Sunday, August 4, 2019
Carl Sagan And Swifts A Modest Proposal :: essays research papers
"Carl Sagan would be pleased. It is his The Demon-Haunted World that opens with a story concerning a taxi driver: The driver, once realizing it is Carl Sagan, Ã¢â¬Å"that scientist guy,Ã¢â¬ in his cabÃ¢â¬â¢s backseat, proceeds to bombard Sagan with questions about truly scientific issues in the vein of Ã¢â¬Å"channeling,Ã¢â¬ Ã¢â¬Å"Nostradamus, astrology, the shroud of Turin.Ã¢â¬ And the driver presents each of these subjects Ã¢â¬Å"with a buoyant enthusiasm.Ã¢â¬ Yet Sagan disappoints him. With a list of facts, Sagan tells the man why there is a 99% chance each of his pseudoscientific theses are not true or why sometimes there is just a much simpler explanation which OccamÃ¢â¬â¢s Razor dictates we take. This respectful and modest logical deconstruction of absurd ideas is a compelling aspect of SaganÃ¢â¬â¢s writing style. Enter Jonathan Swift: Jonathan SwiftÃ¢â¬â¢s essay Ã¢â¬Å"A Modest ProposalÃ¢â¬ parallels SaganÃ¢â¬â¢s style in its logical, mathematic al, and unpretentious tone. However instead of SaganÃ¢â¬â¢s deconstructing of absurd ideas, Swift constructs one. A second difference is purpose: SaganÃ¢â¬â¢s is science; SwiftÃ¢â¬â¢s, satire. Swift lets us know right off the bat that the fictitious author of his essay is a cultured man. One finds the first evidence of SwiftÃ¢â¬â¢s authors formal background in the title, Ã¢â¬Å"A Modest Proposal: For Preventing The Children of Poor People in Ireland From Being A burden to Their Parents or Country, and For Making Them Beneficial to The Public.Ã¢â¬ Swift then continues to drive the point home by using complex sentences throughout the rest of the essay, as well as maintaining a relatively high level of diction (thereÃ¢â¬â¢s not a contraction to be found in his essay). Swift uses Ã¢â¬Å"sustenanceÃ¢â¬ in instead of Ã¢â¬Å"foodÃ¢â¬ and Ã¢â¬Å"prodigiousÃ¢â¬ instead of Ã¢â¬Å"largeÃ¢â¬ to help accomplish the writers status as sophisticated. With some knowledge of the time period this essay was written in, one realizes that SwiftÃ¢â¬â¢s fictitious author satires the way the English treated the poor during IrelandÃ¢â¬â¢s potato famine. It is the complex sent ences and formal diction which are supposed to indicate that the author is one of IrelandÃ¢â¬â¢s English Occupiers. Only a few lines in the essay begins to stress its logical approach by describing babies and their mothers in the most scientific of ways; Ã¢â¬Å"It is true, a child just dropped from its dam may be supported by her milk for a solar year.Ã¢â¬ First, one may note the connotation SwiftÃ¢â¬â¢s phrase Ã¢â¬Å"dropped from its damÃ¢â¬ gives. This phrase does refer to birth but is normally reserved for farm animals, which is how Swift shows the authorÃ¢â¬â¢s feelings towards the Irish poor (or lack there of).