A Modest Proposal: Poor People

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In Jonathan Swift's article, "A Modest Proposal" the author proposes an idea to relieve the country of Ireland from the burden of poor people on its society (Swift, 1729). He suggests opening up a market to sell one year old children from poverty-stricken families and allowing them to be sold as a food commodity. Swift succeeds in making his satirical argument via Conger's steps outlined in the article "The Necessary Art of Persuasion", by "establishing credibility" with his readers, showing the benefits of his plan, providing evidence on how his plan could work and by writing in an satirical tone that shows the state of affairs for the poor people in Ireland at that time (Conger, 2000). Swift "establishes credibility" with the reader in stating that his wife is too old to have any more children and the kid he does have is nine years old therefore he will not profit from his plan (Conger, 2000). At the end of the article, Swift announces that in suggesting his plan he has "no other motive than the public good of my country" (Swift, 1729). Stating this at the end of the article enables the full audacity of his plan to sink in with the reader before finally stating why it wouldn't benefit him personally. Throughout the article Swift gives examples on how his plan could benefit society as a whole. He details the current state of affairs for the poor people of Ireland and how each new child born doesn't have any hope of breaking out of the cycle of poverty. He offers detailed advantages to his plan by describing the weaknesses in the society that keep people in poverty. Although the reader may have been shocked by the idea of carving up children in the beginning of the article, with these seemingly solid points, the reader then understands his satirical tone. He is making fun of the societal norms of that time and how these norms help to keep the poor in their endless cycle of poverty.