a shift in subject matter.
1. Identify these five sections and summarize briefly the content of each.
2. Which section is the longest? Which provides the most detail? Why do you think has Swift developed this way?
3. What progression of ideas is evident from section to section? Explain.
5. The primary target of the essay is the devastating economic policy imposed by the British government on Ireland.
1. What specifically does Swift imply about economic policy in Ireland?
2. What are some of the secondary targets of this essay?
3. Persona: Why is Swift’s criticism of British policy ironic in view of his actual attitude toward the Irish people?
Assignment Part II
Find a poem, passage or writer you dislike. Articulate why and then write a parody mocking that aspect.
Write a “How-to” essay. Write a mock-process essay and show examples of parody.
Link to Literature:
• Which historical narrative was more effective to you? What parts of the narrative seemed most believable?
• If you just read The General History of Virginia, without background information or commentary, how would you view John Smith?
Copy down these definitions.
• abase v. To lower in position, estimation, or the like; degrade
• abet v. To aid, promote, or encourage the commission of (an offense).
1. Puritan Tradition PowerPoint
a. History (Page 25, 28-29)
b. Anne Bradstreet (Page 114-119)
c. Jonathan Edwards (Pages 122-129)
Homework: Research Archaic Pronouns and Verbs
*Thou, thee, thy, and thine
*You/ye and yours