Assignment #1: Surprise Ending in The Modest Proposal
Professor Lynn Wilson
World Cultures II – HUM 112
November 12, 2012
A Modest Proposal by Jonathan Swift is a satirical story with lots of sarcasm. This proposal was written to shock or force the government into a reaction. As the government read his proposal it should bring about a response. This proposal suggests a “barbaric solution” that amounts purely to cannibalism. Mr. Swift’s idea is to help end poverty and decrease the amount of women beggars by eating babies of the poor. He devised a plan where he would take 20,000 babies and decide how many would be sold, how many would be breeders thus creating a balance between rich and poor. Mr. Swift’s plan would give the poor a means of income and the wealthy would get a fine and delicate meal. He stated that feeding on Irish babies was a treat and the English should be honored to feast on the babies. Swift based his proposal on facts and figures of many years of analyzing the situation. He does seem well educated and well versed on his proposal. He noted several benefits and advantages to his proposal. Some of those benefits included women being more loving towards their children. Another benefit would be more marriages happening with men catering to their wives while they were pregnant. Swift also quoted a friend that was a modern day swindler. The friend was supposedly from Formosa and told a story where 18,000 young boys were sacrificed to the Gods’ and Priests’. The Gods’ dined on the hearts and the Priests’ dine on their bodies. Swift suggested his proposal was a good solution because the landowners had already “eaten” the poor people alive, so to speak. The unfair and unjust treatment of the poor people suggested this proposal could be a way out for them. Swift had calculated the cost to feed these babies and with the proposal these surplus of children would not be a burden or anyone, not their parents or the...
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