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A Modest Proposal - Essay Example

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This critical analysis discusses the satirical excerpt, A Modest Proposal, published by Jonathan Swift. Jonathan Swift (1667-1745) was an Anglo-Irish poet, satirist, political analyst and essay writer who later chaired the St. Patrick’s Cathedral as Dean. …
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A Modest Proposal
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Download file to see previous pages Patrick’s Cathedral as Dean. He is known for his marvelous works such as Gulliver’s Travels, A journey to Stella and The Battle of Books etc. In this essay he proposes a method to mitigate the tense and misery in the life of the poverty stricken Irish people. While describing the family conditions of the beggars and the woeful economic situation of the Irish laborers who couldn’t feed their family and their infants, Swift points out a “surplus” of those infants who could not be fed. By considering the possibility of selling the children into slavery once they reach at the age of twelve, he objects that scheme, not because of the brutality in that scheme but because of its impracticality. Swift said that twelve years is a long time in which a child cannot be fed because of the fragile conditions of his parents, and that he came to know from his acquaintance in America that a one year old child in good healthis : “a most delicious, nourishing and wholesome Food, whether Stewed, Roasted, Baked or Boiled”(Swift, n.p.). From this point onwards, Swift supports his idea of subjecting the children into cannibalism at earlier age than to nurse the child for twelve years. Following this scheme the mother of the child has only one year to milk him/her so as to make him/her a perfect food for the upper class. After selling her child she would get enough time to work until she is pregnant again. He also showed that this idea if implied would help in reducing the Catholics too, as a Catholic child breeds rapidly as compared to a Protestant child. People could make use of their skin as well. Next he discusses the recipe for older children but refutes it because the meat of an older child would never be as fresh as the infant’s meat. He concludes with six advantages of this scheme and says that nobody should object his proposal until and unless somebody comes with a genuine counter argument and that this entire proposal is in the favor of the Irish prosperity. Critical Analysis Jonathan Swift is known for his satirical writings about the political situation prevailing at that time in his country and the snide comments about the unjust policies of his time. In this article he talked about the somber and murky situation of the poor people of Ireland and the condition of the streets and public places full of beggars followed by a team of their ill conditioned children. The mother of such children instead of earning are forced to beg their infants. All this strive for those children who would either turn themselves into thieves (because of the deprivation of basic necessities), or sell themselves to Barbados or fight for Spain, provide no actual benefit to the country. This fragile and solemn condition of these helpless infants adds more to the already present country grieves. Having explained this weird condition in a melancholic tone he suddenly shocked the audience by his own seemingly a very ruthless and brutal solution of the problem. He calculates and shows the result that a 12 year breeding of children and then selling them is an impractical scheme and that it costs too much to the parents. However by using a very shrewd stance and highlighting all the negative aspects of the aforesaid scheme he puts forward his own idea of subjecting the infants to cannibalism at the age of one year. The audience had not yet recovered from the shock his seemingly hysteric and madding ideaand he started giving the calculations regarding the saving of a family who follows this proposal. He continued to explain the need of such an idea which if implemented save a thousands of currency per annum. At this point one reading all this juxtaposition of problem and solution would think that the author of this essay could be a serial killer or a ...Download file to see next pagesRead More
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