A Modest Proposal Argument

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Catherine Andrade
Professor Sassenoff
English 2 – 019
2/22/2012
A Modest Proposal Argument
Jonathan Swift, a satirical author from the 1600’s and 1700’s, wrote A Modest Proposal, in 1729 to bring to the attention of the Irish officials that the poor were in dire need of help. In this essay, Swift proposes that the poor sell their children to upperclassmen for ten shillings in graphic detail (Swift 3). Through this disturbing mental image that readers were not able to look away from, the author successfully conveyed his message to the Irish people and managed to ultimately get them to help their own citizens. In modern society, the poor are growing poorer and the rich are growing richer, just like in the 1700’s. The lower class is not much different than the Irish lower class conditions was three hundred years in the past. The similarities of the lower classes are that the rich are of a much smaller percent, the poor are not receiving the help that they should, and that jobs are not readily available to anyone despite popular belief. The movement against Wall Street’s 1% was not effective due to these reasonings. The percentage ratio between the rich and the poor, in both eras, respectively run from extremely low to very high. In an article written for The Los Angeles Times on December 4th, 2011, the author clearly states how “we are fighting the 1% because they possess most of the nation's wealth… They are the enemy of "us" -- the 99% who toil at low-wage jobs… and yet pay our fair share of taxes.” (Schiller 1) In this quote, the percent of people without jobs is comparable to that in Swift’s time. As Darell Figgis explains, “Throughout the eighteenth century the state of that nation was inconceivably wretched. It was rack-rented mercilessly, without let or hindrance or prospect of remedy (1)”. Eighteenth century Ireland was in a worse state of living than the poor in the United States. In eighteenth century Ireland, anyone who was not part of royalty was...
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