Writing Exercise in Satire
A Modest Proposal (1729)
Write a ‘modest proposal’ of your own in which you use Swift’s satirical method to criticize some issue or attitude current at Gilman or in the country at large. For instance, you could talk about sports, the dress code, the new rules in Carey Hall, our city’s drug policy, or an issue the presidential candidates are debating: the war in Iraq, immigration policy, health care, etc.
Choose an issue about which you feel strongly! Write your satire with the intention of publishing it in the Gilman News.
Use the methods of satire to make your point. Make your proposal comic to entertain your reader. Use exaggeration to make your points, but don't 'tip your hat' too quickly! Expose the naiveté of the general public’s conventional wisdom about your issue. Your tone of voice can vary from very light to caustic, but be consistent.
Extra Credit will be given if you use words from the vocabulary from the list below. Just grab the words as you write and toss them into your sentences! You can use forms of the words as well. Look up the words that you do not understand in a dictionary. Mega extra credit will be granted if your 'modest proposal' is published in the Gilman News!
Fr. L. satira, satura satirical poetry, poetic medeley, fr. (lanx) satura full plate, plate filled with various fruits
A usually topical literary composition holding up human or individual vices, folly, abuses, or shortcomings to censure by means of ridicule, derision, burlesque, irony, or other method sometimes with an intent to bring about improvement