Modest Proposal

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Ed Giles

A Modest Proposal

A modest proposal is often herald as one of Jonathan Swift’s best use of irony. Yet taking into the account of his persona, as well as the period in which it was written, one could prove that through irony, this proposal is actually written to the entire upper class. Therefor true irony in this story lies in the analyze of the minute details in the story.

The story itself is ironic since no one can take Swift proposal seriously. The irony clearly demonstrates the end of the story; he makes it clear that his proposal would not take effect on him since his children grew and his wife was unable to have anymore. Before the analyzing could continue, one has to make the assumption that this is strictly a fiction work of his and no one has the intention of pursuing his proposal and further. It would be absurd to think that man would want to propose this and partake in the eating of human beings.

It is quite clear that Swift has a strong feeling of resentment, for the poor people that wonder the street. “It is very well known that they are dying, and rotting, by cold and famine, and filth, and vermin… they cannot get work and consequently pine away for want of nourish.” Once the reader understands this, they can see the true purpose of Swifts proposal. He wants to lower the population of beggars in his country, so what better way to do it than by putting an end to the younger generation of beggars?

Very few authors have their works analyzed and critiqued as thoroughly as Swift has. Many of his works have dealt with the question of the true purpose of A Modest Proposal. One reason that it is difficult to understand, because in actuality there is a dual irony in the story. Even in today’s world, there are some people that give money to the homeless, because they feel pity for them.

I conclude that a work of this nature, from such a dynamic author, must be read thoroughly and with literary awe and criticism. This story should be...
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