A Modest Proposal: Satirical Essay Written and Published by Jonathan Swift in 1729

Topics: Jonathan Swift, Irish people, Satire Pages: 1 (291 words) Published: March 17, 2009
“A Modest Proposal,” is a satirical essay written and published by Jonathan Swift in 1729. Swift was a Protestant, but he was also a native of Ireland, having been born in Dublin of English parents, and was one of the most satirical writers of his time. Swift believed that the population of Catholic children in Ireland was creating an economic problem as well as being a burden on their parents and country. So Swift came up with a proposal that would satirize the English landlords with outrageous humor. He propose, jokingly, that Irish infants be sold as food at age one, when they are plump and healthy, to give the Irish a new source of income and the English a new food product to bolster their economy and eliminate a social problem. He says his proposal, if adopted, would also result in a reduction in the number of Catholics in Ireland. He also believed England was exploiting Ireland. Many Irishmen worked farms owned by Englishmen who charged high rents so high that the Irish were frequently unable to pay them. Consequently, many Irish farming families lived on the edge of starvation. Here, he is satirizing the rivalry and prejudice characterizing Catholic-Protestant relations in Britain. Swift also satirizes the Irish themselves in his essay, for too many of them had accepted abuse stoically rather than taking action on their own behalf. . He believes that English overlords are shamelessly exploiting the impoverished people of Ireland. He believed in order to fix this the Irish should boycott English goods as well as make do with less in order to help their neighbors. In “A Modest Proposal,” Swift actually argues of the atrocity the Irish suffered at the hands of the English.
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