A Modest Proposal

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Alexa Mijares Mrs. Pagani AP Composition 26 March 2012 Dear Mr. Smarmy, I understand your concern regarding Jonathon Swift’s A Modest Proposal and how outlandish and corrupt his proposition may be when not read in-between the lines. From the outside, it appears that Swift is some sort of child-eating monster with absolutely no morals whatsoever. Yet it must be understood that Swift is regarded as one of the world’s leading satirist and A Modest Proposal is merely a way to grab the reader’s attention to present the real issue at hand. Personally, I agree that although the way Swift presents his view in a rather harsh way, he makes valid points on how desperate the situation has become in Ireland. My position that A Modest Proposal is not despicable lies within the irony of the entire piece. In the first eight paragraphs of the work, Swift explains the issue of poverty and what children could amount to in a rational way. Suddenly, he changed gears and provides the irrational suggestion of eating the children which he presents in a very logical way by showing the many benefits that will occur if his idea is implanted. One of the clear examples of irony is in the title itself because his “modest” proposal is anything but modest. As you continue reading and closely examining the work, it can be seen that every suggestion Swift makes is filled with sarcasm and mocking the English and Irish governments. Also in the very last paragraph of the essay when Swift says, “I profess, in the sincerity of my heart, that I have not the least personal interest in endeavoring to promote this necessary work, having no other motive than the public good of my country, by advancing our trade, providing for infants, relieving the poor, and giving some pleasure to the rich,” it becomes apparent that the entire work was a false proposition. The irony here can be mainly seen in

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