An analysis of the novel a modest proposal by jonathan swift

A Modest Proposal is considered one of the finest examples of satire in world literature.

An analysis of the novel a modest proposal by jonathan swift

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A Modest Proposal is a satirical essay published anonymously by Jonathan Swift in With biting deadpan, Swift suggests that poor Irish people sell their children as food to the wealthy to solve the economic hardships and famine plaguing Ireland.

In turn, the reader is wholly unprepared for what the proposer says next. Using economic arguments popular at the time, he makes the case that the starving children of those in poverty should be fattened up and then sold to the rich landowners for consumption. The narrator elaborates that the children could be sold to a meat market as early as age one, when they are likely to be most delicious.

Doubling down on this sustained satire, he details the numerous ways that children can be prepared. This solution, he continues, would contribute to the overall wellbeing of the nation because poor families would be relieved of having too many mouths to feed while making a little cash on the side.

The wealthy, meanwhile, would be able to have some variety and novelty in their diet. He explains how children can be priced and gives projected consumption patterns.

He is sure that innovative cooks will create numerous ways to serve children, and submits that his solution will inspire family harmony.

Husbands will respect their wives more for their economic contributions and the family unit will function more peacefully overall.

The narrator declares that this idea will do far more than any other proposal to stabilize the economy and relieve the economic problems of the working poor. Rather, he uses several devices to cause the reader to sympathize and identify with the Irish poor while at the same time revealing the proposer and his manner of thinking to be ludicrous.

Quite a few sincere proposals also in circulation aimed to better the conditions of the poor without actually addressing the real problems they faced.

Many of the projects designed to help them were thinly veiled attempts at improving the situation of the person proposing the idea.

An analysis of the novel a modest proposal by jonathan swift

Swift builds his argument using a rhetorical technique called apophasis, an ironic device in which an argument is made by denying it or denying that it should be discussed. To promote his true vision of reform, he lists reforming taxes, lessening imports, using only locally-made products, and teaching landlords to have mercy on their tenants, among other things.

Mercantilism viewed people as the riches of the nation. The population boom in Ireland, however, disproved the idea that a larger population automatically meant more wealth.

In fact, the wealth of the few depended on the poverty of the majority. Swift targets the type of calculated thinking that focuses on profit and dehumanizes people by treating them as a commodity.

He slips in language associated with animal husbandry to degrade the Irish and lend credence to his wild proposal that some classes of people can be served as food. His cold and calculated presentation forces the reader to examine the source of his or her own discomfort and apply it to contemporary theories.

An analysis of the novel a modest proposal by jonathan swift

Although the pamphlet did not cause sweeping reform, it remains an excellent example of sustained irony. Copyright Super Summary.Jonathan Swift 's A Modest Proposal - Hannah McMurtry English Essay Jonathan Swift’s A Modest Proposal is set in Ireland in the s, a time of heavy poverty and a deplorable hierarchy.

The author argues, by hard-edged economic reasoning as well as from a self-righteous moral stance, for a way to turn this problem into its own solution. His proposal, in effect, is to fatten up these undernourished children and feed them to Ireland's rich land-owners.

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A summary of Analysis in Jonathan Swift's A Modest Proposal. Learn exactly what happened in this chapter, scene, or section of A Modest Proposal and what it means.

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