Yanez Joseph March 16, 2018 English 096010 Professor A Modest Proposal by Jonathan Swift is a masterful satirical piece that mockingly proposes that the solution to poverty in Dublin would be to sell the poor children to the wealthy as food. This is seen when Swift says, ”I have been assured by a very knowing American of my acquaintance in London, that a young healthy child well nursed, is, at a year old, a most delicious nourishing and wholesome food, whether stewed, roasted, baked, or boiled; and I make no doubt that it Will equally serve in a fricasie 17 or a ragoust 18 ...” However, Swift goes on at the end of the story, to show us how best to solve the poverty issue in Ireland in a realistic manner. The end parts of this book make a change in tone when the proposed reforms differ from Swift's first proposals because instead of the poor sacrificing their children, it is actually the rich sacrificing some of their luxuries for the sake of the poor. The satire in this book was meant to bring the reader to the attention of the ending proposals and the problems in Ireland that had become societal norms. Jonathan Swift has utilized different aspects of satire to expose political issues in Ireland when he ironically takes a hit on the English Protestants who would not want the number of the Catholics to increase in Ireland at that time. Such an example is when Swift says, he says, “then as to the females, it would, I think, with humble submission, be a loss to the public, because they
soon would become breeders themselves: And besides, it is not improbable that some scrupulous people might be apt to censure such a practice, (although indeed very unjustly)” Jonathan Swift also goes on to criticize the politics of that time by using an English Protestant’s tone in the following manner when says, “it would greatly lessen the number of Papists, with whom we are yearly over-run, being the principal breeders of the nation, as well as our most dangerous enemies, ” Through satire he manages to expose the political divisions among the English Protestants and the Catholics, in a way he clearly shows that such divisions are causing the problems in Ireland. Jonathan Swift in this piece also goes on to discuss the issue of favoring worldly possessions such as land and money in expense of other human beings. He brings in the aspect of selfishness among the people of Ireland, who cannot spare such things as land and money in exchange of being humane to their needy neighbors. Such an example is seen “when he says whether they would not at this day think it a great happiness to Have been sold for food at a year old, in the manner I prescribe, and thereby have avoided such a perpetual scene of misfortunes, as they have since gone through by the oppression of landlords, the impossibility of paying rent without money”. That specific example also brings into light the inhumane nature of the landlords who are portrayed to care about nothing but money.
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