This opportunity may have included giving the farmers more coin to work for, diversifying their professions, or even consider enslaving their people to lower coin usage and build up financial stock in Ireland. Landa wrote that, "Swift is maintaining that the maxim—people are the riches of a nation—applies to Ireland only if Ireland is permitted slavery or cannibalism" . Landa presents Swift's A Modest Proposal as a critique of the popular and unjustified maxim of mercantilism in the 18th century that "people are the riches of a nation".
Swift's writings created a backlash within the community after its publication. The work was aimed at the aristocracy, and they responded in turn.
Several members of society wrote to Swift regarding the work. Lord Bathurst 's letter intimated that he certainly understood the message, and interpreted it as a work of comedy:. You know women in passion never mind what they say; but, as she is a very reasonable woman, I have almost brought her over now to your opinion; and having convinced her, that as matters stood, we could not possibly maintain all the nine, she does begin to think it reasonable the youngest should raise fortunes for the eldest: Or if, by any accident, while his wife lies in with one child, he should get a second upon the body of another woman, he might dispose of the fattest of the two, and that would help to breed up the other.
The more I think upon this scheme, the more reasonable it appears to me; and it ought by no means to be confined to Ireland; for, in all probability, we shall, in a very little time, be altogether as poor here as you are there.
I believe, indeed, we shall carry it farther, and not confine our luxury only to the eating of children; for I happened to peep the other day into a large assembly [Parliament] not far from Westminster-hall, and I found them roasting a great fat fellow, [Walpole again] For my own part, I had not the least inclination to a slice of him; but, if I guessed right, four or five of the company had a devilish mind to be at him.
Well, adieu, you begin now to wish I had ended, when I might have done it so conveniently". A Modest Proposal is included in many literature courses as an example of early modern western satire.
It also serves as an exceptional introduction to the concept and use of argumentative language, lending itself well to secondary and post-secondary essay courses. Outside of the realm of English studies, A Modest Proposal is included in many comparative and global literature and history courses, as well as those of numerous other disciplines in the arts, humanities, and even the social sciences.
The essay's approach has been copied many times. In his book A Modest Proposal , the evangelical author Frank Schaeffer emulated Swift's work in a social conservative polemic against abortion and euthanasia , imagining a future dystopia that advocates recycling of aborted embryos , fetuses , and some disabled infants with compound intellectual, physical and physiological difficulties.
Such Baby Doe Rules cases were then a major concern of the US pro-life movement of the early s, which viewed selective treatment of those infants as disability discrimination.
In his book A Modest Proposal for America , statistician Howard Friedman opens with a satirical reflection of the extreme drive to fiscal stability by ultra-conservatives. He proposed that someone should "create, manufacture, distribute, and sell a video game" that would allow players to act out a scenario in which the game character kills video game developers.
Thompson 's Fear and Loathing in America: Thompson writes a letter to a local Aspen newspaper informing them that, on Christmas Eve, he was going to use napalm to burn a number of dogs and hopefully any humans they find.
The letter protests against the burning of Vietnamese people occurring overseas. The film Butcher Boys, written by Kim Henkel , is said [ by whom? The film's opening scene takes place in a restaurant named "J. On November 30, , Jonathan Swift's th birthday, The Washington Post published a column entitled 'Why Alabamians should consider eating Democrats' babies", by the humorous columnist Alexandra Petri.
From Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia. Retrieved 10 January The Works of Jonathan Swift: Retrieved November 30, Works by Jonathan Swift. Continuing his satirical essay, Swift adds more detail about the merits of his proposal. The Protestants of Britain stood in contrast of faith to the Catholics of Ireland in both political rule and population. Swift is using this fact to ironically criticize the British reader. The way Swift addresses the issue and the solution of eating children can be quite shocking, but it is an effective way of providing real solutions while criticizing and ridiculing other writers and the public of his time.
Through this building of the logical argument, Swift is actually highlighting real issues such as overpopulation, abortion, lack of education, theft and lack of food. In a final paragraph, Swift proposes real solutions all the way at the end of his essay. By having a whole satirical essay to merely draw attention to the issues and then with one paragraph, mention all the solutions, Swift cleverly and concisely delivers his point.
While Swift was advancing in the world of popular and polemical literature and aspiring to literary greatness, he was also rising through the ranks of the established clergy. In , he was appointed dean of St. There, he saw firsthand the poverty and oppression of the Irish. Of these efforts, which would earn Swift a reputation as a champion of Ireland, A Modest Proposal is the most famous.
His prose style—muscular, compact, sinewy, and expressive—can lay claim to being the most exact and forceful in the English language. His fertile imagination was able to lay down layer upon layer of irony in almost bewildering succession. Packed with irony and satirical revelations of the human condition, this fantastical tract rises to timeless literature.
A Modest Proposal was published as a short pamphlet of fewer than two thousand words in September, It was written anonymously, although readers quickly deduced that the author was the master satirist Dean Swift. It is crucial to note that Swift, while the author of the essay, is not its speaker.
Rather the authorial voice, perhaps best called the proposer, is an unnamed and unknown personage whose intellectual characteristics and prejudices can be gleaned from his proposals. What is stated in a straightforward manner by the proposer is meant satirically by Swift.
The distance maintained between Swift and the proposer is necessary for the many layers of irony in the essay. The proposer begins the tract by bemoaning the state of the poor in Ireland. Mothers begging for alms, with a crowd of children in their arms, are a common sight.
The vast majority of the population is poor, with little useful employment. Poverty drives the youths of Ireland into crime, slavery, or the armies of the deposed Stuart kings in Spain. The proposer has an advantageous solution, to which he cannot imagine a single objection. Up to this point, the proposer has shown himself to be a reasonable if somewhat pedantic thinker, armed with a host of statistics about demography and economics in Ireland.
Certainly his critique reflects no credit on the Whig government in London, which Swift, a High Church Tory in religion and politics, despised. The English colonial rule of absentee landlords, vast plantations, and enforced settlements is discredited.
Following immediately upon these trenchant observations comes the solution:
Note: Jonathan Swift (), author and satirist, famous for Gulliver's Travels () and A Modest Proposal (). This proposal, where he suggests that the Irish eat their own children, is one of his most drastic pieces.
In this satirical essay, Swift offers up one solution to Ireland's devastating food shortage: eating babies. The full title of the essay, An Introduction to Satire: A Modest Proposal - The Write Practice Here's the definition of satire according to Google: The use of humor, irony, by Swift is that poor families should sell their newborn babies to rich families to .
A Modest Proposal has become one of the most imitated and cited of all satirical essays to this day. Unfortunately, thousands of writers title their straightforward ideas “modest proposals,” without any apparent irony, indicating a . The actual issues are addressed in a serious undertone beneath the outlandish proposals and considerations of eating Irish babies in this funny yet serious, satirical essay by Swift. Popular Essays The barber's Trade union Summary.
When the reader encounters the "unless," the reader might think that the writer is about to acknowledge that, after all, the idea of eating babies is morally wrong. Swift subverts this expectation by continuing the satire, naming the unexpected objection of . Jul 25, · A Modest Proposal Satire Essay. A Modest Proposal Essay. Words | 5 Pages. In Jonathan Swift’s satire, “A Modest Proposal”, Swift writes about the starving people of Ireland in the early ’s. He makes a wild and absurd proposal to help remedy the problems of overpopulation and poverty. He only uses eating babies in his essay.