“A Modest Proposal”

686 Words3 Pages
Well-known author Jonathan Swift, in his article, “A Modest Proposal”, attempts to point out the flaws of the Irish economy through a satirical proposal to initiate the recovery of the economy. Swift’s purpose is to galvanize the public into helping itself by stabilizing the economic conditions. He adopts a satirical tone in order to convey the idea that the Irish must help themselves by reinforcing each other. Firstly, the issue that prompts Swift to write this piece is the current economic conditions of Ireland. Many individuals and families are destitute, impoverished, and needing to beg to survive. There does not seem to be an end in sight for these terrified citizens. Swift, an educated graduate of Oxford University, seems to be unbiased, as he is a resident of England, who is neither poor nor begging. His targeted audience is mainly the Irish in order to hock them into action. The main point of Swift’s argument is that in order for the Irish to survive, they must utilize the Irish to survive. Swift suggests that the consumption of young children will both reduce the amount of people in the population who need to be fed and will be a way to feed the remaining people. This is a satirical suggestion, not one to actually follow, but it serves its purpose of suggesting to the Irish that they need to find a solution to their predicament. The argument is structured formally, with logic and reason to support his ideas. The argument’s assumptions are that the people of Ireland are desperate enough to eat their own and that they could be willing to do so. In terms of persona, Swift’s character can be described as formal, while looking for a solution to this heinous problem. He projects a persona of knowledge that his solution could... ... middle of paper ... ...wledging these ideas with good will, it makes Swift’s ideas appear more credible, as it seems that he has weighed these options, found them wanting, and has produced a better idea. Swift not only finds a way to help the children, but a way to contribute to the feeding and clothing of the general public. Overall, Swift’s “Modest Proposal” is a strong piece of satire, as it humorously raises ideas that have a profound meaning. Swift hopes to encourage the impoverished to think of various ways and means of allowing the economy to recover. The only weakness of the piece is that Swift’s actual solutions are not explained or described in great detail. He cannot easily ridicule others who have not produced helpful ideas if he himself does not or is not willing to share worthy ideas of his own. However, this does not detract from the overall effectiveness of the article.

More about “A Modest Proposal”

Open Document