A Modest Proposal | Study Guide

Jonathan Swift

Get the eBook on Amazon to study offline.

Buy on Amazon Study Guide
Cite This Study Guide

How to Cite This Study Guide

quotation mark graphic


Course Hero. "A Modest Proposal Study Guide." Course Hero. 16 Oct. 2017. Web. 26 May 2022. <https://www.coursehero.com/lit/A-Modest-Proposal/>.

In text

(Course Hero)



Course Hero. (2017, October 16). A Modest Proposal Study Guide. In Course Hero. Retrieved May 26, 2022, from https://www.coursehero.com/lit/A-Modest-Proposal/

In text

(Course Hero, 2017)



Course Hero. "A Modest Proposal Study Guide." October 16, 2017. Accessed May 26, 2022. https://www.coursehero.com/lit/A-Modest-Proposal/.


Course Hero, "A Modest Proposal Study Guide," October 16, 2017, accessed May 26, 2022, https://www.coursehero.com/lit/A-Modest-Proposal/.

A Modest Proposal | Infographic

Share Embed
Click to copy code

Check out this Infographic to learn more about Jonathan Swift's A Modest Proposal. Study visually with character maps, plot summaries, helpful context, and more.

Symbols Animals Represent how the Irish poor are treated by the inhumane English Cannibalism Symbolizes consumption of the Irish people’s wealth, hopes, and dreams Babies Stand for innocence, new life, and the future Jonathan Swift child will make two dishes at an entertainment for friends ... and seasoned with a little pepper or salt, will be very good boiled on the fourth day, especially in winter. Sources: Biography.com, Encyclopaedia Britannica, Poetry Foundation Copyright © 2016 Course Hero, Inc. Swift was a politically active clergyman who became dean of Saint Patrick’s Cathedral in Dublin. Although he wrote poetry, sermons, and essays, he is one of the most celebrated English prose satirists of all time, known for classic works like Gulliver’s Travels (1726) and “A Modest Proposal.” JONATHAN SWIFT1667–1745 Author A Modest Proposalby the Numbers Number of shillings Swift says poor couples would earn in a year by selling babies 8 Year Swift was forced to move to his native Ireland from England for good 1714 Number of Irish babies Swift says can be sold for food 100,000 Age at which babies should be sold for food, according to Swift 1 Context Satire In satire, writers mock things they disapprove of in order to generate social change. English-Irish Relations England ruled Ireland through political and religious policies that imposed on poor Irish Catholics. Pamphlets Brief standalone publications on a single topic were a popular part of political discourse in 18th-century Ireland. Need for Change Swift uses biting satire to shock readers to attention. Consistency & Logic People who object to eating babies and selling babies for food should object to letting them starve to death, too. Compassion for the Poor At the time, many argued that the poor deserved to be poor, but Swift opposes this view. The brief satirical essay “A Modest Proposal” offers a simple solution to widespread Irish poverty: the poor should sell their babies as food. Everyone would benefit. The poor would get money, the rich would get meat, and fewer would suffer poverty. In poverty-stricken Ireland, cannibalism might be better than the status quo. From Cradle to Table MAIN IDEAS Essay Jonathan Swift Author 1729 Year Published English Original Language A Modest Proposal Satire

Want to see more infographics? View All Infographics on Course Hero!

Cite This Study Guide

information icon Have study documents to share about A Modest Proposal? Upload them to earn free Course Hero access!