An Analysis of a Modest Proposal
In A Modest Proposal, Swift vents his frustration at the laziness of Ireland's politicians, the hypocrisy of the wealthy, the tyranny of the English kings and queens, and the poor quality in which the Irish people are living. While A Modest Proposal takes place during a period of time in which Ireland is almost totally under the rule of England, it also expresses Swift's utter disgust at the Irish people's seeming inability to mobilize on their own behalf. He is irritated because the people are sitting back and having their country pulled out from under their feet like a rug. Swift is not hesitant to spread the blame to everyone either Irish or English. The essay shows that not only the English but also the Irish themselves--and not only the Irish politicians but also the citizens--are responsible for the nation's dismal state. His compassion for the misery of the Irish people is a severe one, and he includes insults of their incompetence in dealing with their own problems. The main challenge of this satirical essay is capturing the attention of an audience who, according to swift, has no common sense or wits about them. Swift makes his point negatively, stringing together an appalling list of factors to cast blame upon anyone and everyone. Swifts’ resolution is a motion to completely rid Ireland from British rule. This would cause many Irish folk to stop aspiring to be like their counterparts. They instead would be motivated to spark good within their own country. This could be applied today with all of the foreign trade and commerce. Many countries don’t even make a third of their own consumption. It would lastly allow Irish people to remember their neighbors and respect and revere one another.
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