Brief analysis of “A modest proposal” by Jonathan Swift

February 11, 2021 by Essay Writer

“A modest proposal” by Jonathan Swift is an ironical piece of writing as it seems to me, because of the discussion of the “modest” way of dealing with poverty and unemployment problem in Dublin, Ireland. The satirical way of representing ideas by Swift is appreciable as initially he shows sympathy for poor people by stating that they are beggars and do not have enough money to raise their children. So, there is an urgent need to take a solution for the welfare of “Commonwealth” (21). His proposal lies in the most cruel way of parents killing their children by selling them and getting money in return.

Their wards will be then, cooked and eaten up like a dish. He supports this idea by the fact that these children, if not sold, still have a bad future and will be “disposed of by their parents” (23) and he believes it is a good way. Although he knows that most people have objection with his ideas and they that they are morally wrong, he defends by saying that he is working for the betterment of the country.

Swift further strengthens his proposal by saying that it has many “advantages” (25). Firstly, it would decrease the number of “papists”, which here, according to me, is his best satire. Secondly, it would be beneficial to cooks as they will prepare tasty dishes. Moreover, it will make marriage a desire, not “enforced by law” (25).

Several other merits include he money earned by parents and the financial gains to the state. This is a good deal according to Swift and he supports his ideas by highlighting the figures or numbers of children killed or produced and mentioning amount of money earned. It seems that he is himself unaware of the fact that he is practising the “horrid practice” of killing, of which he accuses the other parents. In the epilogue, this writing has an ironical point of view and Swift states his statements with surety because he believes he himself has no benefits as he has no children.

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