A Great Nation in Great Trouble I consider myself to be an educated, prosperous, and political gentleman. I think it not wrong to say that we are in the Golden Age of Satire, which is a fortunate time for me because I am an active reader and delighted and amused by these works. As a proud Irishman with a natural bias, I find my fellow Irishman Jonathan Swift and his satiric pieces to be quite clever and provoking. There is certainly rage and resentment running through the streets of Dublin over his latest work, “A Modest Proposal”. I like to call myself a warrior for social justice and fairness, so this piece has truly spoken to me. This country’s issues of poverty and the growing social gap have been ignored for far too long, and Swift has …show more content…
It is a mastery of social commentary, political criticism, and satire. To ignore this would be to ignore the entire message that Swift is trying to outline. The title of the essay itself is deep-seeded in parody and farce and it also outlines the sarcastic and facetious tone that Swift displays. The “proposal” that Irish babes born into poverty should be served for food is no way “modest” or even human. It is a savage plan that cleverly attacks our current political officials and their systems. Swift’s keen and unique sense of humor is extended throughout the entire work. Not only does he present an absurd plan, but he also presents a number of benefits that is a comical attempt to establish logic and …show more content…
Although his message and criticism is not direct or even apparent to the common man, there is no ambiguity of Swift’s true feelings and his purpose is clear. Although I do not know him personally, I know Swift is a good man who wants the best for our country. He cares for all beings, rich or poor, and wants no harm to come to any of our children, as he satirically suggests in his essay. His approach is unorthodox, but it is a powerful tool that Swift is familiar and comfortable with. He is not afraid to write and say what needs to be said, no matter how difficult that might
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In Swift’s satirical essay he stated the main issue to be the hunger and starvation of Irish country and their lack of money to support oneself. He said the complication was they themselves don’t have food, to many families in poverty, and that the Englishman took their land and charging high prices for rent. Swift makes this argument because he too is an Irish men and he struggles to see his fellow men parish in the streets. He desires his people to stand up against England and take back what’s theirs. He argues that the Irish...
Jonathan Swift’s A Modest Proposal is an attempt to bring attention to horrible the condition in which the poor or destitute people in Ireland are living in. His argument that children of these improvised people should be sold to “the persons of quality and fortune” (A Modest Proposal) for consumption, is Swift’s gruesome way of saying you might as well eat the babies, if no one is going to actually try to fix the problems of the poor in Ireland.
During the 1720’s, the Irish people were suffering dearly, due to the oppression by Great Britain. There oppression came in the form of being displaced by wealthy English people who were buying up land in Ireland and then not living there. They would proceed to rent some of their land to the Irish people at extremely high rent, which eventually led to them not being able to pay neither their rent or provide their families with food or clothes. The reason behind Swift’s proposal is simple. He is an Irishman. He has a sense of patriotic duty to attempt to help his fellow Irish people. He wants them to know that it is possible to move forward form poverty and out from under the oppression of the British. He structures his essay through a basic form of presenting an idea and then backing it up with “facts” like the growth in weight of babies or expert accounts on the taste of children from a credible source. Something that Swift just assumes that the audience will take for granted. Additionally he assumes that the audience won’t simply put his article down, taking it as the ramblings of a mad man talking about eating babies like it’s a normal everyday thing.
The entire proposal stands as a satire in itself; an analogy paralleling the tyrannical attitude of the British toward their Irish counterparts and the use of babies as an economic commodity. In short, Swift suggests that Irish parents are owned by the British, and babies are property of their parents, therefore, England has a right to consume the Irish babies. Swift uses this syllogism to show the British that their despotic reign in Ireland has left the miserable nation in poverty and disarray. Historically, it has been evidenced that England first colonized Ireland for security against, at that time, the Irish barbarians that inhabited the land. Thus, England continues to justify their power over Ireland as “restraining the temptation to consume among England's enemies” (Mahoney). Along with “the assurance of English military power to defend the colony from threat,” the degree of “English political and economic control that the colonists deeply resented,” grew exponentially into a full blown autocracy over Ireland (Mahoney). Swift writes, “Some persons of a desponding nature are in great concern.” This is not simply a concern ...
In Jonathan Swift’s story, “A Modest Proposal for Preventing the Children of Poor People in Ireland from Being a Burden to Their Parents or Country, and for Making Them Beneficial to the Public”, he made a satire to talk about how the poor people in Ireland can’t afford to have children and that they have found a solution to that problem by using a very cold-hearted treatment to the poor people. The story is mainly about finding a reasonable, stress-free, and an inexpensive solution to help the starving children of Ireland become more useful to the wealthier people in the country. The story tells us that the solution is to fatten up all the children from poor families and feed them to Ireland’s land-owners that are very rich. Children from the poor could be sold at one year of age to a meat market (Swift). Swift’s argument in this story is that by the poor people giving up their children to the rich will give them an income that will be very helpful and by doing this it will fight overpopulation and
A Modest Proposal was written in 1729 by Jonathan Swift, an Irish-born writer. He used his writing to criticize what he thought was irrational and unjust. During the 1500s, England's Protestant rulers began to dominate Ireland. In the 1700s, when the essay was written, Ireland’s Catholics were being heavily taxed and oppressed by the English Protestant rule. Because of this, Ireland became impoverished and subservient to benefit Britain. Swift’s intended audience was people who could enact change in others to ease the problems in Ireland at the time. In his essay, Swift criticizes the English government and the wealthy for creating poverty in Ireland. He uses verbal irony when he proposes that saving infants to be sold for food is the way to resolve the growing problem of the impoverished. By developing this idea and implying that the English will not mind if the Irish use children for food, Swift suggests that the English government is callous and cruel. Swift combines a logical structure with verbal irony to create a shocking satire that highlights the need for real solutions to the poverty problem in Ireland.
