Jonathan Swift 's A Modest Proposal Essay

Jonathan Swift 's A Modest Proposal Essay

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During the eighteenth century, Jonathan Swift was distributing pamphlets around Ireland in hopes of promoting intellectual growth in his homeland. As he noticed this was not making an impact, he decided to address the problems in Ireland with a different approach. Jonathan Swift took to paper and constructed “A Modest Proposal”, a satirical piece that proposes a humorous solution to the social, economic, and political problems in Ireland. Swift’s proposal suggests that babies who are born to poor families become a source of food for public, which benefits Ireland by reducing the overpopulation and adding to the food supply. In “A Modest Proposal”, Jonathan Swift uses satire to draw attention to his argument that the problems in Ireland are greatly affecting his homeland; in doing so, he portrays the themes of class division, suffering, and greed.
A clear theme recognized while reading “A Modest Proposal” is the division of social classes during this time. The classes Swift refers to is between the lower class poor tenants and the upper class wealthy landlords. The pressing problem Swift is addressing stems directly from the separation of these classes. The poor tenants are struggling to pay the wealthy landlords, which is not only negative for the landlords but also the society by increasing beggars on the street. Swift finds this problematic because it causes his streets to be flooded with beggar mothers who bother people passing by. Furthermore, it makes the streets look melancholy to citizens and visitors. The population is overcrowded and there is a shortage in the food supply, which is where Swift’s proposal comes into play. He suggests the poor citizens be fed to the wealthy, implying the uselessness of the lower class. “Sw...


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...In conclusion, Jonathan Swift uses “A Modest Proposal” to encourage change and indicate the the flaws in Ireland. By using satire and irony, Swift is able to capture more attention and stir up discussion. The themes of class division, suffering, and greed are prevalent in his writing. The class division is too wide between the very poor and the very rich and the poor tenants are unable to pay the wealthy landlords. There is immense suffering on the streets and especially for the starving children. The suffering is now impacting the nation as a whole. Swift uses greed in his writing to point out the overwhelming greed by the wealthy. These themes formulate his argument and bring to light his true purpose: to make people see the light and take action. Although “A Modern Proposal” was controversial, it has captivated audiences for years and for years to come as well.

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