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Joseph Riley McCormack Professor Alan Somerset English 020 Section 007 Submission Date March 22 2000 Colonization in the Theme of A Modest Proposal and Heart of Darkness Starting at the beginning of the seventeenth century European countries began exploring and colonizing many different areas of the world The last half of the nineteenth century saw the height of European colonial power around the globe France Belgium Germany and especially Great Britain controlled over half the world Along with this achievement came a notable sense of pride and confident belief that European civilization was the best on earth and that the natives of the lands Europeans controlled would only benefit from colonial influence However not everybody saw colonization as positive for all those involved Some of the most notable writers of the time produced works criticizing the process of colonization Two of the most significant works in this area are Joseph Conrads Heart of Darkness and Jonathan Swifts A Modest Proposal Although these pieces of literature both criticize colonization they have different themes The theme of A Modest Proposal could be described as the negative effects of colonization on the colonized while the central idea in Heart of Darkness is the negative effects of colonization on both the colonized and the colonizers The differences in these themes are significant to the strategies used by the authors to explore the adverse effects of colonization Swift makes great use of irony and imagery to accentuate the plight of the Irish Conrad comments on the frightening changes that people involved with colonization can go through by exploring character development and detailing a narrative of oppression Swift uses irony in A Modest Proposal because it allows him to highlight the emotional detachment felt by the colonizing British towards the Irish It is this emotional detached feeling that lead to the atrocities committed against the Irish citizens The irony in A Modest Proposal is evident right in the title
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