A modest proposal

A modest proposal - A modest proposal An Ironic Proposal Unlike most essays Jonathan Swift's"A Modest Proposal is written for the reader to see

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A modest proposal An Ironic Proposal Unlike most essays, Jonathan Swift's "A Modest Proposal" is written for the reader to see through what the narrator is expressing. The narrator does not want the reader to agree that the solution to overpopulation and poverty in Ireland is to eat babies, he wants the reader to see there needs to be a practical solution. By stating the advantages and objections to his proposal, using ironic words and phrases, he directs the reader not to see the apparent, but the implicit. Swift's narrative voice metaphorically compares the Irish to pigs and cows, which implies the Irish are being treated subhumanly. Although something seems one way to the narrator, Jonathan Swift wants the reader to see it in an opposite light. Firstly, the narrative voice begins the essay by describing the deplorable conditions in which the Irish peasants are living. He demonstrates there is a serious problem with a great need for a solution. He then suggests a solution and then lists a whole list of advantages. His propsal of eating the Irish babies is followed by advantages such as "by the sale of their children, [the parents would] be rid of the charge of maintaining them after the first year"(14). Another advantage is, as Swift put it, "the poorer tenants will have something valuable of their own"(14). These quotations imply that the poorer tenants have nothing of value and that they would have to resort to selling their own flesh and blood in order to earn an income; they also do not take into consideration that the parents might want to have a family and children who will live with them past the age of one year. A decrease in the meat consumed by Ireland would lead to an advantage of "the addition of some thousand carcasses in our exportation of barreled beef"(14). A quotation such as this asks the residents of Ireland to eat human flesh to improve exportation. All the advantages he suggests are true: if
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This note was uploaded on 01/09/2011 for the course EDS 103 taught by Professor White during the Spring '10 term at E. Kentucky.

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A modest proposal - A modest proposal An Ironic Proposal Unlike most essays Jonathan Swift's"A Modest Proposal is written for the reader to see

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