A Modest Proposal Essay

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Abstract Jonathan Swift’s A Modest Proposal is his position on how Ireland can prevent the children of poor people from being a burden on their parents and the country. Ireland situation in the 1700’s under English rule was in dire need of change and Ireland needed a way to sustain Ireland. The review of A Modest Proposal examines the surprisingly horrifying option Swift thinks will help Ireland sustain itself. The proposal initial seems not well founded but it is backed up by statistics and plausible reasons why Ireland should give it some thought. A Modest Proposal: Surprisingly Not so Modest Jonathan Swift’s Modest Proposal continues to be one of the greatest satirical example every written. The beginning description of the poor living conditions of the Irish people under the rule of Mother England were very persuasive in feeling the blight of the Irish. Swift’s sympathetically outlines the description of the very real poverty of the people of Ireland and the “surplus” of children, who cannot be fed in facts and details. He quickly dashes my initial thoughts of the Modest Proposal outlining positive steps on what the Irish can do to help their situation. Immediately he changes my view by ushering the surprise proposal that women are to breed children to be devoured by the rich, which in turn will help the Irish population. His assertion that “according to an American whom he knows, a healthy child at one year olds is a most delicious, nourishing and wholesome Food, whether Stewed, roasted, Baked, or Boyled (boiled),” was the point that I knew the proposal would not be what I thought (Swift, 1729). Swift believes that at one years of age, children can no longer be sustained by mother’s milk alone; they can become useful in feeding and clothing others. By selling children to the

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