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A Modest Proposal - Essay Example

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In his essay “A Modest Proposal”, Jonathan Swift begins by regretting the widespread presence of beggars and impoverished children on the roads of Ireland, and proposes to submit a “cheap and easy method of making these children sound and useful members of the…
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A Modest Proposal
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Download file to see previous pages 10), and the remainder may be sold on the market as food for wealthy landlords. He analyzes the disposal of poor children as a “saleable commodity” (Swift, par. 7), and discusses various ways to convert the flesh of children into delectable dishes.
According to Swift, his proposal would ensure a reduction in the Irish Catholic population, serve as a source of income for the poor peasant, boost the economy of the country, lighten the financial burden of the parents, “bring great custom to taverns” (Swift, par. 25), encourage marriage and the good care of children, and boost the export of flesh. He declares that there is a good market for this ‘commodity’.
Swift now lists the measures which would improve the conditions of the Irish peasants: the taxation of absentee landlords, the use of locally manufactured goods, the rejection of imported luxuries, the practice of thrift, the fostering of nationalism, unity and virtue, compassion towards the poor tenants, and “a spirit of honesty, industry, and skill” (Swift, par. 29) in merchants. He concludes his essay on a cynical note, saying that these measures will not be implemented in Ireland and, therefore, his proposal is the only practical alternative. Swift signs off with the affirmation the he is a totally disinterested participant in this debate, as he has no young children whom he could sell ...Download file to see next pagesRead More
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