Swifts Modest Proposal

Topics: Jonathan Swift, A Modest Proposal, Irish people Pages: 3 (760 words) Published: November 25, 2013
Assignment #1 “A Modest Proposal”



According to “Swift” The people of Ireland were forced to live in the hands of the English which left them in terrible conditions. Poverty ran through the country as wildly as the wind blew. The English kept a plan in place that prevented the Irish from prospering no higher than a beggar wrapped in rags lining the streets with women and children “on the brink of starvation”(The Rise of the Enlightenment in England” ( p.775). According to “Swift” under English rule, Irish families were forced to live with such a small amount of money so that they are unable to pay for the things they need to survive. I feel “Swift” then altar’s his outlook now making the reader believe that he has no objective on following through with this outlook/ plan, which is truly a surprise to the reader.

The ending of “A modest proposal” came as a great surprise. Jonathan Swift an English satirist, gave the reader the perception of an individual that was truly devastated with the quality of life in Ireland. Mr. Swift states to a fellow satirist and friend “Alexander Pope” that “he hated the human race for having misused its capacity for reason simply to further its own corrupt self- interest.” (Swift, Page 775) He spoke about the large number of poor people, which were dying on a daily basis due to cold, famine and filth.

I feel that he wrote this proposal filled with sarcasm to insure the attention and greed were focused on the English, and hopefully awake the Irish from the ignorance that their lives aren’t worthy, that of a pig. In my opinion Swift believed as bazar as it sounded England was doing what he professed not literally, but the result is still the same. It wasn’t until close to the end, that I realized the ending would be so different. The trust that Swift had placed between himself and the reader has now been...

References: Sayre,H.M.(2012). The Humanities: Culture, continuity and change, Volume 2. (2nd ed.).
(2011 Custom Edition). Upper Saddle River, NJ: Pearson Education.
Pope, Alexander. “The Rape of the Lock.” Abrams, M.H., Greenblatt, S. & Stillinger, J.
2000, The Norton anthology of English literature, 8th edn, Norton, New York. 
Swift, Jonathan. “A Modest Proposal.” Abrams, M.H., Greenblatt, S. & Stillinger, J. 2000, 
The Norton anthology of English literature, 8th edn, Norton, New York.
A Modest Proposal for preventing the children of poor people in Ireland, from being a burden
on their parents or country, and for making them beneficial to the publick.
http://www.victorianweb.org/previctorian/swift/modest.html (1729) . Project Gutenberg.
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