Reviewing modest proposal for finals

Report
Gregg/Finals

Which of the following contributes to the
tone of the first paragraph the LEAST?
◦
◦
◦
◦
◦
“melancholy object”
“crowded with beggars”
“forced to employ”
“helpless infants”
“fight for the Pretender”
Determine what the tone of the first
paragraph is – sad, depressing
Parse each phrase to see if it contributes to
that particular tone:
1)
2)
◦
◦
◦
◦
◦
“melancholy object” - yep
“crowded with beggars” – uh-huh
“forced to employ” - maybe
“helpless infants” - definitely
“fight for the Pretender” – no – he’s annoyed, not
depressed

E: All the other choices show how helpless
and trapped in poverty the people are, while
choice E mentions the one “acceptable” job
possible to the men, entering the army.
In comparison to the first paragraph, the
second and third paragraphs are:
I. less sympathetic to the poor
II. more logical and less emotional
III. factual rather than satirical in tone
a. I only
b. II only
c. III only
d. I and II only
e. I and III only
The first paragraph expresses some sympathy
for the poor, “a melancholy object” to
observers. The children are “all in rags” and
infants are “helpless”.
We knew that…
The 2nd and 3rd paragraphs refer to the poor
children as “a very great additional grievance”
and proceed with a cold, logical analysis of
the problem. The 2nd and 3rd paragraphs are
satirical, referring to a process for making
poor children “profitable” and are purely
conjectural rather than factual.
So, the answer is D: I and II only.

In the 4th and 5th paragraphs, the narrator
asserts all of the following EXCEPT that
a. other proposed solutions are based on erroneous
numbers and bad calculations
b. poor children are often starving and poorly dressed
c. the shame of being unwed overrules all other
considerations
d. most babies need little more than their mother’s milk
in their first year of life
e. children of one year of age shall become very
valuable to their country as well as to their parents
C: the shame of being unwed overrules all
other considerations. The narrator asserts
that, in fact, it is the financial burden or lack
of money to care of a child that leads to
termination of the child’s life by the mother,
“more to avoid the expense than the shame”.

“That art” (end of paragraph 6) refers to
◦
◦
◦
◦
◦
breeding
building houses
farming
stealing
governing
D: stealing. All the lines from 77 to 87 refer to
children being able to support themselves by
theft, an “art” that is seldom mastered until
they are at least six years old.

In paragraph 9, the narrator implies that
Americans are
◦
◦
◦
◦
◦
extremely knowledgeable
reassuring
cannibalistic
gourmands
talented in cooking
C: cannibalistic. The “very knowing American”
“assured” the narrator that a “year old” child
is “most delicious”, which implies that the
American has eaten a fellow human being.

In paragraph 10, which of the following
contributes to the central imagery the
LEAST?
◦ “twenty thousand may be reserved for a breed”
◦ “a circumstance not much regarded by our
savages”
◦ “one male will be sufficient to serve four females”
◦ “may at a year old be offered for sale”
◦ “the fore or hind quarter will make a reasonable
dish”
B: a circumstance not much regarded by our
savages. The “circumstance” referred to is
“marriage”, a human social convention and
religious ceremony, but the central imagery
of the paragraph is that of breeding, sale,
slaughter, and preparation of the meat in
terms usually reserved for a discussion of
cattle, sheep, pigs, etc.

