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Word Count: 4,383
But the chief end I propose to my self in all my labors is to vex the world Jonathan Swift In most ironic works there are two voices Ellen Winner and Howard Gardner explain that in irony what the speaker says is intentionally at odds with the way the speaker knows the world to be 428 The use of the word Oespeaker twice in this sentence reveals a great deal about irony One of the speakers that Winner and Gardner refer to is the actual voice speaking to the audience in the work The other voice is usually the authors and lurks behind the immediate text or voice with a view counter to that of the first voice In Jonathan Swifts short ironic work A Modest Proposal there are two such voices at work One voice is the nave voice set in the text a voice that recommends the slaughtering of children for social good The other contrasting voice is Swifts own mature voice which sits behind the text and uses the nave speaker to demonstrate the absurdity of the nave speakers own point In Swifts work Gullivers Travels he makes it clear that he will use multiple voices before the work even begins Swift inserted a letter supposedly written by Lemuel Gulliver the narrator of the Travels as a preface to the work In this light passage the reader is made aware that a voice other than the authors will be used The difference in meaning between the two voices is not known at this point but in the rest of the work the contrast of these multiple voices is vital to the elucidation of the Swifts aim In Gullivers Travels as in other ironic works there is a nave first voice in the text a voice that is for the most part manifested in Gulliver But in book four the irony takes some odd turns that do away with the standard
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