The Lord will lead one to safety always. One can simply believe in something higher to get the meaning of this; it doesn't have to be Jesus. Psalm 127, contrarily is confusing because it states that unless the Lord builds the house, it is built in vain. This seems to be more literal, but I do get the idea. Unless the people building the house are doing it with the love of the Lord in their hearts, or building it for him, then what is the point?
Didactic poetry can be quite comforting as seen in Psalm 23 or it can be much too literal and seen as both confusing and condescending. Psalm 127 isn't very instructive spiritually speaking, unlike Psalm 23.
Updated Proverb: A broken toe can hurt, but a broken heart can kill.
Metaphors: Obscure or Illuminate? Didactic literature with its use of metaphors can sometimes obscure the message, as in Psalm 127, but other times, as in Psalm 23, I feel that the metaphors help illuminate. To think of the Lord as a shepard, leading his heard to comfort and safety, gives a very nice image of what he is in our lives. It depends on the text because it can do either. In Psalm 127, it states: "Sons are a heritage from the Lord, / children a reward from him. / Like arrows in the hands of a warrior / are sons born in one's youth." These lines are not as clear as the metaphors used in Psalm 23 and I believe that they actually obscure the meaning and distance the reading from the real message.
Logical appeals: The solution of eating babies (children too old will have tough meat); calculates the number of babies and the number of souls; the beggar children are "in the present deplorable State of the Kingdom, a very great additional Grievance;" eating babies will work for everyone and help everyone too.
Emotional appeals: The poor Irish with their three, four, or six children; the Irish being stepped on by landlords; the wealthy's attitude of the poor (simply a way to make money); the idea that the papists "stay at home on purpose with a design to deliver the kingdom to the pretender;"
Ethical appeals: For the rich to change; stating that what the government is doing is just as bad.
Paragraph 1 -- Logical appeals: Logical appeals use evidence like facts to support a position. Taking Swift's logical appeals as literal, that children are "in the present deplorable State of the Kingdom, a very great additional Grievance" may be so, however, eating babies is not logical. It works in satire because he is trying to be as outrageous as he can, so he can get his point across.
Paragraph 2 -- Emotional appeals: The emotional appeals that Swift uses can be taken very literally and work that way. He is making a point that he believes to be very true and when this is combined with the more satirical elements of the proposal, there is a feeling that he is being outrageous, but he is also being very critical at the same time. Swift uses very powerful words to get across his point, which evokes emotions in the reader.
Paragraph 3 -- Ethical appeals: We get a clear sense of Swift's sincerity in his ethical appeals. He knows that the Irish are starving and so he wants to point out how their wrong is hurting and killing people. His ethical appeals can be taken quite literally as he says exactly what is happening: English landowners are getting more money for Irish grain in London than in Ireland. Even though tenant farmers are starving, they are sending their Irish grain out.
Journal Exercise 3.5B "A Modest Proposal":
1. Health care -- solution: Nobody should have health care. Our society should go back to "survival of the fittest," which means only the strong will survive cancer, AIDS and other types of diseases. This will put us on par with under-developed countries. Everyone will be injected with a disease that is randomly selected, so that everyone has the same chance of surviving.
2. Overpopulation -- solution: Only red-haired people should be able to have children (or at least one parent has to be a red-head) because there are fewer people with red hair in the world. This will stop the greater population, those people with blonde hair and brunette hair (and black and gray!) making children.
3. Obesity -- solution: Because fat people often have very fat arms and legs, they should have them amputated. A person can't live without their head and torso, but they can live without their limbs (we have seen numerous veterans do it!), so in order to weight less, let's just amputate fat people's limbs. The second part of the solution is that they will have to army crawl because they can't walk or use a wheel chair, using just their torsos, which will work out their midsections. Pretty soon their midsections will be thing and -- voila! -- obesity cured.
4. Terrorism -- solution: Everyone should be given bombs and gun so that everyone is at an equal advantage, even children.
5. Pollution -- solution:
Journal Exercise 3.5C Responding to "A Modest Proposal":
Boyle's "Top of the Food Chain" essay is similar to Swift's "A Modest Proposal" in that they both come up with outrageous ideas to tackle a problem. While Swift comes up with eating children as a way to help stop cruelty to the Irish (and he gives several reasons why it will work), Boyle comes up with an idea of how to get rid of all the mosquitoes in Borneo (first to spray chemicals, then to get geckos, then get cats).
Words: 1) Savages: halfway through the text, he means the Irish; the emotional effect we feel is that these people are hard and uncivilized; 2) male and female: the same line as 'savages,' men and women (he is talking about their breeding); emotional effect is that life is really nothing more than breeding; 3) popish infants: halfway through text in talking about when there is an abundance of children born, popish refers to Catholic -- so Catholic infants; the emotional effect we get is that these children are all the same because they are Catholic -- no individuality; 4) beggars -- used throughout the text, but most notably in the first line, he is talking about poor mothers or Irish mothers; the emotional effect is that these women are nothing; 5) rags -- first sentence of text, he means poor, tattered, dirty clothing; the emotional effect is that these people are below everybody else; 6) breeders -- about six paragraphs into text, or child birthing age; emotional effect, breeding is all women are good for; 7) carcasses -- used about five times in text toward the middle, he is talking about the bodies of the babies; this, emotionally, distances us from the fact that these are babies.
Journal Exercise 3.6A Mock vs. Real Epic:
Mock-Heroic Poems: English neoclassicism of the 18th century; came from French models; both forms of epic poetry, though do not have as much gravity (seriousness); both legitimate and independent from epic poetry.
Journal Exercise 3.6B Alexander Pope:
Antithesis: 1) "To err is human, to forgive, divine." 2) "Man never is, but always to be blest." 3) "Tis education forms the common mind." 4) Satire's my weapon, but I'm too discreet." 5) Journal Exercise 3.7A Analyzing Humor:
Part Two: Exaggeration: Understatement: Warped Logic: Improbable Situations: Ridiculous Names: WHAT POEMS of VOLTAIRE HAVE YOU READ?
Journal Exercise 3.7B Comparing Stories:
Voltaire's satire Candide has held up. Candide believes in Pangloss's theory that everything is for the best and is incredibly optimistic despite everything going wrong. There are points in the story that the reader is amazed that these people are still going strong -- and still maintaining their optimistic attitudes toward life. The satire is actually incredibly relevant today in our society of self-help books and life coaches and gurus. People today -- like Candide -- have the belief that they can change their lives by working hard and being optimistic. Modern people still have this idea of incredibly optimism -- even through the worst of times.
Voltaire's underlying message against intolerance, cruelty, and smugness do still apply. Candide and his friends all manage to work against these things in order to be happy in the world. Modern people must also work against these things.
Candide and Don Quixote are quite similar in that they are both optimists to the end. Both, especially Don Quixote, tend to live in a world of utter ignorance, which doesn't necessarily equal a bad thing. Both men are against corruption, greed, and violence and they are unwilling to see it and accept it in the world.