Throughout the passage, the narrator
◦ is convinced of his superiority and secure in his
arrogance
◦ is extremely humble and reticent in his
presentation
◦ wavers between bold certitude and self-effacing
humility
◦ repeatedly asserts his qualifications and
problem-solving abilities
◦ boasts that he is the only one to offer solutions
to the problem
The narrator sometimes boldly asserts his
ideas as the only way, then abruptly shifts to
“humbly propose...which I hope will not be
liable to the least objection”. He then shifts
back to offering an “expert” opinion on the
use of the “food” and then shifts again to “I
do therefore humbly offer”. Thus the narrator
wavers between confidence and humility.
C: wavers between bold certitude and selfeffacing humility.
(2nd hour: 56% missed this question, 5th hour:
75% missed it)

The overall tone of the passage could best
be described as
◦
◦
◦
◦
◦
logical
detached
scientific
humorous
satirical
E: satirical. The passage is a satirical attack on the
ill treatment of the poor of Ireland. The author’s
real feelings are revealed in his details of the
extremity of the poverty (paragraphs 1, 5, 6).
The wording comparing children to animals,
referring to the word “carcasses”, and the last
sentence about the “dishes” are extreme satire
since no humans in their right minds in Europe in
the 1700s would actually advocate the selling
and eating of babies as a new industry and
source of income. This extremity rules our
merely “humorous” as best answer.

The last sentence of paragraph 27
◦ serves to reinforce the first sentence of the
paragraph
◦ is ironic given the content of its paragraph and
the following one
◦ acts as a brief summation of the paragraph
◦ diverts the reader from the horror of the
preceding clause
◦ is redundant and thus unnecessary to the overall
meaning of the paragraph
But this, and many others, I omit, being
studious of brevity.

The last sentence of paragraph 27
◦ serves to reinforce the first sentence of the
paragraph
First sentence: Many other advantages might
be enumerated.
Hmmm…doesn’t seem to be any connection.
Scratch a.

The last sentence of paragraph 27
◦ acts as a brief summation of the paragraph –
hmmm…maybe. He does talk about recipes…so
he could be omitting additional ones.
◦ diverts the reader from the horror of the
preceding clause – ok, could be that one too,
because it is pretty gross…

is redundant and thus unnecessary to the overall
meaning of the paragraph – no, this won’t work
because it’s not redundant
b: is ironic given the content of its paragraph
and the following one
The statement about omitting “this and many
others…being studious of brevity” is ironic
because “this” refers to what the author has
just gone into great detail about in the first
paragraph and what he continues to give
even more details about in the next
paragraph. He does just the opposite of
what he states he will do.

2nd hour: 56% got it wrong

5th hour: 65% got it wrong
the first sentence is paragraph 29 is ironic
because
◦ obviously people would object to a decline in the
population
◦ he is actually advocating something beneficial to
the people
◦ the kingdom needs to increase its population, not
decrease it
◦ his proposal would improve the lives of the
people in the kingdom
◦ the obvious objection to his proposal is its coldhearted cruelty
E: the obvious objection… The narrator says
he cannot think of a single reason to object
to his proposal except a decline in
population, when in fact there are many
reasons to object to raising babies to be
“food”, and extremely cruel suggestion that
would raise many moral and religious
objections.

In the same paragraph, the narrator
castigates all of the following EXCEPT
◦
◦
◦
◦
◦
women
Laplanders
Jews
landlords
shopkeepers
Castigate: criticize harshly; punish in order to
correct
What does he say about each group?


Women: “Of curing the expensiveness of
pride, vanity, idleness, and gaming in our
women” – does that sound like criticism? Uh,
yeah.
Laplanders: “Of learning to love our country,
wherein we differ even from Laplanders” – if
we’re DIFFERENT from the Laplanders
because we DON’T love our country, then
they obviously DO love their country. Not
really criticism, is it?
◦ Jews – “nor acting any longer like the Jews, who were
murdering one another at the very moment their city
was taken” – pretty critical, calling people murderers
◦ Landlords – “Of teaching landlords to have at least
one degree of mercy towards their tenants” – clearly,
landlords WEREN’T merciful or they wouldn’t need to
learn it, so that doesn’t work
◦ Shopkeepers – “putting a spirit of honesty, industry,
and skill into our shop-keepers, who, if a resolution
could now be taken to buy only our native goods,
would immediately unite to cheat” – this calls
shopkeepers dishonest, lazy and lacking in skill…it’s
critical

