Satire Essays Like A Modest Proposal

For example, he writes, “Secondly, The poorer tenants will have something valuable of their own…Thirdly, the maintenance of an hundred thousand children, from two years old, and upwards, cannot be computed at less than ten shillings a piece per annum, the nation’s stock will be thereby encreased fifty thousand pounds per annum…” (Par 22 and 23).In “A Modest Proposal,” Swift does exactly that through clever social commentary on the issue of poverty among the poor in Ireland through the various forms of satire.Swift differentiates the social classes in his writing through imagery, detailing the differences between the rich and the poor.

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Finally, Swift proclaims, “…a young healthy child well nursed, is at a year old, a most delicious nourishing and wholesome food, whether stewed, roasted, baked, or boiled; and I make no doubt that it will equally serve in a fricasie, or a ragoust” (Par 9).the number of Popish infants, is at least three to one in this kingdom, and therefore it will have one other collateral advantage, by lessening the number of Papists among us” (Par 13).The Protestants of Britain stood in contrast of faith to the Catholics of Ireland in both political rule and population.” Later on, Swift itemizes the “benefits” of his proposal.Each benefit is a clear use of verbal irony, meaning that within his “logical” framework and argument, they seem to make sense, but in fact, they are outright cruel or insulting.Swift is ironic in stating he has spent “many years” thinking through solutions proposed by others because he likely has not, but he does so to mock the other solutions.In a twist of verbal irony, Swift hints at how the “problem” of overpopulation of Irish babies is actually part of the “solution” itself when he talks of the babies, “…they shall, on the contrary, contribute to the feeding, and party to the cloathing of many thousands” (Par 4).The proposal is far from modest and is rather shocking which Swift does to grab the attention of the reader.He satirically recommends commoditizing Irish babies to improve the economic outlook by selling poor Irish babies to the rich as a delicious food item.He continues in this way, ironically building a “logical” argument for his proposal, mentioning “This food would likewise bring great custom to taverns,” (Par 25).He finishes his disturbing list, by once again sounding “modest,” casual and non-controversial, even though his proposal is anything but those, “After all, I not so violently bent upon my own opinion, as to reject any offer, proposed by wise men, which shall be found equally innocent, cheap, easy, and effectual” (Par 32).

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