The Evaluation of Jonathan Swift’s: A Modest Proposal
The proposal made by Jonathan Swift outlines a direct and detailed arrangement for dealing with the overwhelming problem of poverty and degradation throughout his homeland of Ireland. This proposal not only shows great aggression towards the insufficient ruling of his country by England, but surprisingly towards the leadership of politicians and the wealthy in Ireland for failure to address the problem with a substantial resolution.
By outlining specific sociological and economical benefits, Swift’s proposal details the taking infants at the age of around one-year old who were born into poverty by families unable to support themselves and preparing them to be consumed by the wealthy of Ireland. As he begins to break down the amount of wealthy members of Ireland’s society who could serve as customers for the infants, Swift concludes his proposal with choice words from anyone who may offer a counter argument: “Therefore let no man talk to me of other expedients.” (Swift, 1729, ¶ 29)
Swift uses his conclusion to outline points in which current policy plays a part in the suffering of so many people living in poverty: “Of taxing our absentees at five shillings a pound: Of using neither cloaths, nor houshold furniture, except what is of our own growth and manufacture:” (Swift, 1729, ¶ 29) Swift also challenges the wealthy and identifies areas in which their lifestyle is seen as hypocritical in comparison to the ideas of his proposal: “Of utterly rejecting the materials and instruments that promote foreign luxury: Of curing the expensiveness of pride, vanity, idleness, and gaming in our women:” (Swift, 1729, ¶ 29)
Swift’s A Modest Proposal uses a satirical solution to successfully call for an in-depth evaluation of poverty situation that is overrunning Ireland. By using extensive detail to outline an absurd solution to the problem, Swift is able to call for personal reflection into not only the...
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