A Modest Proposal

Topics: Jonathan Swift, Irish people, Satire Pages: 3 (1000 words) Published: September 27, 2013

A Modest Proposal
“A Modest Proposal”, is a pamphlet that was published in 1729.Jonathon Swift, the author of this very ironic essay, offers a proposal that will help the poverty in Ireland go down. He tries to persuade his audience the idea of selling infants as food for a new source of income, as well as, for an idea of improving Ireland’s economy. His audience points directly toward the English at the end of the essay, but it could also include the beggars as a potential audience as well. Swift’s main purpose for writing this essay was to bring attention of how the Irish people were slowly beginning to somewhat become peasants. The essay is meant to motivate the wealthy landlords to find a workable solution to help the poor Irish people. Differing from many essays, a reader must be able to clearly understand this essay in order to fully understand what the author is articulating. Swift’s proposal to readers can simply be defined through his irony. Irony means to express the opposite of what is actually meant. Swift uses great techniques like humor and sarcasm when he wrote this proposal. Swift uses satire to broaden the people of Ireland into seeing their own dispossession.

The author starts off the essay with a pathological approach. He states, “It is a melancholy object to those, who walk through this great town, or travel in the country, when they see the streets, the roads and cabin-doors crowded with beggars of the female sex, followed by three, four, or six children, all in rags, and importuning every passenger for alms. These mothers instead of being able to work for their honest livelihood, are forced to employ all their time in strolling to beg sustenance for their helpless infants who, as they grow up, either turn thieves for want of work, or leave their dear native country, to fight for the Pretender in Spain, or sell themselves to the Barbados.” (Swift 1-4) Swift is using these specific sad emotions to appeal to the reader. He is describing...
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