A Point By Point Comarison Of South Park And A Modest Proposal

982 words - 4 pages

Looking at legendary satirical work, such as Jonathan Swift's "A Modest Proposal", you would hardly think about the similarities it has with more modern satire, such as South Park. This may seem like a extreme jump in styles of writing, but the two are actually very similar. If you first think about how both satires expose inequities and problems in society, you will begin to realize these similarities. As the title of satire implies both Swift and Stone and Parker (the creators of South Park) hide behind a cloak of comedy to voice their grievances toward society. You will also notice the use of sometimes extremely shocking material to catch and captivate the attention of their respective audiences. Now you may have notice one huge discrepancy in the comparison of these two; Swift was talking about the starvation and suffering of the Irish people, and South Park seems to focus on less, dare we say, important topics. I plan to dispel any doubt on the fact that Swift and Parker and Stone are similar in more ways than you would think, and I plan to do this by first showing their stylistic similarities; next, I will how their intentions are one in the same, and finally how South Park addresses issues that are no less important to society today than starving Irish people in the eighteenth century.The ability that both Swift and Parker and Stone have to point out the flaws in society by exaggerating these flaws and exhibiting them in a shocking and blunt manner. The most obvious example of this in modest proposal i s the eating of children to both curb over population and create new revenue for Ireland, but there are also more subtle instances throughout Swift's essay. When he first introduces his proposal, in his reasoning he states:"I do therefore humbly offer it to public consideration that of the hundred andtwenty thousand children already computed, twenty thousand may be reserved forbreed, whereof only one-fourth part to be males; which is more than we allow tosheep, black cattle or swine; and my reason is, that these children are seldomthe fruits of marriage, a circumstance not much regarded by our savages,therefore one male will be sufficient to serve four females."This hard, calculated reasoning is a staple of Swift's writing in general, and the exaggeration of fact such as, "these children are seldom fruits of marriage" are staples of much of the satirical work. You see these exaggerations all the time in South Park, take the character Big Gay Al for example. Big Gay Al is an exaggeration of every stereotype that people place on homosexuals, but they always show Al as a very good person in spite of everything. Parker and Stone use this extreme exaggeration to point out that people can be good despite their differences. Both Swift and...

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