Speaking for majority of Irish people, Swift comes up with a plan which is to get children out of the streets and away from their begging profession. Swift clearly states in his proposal, “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 Boyled, and I make no doubt that it will equally serve in a Fricasie, or Ragoust”. Swift is making fun of the attitude of the British that think of the Irish as not useful in their world of riches. When reading this letter, it is easily mistaken when Swift puts you in the mindset of how Ireland is struggling with their poor and how they are a burden to other people with more money. He then goes to say that the children should be sold into a meat eating industry for the well off, which catches anyone off guard. It isn’t clearly stated that his intentions aren’t exactly true, but coming from the time period in which this letter was written it is easier to understand his attitude and
In A Modest Proposal, author Jonathan Swift uses satire to assist in reforming the distribution of wealth in Ireland to protect the rights of lower class citizens. In this time period, England ruled Ireland and thus received all of their revenue without any profits going to the Irish. As detailed by Swift, the Irish lower class are faced with crippling poverty and overpopulation, leading to famine and unsafe living environments (Swift 338). As a result, Swift suggests a controversial plan that will solve Ireland’s financial imbalance. He describes his plan by saying, “That the remaining hundred thousand [children] may, at a year old, be offered in sale to the persons of quality and fortune through the kingdom; always advising the mother to let them suck plentifully in the last
He went as far as to provide various manners of preparation when it came to cooking the children, because “whether stewed, roasted, baked, or boiled” (Swift) they were at their most delicious at a year old. Swift humored the audience with these suggestions as a way of illustrating how little the English cared for the poor and the Irish in general. By comparing the wealthy to heartless cannibalistic savages that care about nothing but their own wellbeing, Swift gained the upmost attention of the reader through shear shock; through the ethical appeal of cannibalism, Swift was able to easily incite curiosity in his readers and caused them to think critically about the situation at hand. Had the government really cared so little for the Irish that they would throw away the lives of their citizens and only watch as they plunged deeper and deeper into an economic depression? It was up to the reader to interpret the information provided and explore the concepts touched upon within the
In his essay “A Modest Proposal” Jonathan Swift makes the argument that eating the undernourished children of Ireland is just one way of helping to solve the economic crisis. Swift claims that children are useless and a burden to their families until the age of twelve, and says “they can very seldom pick up a livelihood by stealing, till they arrive at six years old” (584). He offers various arguments as to why turning infants into livestock is just one way of turning these burdens into something beneficial to the country. The suggestion to eat children is clearly anything but modest, but therein lies the beauty of Swift’s argument. His use of satire causes his readers to think more broadly about the issue Ireland is facing, as well as question
In Jonathan Swift’s satire, “A Modest Proposal”, Swift writes about the starving people of Ireland in the early 1700’s. He makes a wild and absurd proposal to help remedy the problems of overpopulation and poverty. Swift wants to make a political statement by using the “children” as satire to grasp the attention of the audience - the English people, the Irish politicians and the rich – and make them aware of the political, moral, and social problems. In “A Modest Proposal”, Swift’s arguments are presented effectively by using pathos (emotional appeal), ethos (ethics and values), and logos (logic reasoning and facts).
Jonathan Swift’s A Modest Proposal is a shocking satire that discusses the dire poverty in Ireland. It says if one is born poor they will stay that way unless society puts them to use. Children are food to be eaten. In an economic slump children will be used to feed and clothe Ireland’s population. Swift’s purpose for writing A Modest Proposal was to call attention to the exploiting and oppressing by the English to the Irish. He wanted to shock his readers by proposing his “modest” proposal. He presents selling babies as food to reduce overpopulation. This causes the reader to disregard this suggestion. Swift wanted to raise awareness on the issue that was haunting Ireland. Throughout A Modest Proposal, Swift effectively uses verbal irony, diction, and sentence structure to achieve his purpose of making people realize that there are problems in society that needed to be handled in a reasonable manner. He also wanted to help advance the country’s trade, provide for infants, relieve the poor and help the rich. Swift ultimately wanted to get people thinking about actual solutions that could solve their current problems.
In 1729, Jonathan Swift published a pamphlet called “A Modest Proposal”. It is a satirical piece that described a radical and humorous proposal to a very serious problem. The problem Swift was attacking was the poverty and state of destitution that Ireland was in at the time. Swift wanted to bring attention to the seriousness of the problem and does so by satirically proposing to eat the babies of poor families in order to rid Ireland of poverty. Clearly, this proposal is not to be taken seriously, but merely to prompt others to work to better the state of the nation. Swift hoped to reach not only the people of Ireland who he was calling to action, but the British, who were oppressing the poor. He writes with contempt for those who are oppressing the Irish and also dissatisfaction with the people in Ireland themselves to be oppressed.
A “Modest Proposal” is written by a man who had been exiled from England and forced to live among Irish citizens for many years during which he observed major problems in Ireland that needed a solution. The writer of this piece is Jonathan Swift, and in his proposal, “The Modest Proposal,” Swift purpose is to offer a possible solution to the growing problem of the homeless and poverty stricken women and children on the streets of Ireland. Swift adopts a caring tone in order to make his proposal sound reasonable to his audience, trying to convince them that he truly cares about the problems facing Ireland’s poor and that making the children of the poor readily available to the rich for entertainment and as a source of food would solve both the economic and social problems facing Ireland.
This essay will have no value unless the reader understands that Swift has written this essay as a satire, humor that shows the weakness or bad qualities of a person, government, or society (Satire). Even the title A Modest Proposal is satirical. Swift proposes using children simply as a source of meat, and outrageous thought, but calls his propo...