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    • Join Date: Oct 2005
    • Posts: 55
    #1

    Question Question about reading, I feel kind of stupid about this.

    I read a famous story tonight from Jonathan Swift titled “A-Modest-Proposal”. I think I’m a pretty good reader yet halfway though the story it started to get very confusing. It seems like all these famous stories I read there are times where I stop in the middle of a paragraph somewhere and ask myself, What the heck are they trying to say?
    Sometimes it’s just a matter of me needing to look up a few complicated words but sometimes that doesn’t help because of how the authors twist their words. How do you get better at this?

    Just to be clear on my question; I read that this author used something called Satire, it’s some type of roman style as the definition says; “Satire, is the combination of humor and criticism to point out human follies and that it follows the lex operas rules.. what ever that means?

    Anyway, this is said to be one of the most famous essays to use Irony as a tool to convey the authors idea but I can’t honestly say I totally understood the story because his creativity with his words really confused me. But I know my English 102 teacher would understand. So what am I lacking? what makes me different that I can't always follow what some of these authors are trying to say?


    • Join Date: Oct 2006
    • Posts: 19,434
    #2

    Re: Question about reading, I feel kind of stupid about this.

    Quote Originally Posted by Starstreams View Post
    I read a famous story tonight from Jonathan Swift titled ďA-Modest-ProposalĒ. I think Iím a pretty good reader yet halfway though the story it started to get very confusing. It seems like all these famous stories I read there are times where I stop in the middle of a paragraph somewhere and ask myself, What the heck are they trying to say?
    Sometimes itís just a matter of me needing to look up a few complicated words but sometimes that doesnít help because of how the authors twist their words. How do you get better at this?

    Just to be clear on my question; I read that this author used something called Satire, itís some type of roman style as the definition says; ďSatire, is the combination of humor and criticism to point out human follies and that it follows the lex operas rules.. what ever that means?

    Anyway, this is said to be one of the most famous essays to use Irony as a tool to convey the authors idea but I canít honestly say I totally understood the story because his creativity with his words really confused me. But I know my English 102 teacher would understand. So what am I lacking? what makes me different that I can't always follow what some of these authors are trying to say?
    I doubt that you are lacking anything, except that you are learning English. You are trying yourself quite hard with something of this kind. Satire does rather require understanding of the world in which it was written. I wouldn't expect a modern teenager to fully understand Swift, who was writing in the 18th century. That means that some kind of knowledge about Anglo-Irish relations in the 18th century would help in interpreting Swift's commentary.

    However, don't lose heart. Ask about those passages that confuse you - there is sure to be someone who can elucidate them.


    • Join Date: Oct 2005
    • Posts: 55
    #3

    Thumbs up Re: Question about reading, I feel kind of stupid about this.

    Thank you Anglika
    I found a college web page that explained the story and even had definitions.
    I guess the author uses something call Satire as a style of writing which dose complicate things if your not from that time period or familiar with literary stories of that time.
    Swift: A Modest Proposal

    Thanks for the positive words!

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