Analysis of A Modest Proposal
Swift's 1729 satire forces its intended readers, the classed and wealthy of Ireland, to take a serious look at the poverty stricken society. By writing a humorous and ironic solution to reducing poverty he is attempting to "shock" the readers into evaluating the severity of the problem. His suggestion of utilizing the children of the poor as livestock in order to feed the wealthy reverses the socially acceptable code of human compassion into separating the masses and allowing the "mighty" to literally feed on the "weak."
With mothers, unusually unwed, forced into the money earning world of prostitution in order to feed their children, they continually become pregnant which enslaved them into the vicious cycle of more mouths to feed. As activist for human rights and a political journalist, Swift takes a stab at the countries leaders by reminding them that they put these women where they are, metaphorically and literally.
The children, in essence, are a product of what they make and therefore should be treated as such. This cruel view on how to "correct" their society is inhumane and unjust. He further backs his idea with facts and figures which helps justify the mistreatment for their gain. This is seen as a disguised possibility too unmentionable to be a solution to the poverty crisis.
This old world solution can be easily seen in today's society. The Western World for example, comparable to the then English, posses a mass of the world's money and power. As long as "they" the wealthy are maintained, everyone else is neglected and left to survive off their own leftovers. Even within their own communities they would see the poverty stricken as invisible mechanics within the working machine of society. This is continually seen in grouping of lower classes in urban, government aided communities, and 3rd world countries. Swift cleverly brought to light a problem that unfortunately still exists today.
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