In the same paragraph, the narrator castigates
all of the following EXCEPT
◦
◦
◦
◦
◦
women
Laplanders
Jews
landlords
shopkeepers
So the answer is B: Laplanders. The narrator
praises Laplanders for loving their country; he
accuses all the other groups of various “bad”
behaviors.
(2nd hour: 70%, 5th hour: 45%)

The tone of the paragraph 30 could best be
described as
◦
◦
◦
◦
◦
satirical
desperate
cynical
humorous
hesitant
C: cynical. The lines express a very cynical
belief that there is no “hope that there will
ever be some sincere attempt” at solving the
problem of poverty in a real way, the ways the
author has previously detailed in italics. This
is a very pessimistic, distrustful view of
society.

The irony of the last paragraph lies in the fact that
◦ although the narrator says he would not benefit since his
wife is past child-bearing, he could easily remarry a
younger woman
◦ the narrator says that he has no personal interest, yet he
does since he lives in Ireland
◦ although the narrator professes to have only the public
good in mind, he would attain great fame if his proposal
were adopted
◦ the narrator would not profit from the proposal, but neither
would he be faced with the prospect of selling his baby
◦ the narrator’s proposal would help the rich and the
merchants as much as it would help the poor people for
whom he says he is concerned
D: the narrator would not profit… The narrator
professes no personal interest since he would
not make a penny himself, yet he is also
quick to point out that his children are too
old to be “sold”, thus sparing himself and his
wife the personal anguish of “selling” their
own children. The avoidance of the
emotional consequences of his own proposal
is an obvious “gain”.

The narrator uses all of the following
rhetorical techniques EXCEPT
◦
◦
◦
◦
◦
logic
syllogistic reasoning
repetition
allegory
rhetorical question
◦ logic – reasoning or argumentation
◦ syllogistic reasoning – a type of argument in which a
conclusion is based on two premises; a subtle,
sophisticated, or deceptive argument (ex: Premise 1: If I do
not wake up, then I cannot go to work. Premise 2: If I
cannot go to work, then I will not get paid. Conclusion:
Therefore, if I do not wake up, then I will not get paid.)
◦ repetition – repeated utterance; reiteration
◦ allegory – a symbolic narrative, usually spiritual in meaning
◦ rhetorical question - a question asked solely to produce an
effect or to make an assertion and not to elicit a reply
◦ Logic - evident in the numbers and financial figuring
◦ syllogistic reasoning - in the final argument about why the
narrator has no personal interest in the proposal (children
= profit); I have no children; therefore I have no profit).
◦ Repetition - present throughout (of taxing…of using…of
curing)
◦ Allegory
◦ rhetorical question - in the second to last paragraph (“First,
As things now stand, how they will be able to find food and
raiment for a hundred thousand useless mouths and
backs?”)

D: allegory. There are no allegories in the
passage.

The intent of the author of this passage
most probably is to
◦ shock politicians into addressing the problems of
the poor
◦ express his anger at the poor who begged on the
streets
◦ entertain his readers with his fantastic proposal
◦ offend a society that had rejected and belittled
his ideas
◦ offer a possible solution to a long-standing
problem
A: shock politicians into addressing the
problems of the poor. The author’s
“proposal” to eat babies is obviously
shocking, and his mention of realistic
solutions is an indication of the laws that he
would really like the Parliament to enact.
Question
Question
Question
Question
Question
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Question
1:
2:
3:
4:
5:
6:
7:
8:
9:
30%
23%
32%
11%
34%
26%
64%
32%
66%
Question
Question
Question
Question
Question
Question
10:
11:
12:
13:
14:
15:
30%
60%
57%
53%
79%
26%





4 passages
54 multiple choice questions
Use a scantron
Yes, you may use a dictionary, but I would
answer the question first if possible, or come
back to it later if you need the dictionary!
You will have 90 minutes to answer the
number of questions that you will have 60
minutes to answer on the REAL AP test

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