Satire on a Modest Proposal by Jonathan Swift - Essay Example

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It was published as a pamphlet in which Swift puts forth his views through the persona of an economist. Swift argues that the best remedy for the problem of poverty…
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Satire Essay on a Modest Proposal by Jonathan Swift
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Download file to see previous pages To develop this thesis he goes into details about how much it will cost to rear a child, how this cost can be saved if the child is sold as food and what portion of the population will be affected. He even gives specific details about the number of servings a child can provide. This is what Swift (1729) has to say, “I have already computed the charge of nursing a beggars child……. to be about two shillings per annum, rags included; and I believe no gentleman would repine to give ten shillings for the carcass of a good fat child, which, as I have said, will make four dishes of excellent nutritive meat”. According to him the meat of the children of Ireland will be a delicacy for the English and the Irish landowners. Here Swift (1729) writes, “...a young healthy child well nursed is at a year old a most delicious, nourishing, and wholesome food, whether stewed, roasted, baked, or boiled”.
A satire has always been considered as a piece of art and A Modest Proposal, is a masterpiece belonging to this genre. Swift uses satire to give solutions to the Irish people. He argues that the Irish should either starve or take recourse to cannibalism by fattening up children and selling them in the meat markets. Swifts "modest proposal" is ironic and satirical and succeeds in pointing out the unfair and hypocritical way England had dealt with the famine in Ireland. Swifts satire is sometimes oblique and sometimes direct. For example in one place he says while the meat of children cannot be preserved in salt for long sea voyages, he “could name a country which would be glad to eat up our whole nation without it.” (Swift, 1729) Here he alludes to England. The satire in some places is directed at Protestant-Catholic divisions. He ridicules the Irish for their Roman Catholic religious practice which discourages birth control and encourages people to have more children.. . This is what he says his proposal would do, ...Download file to see next pagesRead More
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