English 112 DO1B
July 7, 2008
There have been many racial biases throughout history. Many cultural groups have overcome diversity in their own ways, for instance the Jews against Germany, the Native-Americans against England, the Irish against England as well as African-Americans against majority white Americans. In “A Modest Proposal” written by Jonathan Swift and “Letter from Birmingham Jail” written by Martin Luther King Jr., both point out racial discrimination and segregation. Both essays were very argumentative, including outstanding viewpoints. “A Modest Proposal” by Jonathan Swift and “Letter from Birmingham Jail” by Martin Luther King, Jr., were compelling on the levels of comparison and contrast and the “Letter from Birmingham Jail” was more successful. “A Modest Proposal” by Jonathan Swift was a protest of the oppressive treatment of the poor Catholics of Ireland by the English. Overpopulation and appalling economic and political policies of the Irish and English governments were also concerning issues of Swifts proposal as well. The peasants of Dublin were in extremely poverty-stricken conditions and had become quite a burden to the state. The probable solution brought forth by Jonathan Swift in his satire, “A Modest Proposal,” suggested that in order to handle the poverty and overpopulation of Ireland, the children of the poor should be sold as food to the wealthy. As a result, Swift argued that not only will the population be reduced but also the income of the poor will increase significantly as they sell their children. In developing this extreme proposal, Swift provides abundant details projecting the costs of raising a child and estimating the portion of the population being reduced. Swift’s proposal of alternative solutions to Ireland’s problems was never intended to be taken literally, but it did grab the attention of the Irish and English governments.