March 26, 2009

1. Show students the Satire in Shrek video
2. Put up the four techniques of satire. Have them name how the video they saw used any of these elements.
3. Give students a little background on Swift. He is said to have sharpened his razor-like, cutting and biting wit on the whetstone of disappointment, disillusionment, and cynicism.
4. “A Modest Proposal” was written by Jonathan Swift (1667-1745), who is well-known as the author of the satirical political fantasy, Gulliver's Travels. Swift published the “Modest Proposal” in 1729 as a pamphlet (a kind of essay in an unbound booklet). At this time, and for many years afterward, Ireland (not an independent country) was far poorer than England. Most people born there were Roman Catholics and employed as agricultural laborers or tenant farmers. The landlords (landowners) were paid from the produce of the land, at rates which the workers could rarely afford. This ruling class was usually Protestant. Many of them were not born in Ireland, nor did they live there permanently. If the laborers lost their work, there would always be other poor people to take it up. There was no social security system and starvation was as common as in the Third World today. Swift knows, in writing the “Proposal,” that in living memory, Irish people had been driven to cannibalism.
5. Also use part of the potato essays, if I have time, to give background p. 115 in Practicing New Historicism
6. Read “A Modest Proposal” – Jonathan Swift p. 611
7. Have students complete the assignment, Understanding a Modest Proposal. It is due at the end of class on Friday

Homework Collected: None
Homework Given: Understanding A Modest Proposal, due on Friday, March 27, Persuasive Research Paper: Final Paper Due: March 31, Reflection Paper Due: April 14
Handouts given out: Understanding a Modest Proposal.
To Read: A Modest Proposal p 611 in the purple literature book