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    A Critical Evaluation of “A Modest Proposal”

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    Ireland was a colony governed and controlled by the British and their empire, and just like any other colonies, they had people who struggled in a day by day basis. Hearing about the poor, children who were starving to death, amongst others who were unwaged, was nothing uncommon for them to hear, in fact, most were indifferent about the penniless. Written by Jonathan Swift, “A Modest Proposal” is certainly an adequate piece of satire, in the lookout to condemn how people engage and their insight of those who are homeless and penniless. It is clearer than water that Swift explained to the best of his ability the purpose of the written piece, “A Modest Proposal”.

    In the starting of the prologue Jonathan Swift provides us with a written image of what sadistic exploitation looked like. Youngsters who were a part of the Ireland community were foremost illiterate, the country considered them a huge burden, and to add more weight on it, some parents believed them to be a huge cargo as well. Not to forget about the poor newborns who came into the world, they added twice the grieve to those families whom lacked basic daily resources. Those who were Ireland natives tended to be noticeably worried about the life ahead of them, and they looked for endless ways to jump over the hoops of grievance. Great Britain felt great despair towards the term modest as it depicted danger towards their politics, they even determined it to be somewhat cruel.

    Jonathan Swift states that, he does not only wish to provide for those youngsters who are begging on the streets, Swift wants to equally provide for those children whose parents can only provide very little for them and can hardly support them. He wants those who struggle by means of having almost nothing, to obtain the same provisions offered to the vagabonds on the pathways. (Swift, Pg.368). Swifts proposal might have advertised uncertain, or modest just like the title, but it had enormous advantages to those in need of it. A good quote from the excerpt states that the proposal, “can inhibit the offspring of poor families in Ireland from being an encumbrance to fathers and mothers or the country, and for making them advantageous to the community” (Swift, Pg. XXIV) Even though a modest proposal was not meant to be even considered as serious, It was despicable that some women who mothered infant, were advised to sell their child to the rich and if they fattened them up for their whole first year, they wouldn’t see them as a burden because at the end they would get a profit. Selling children as food? That is way too much sarcasm but that being said, hotels are very attractive to costumers when they serve delicious cuisine, swift says. The selling of children would also be significant to the growth of marriages in Ireland and there would be a high increase in mothers’ tenderness and care towards their children. This would be a great opportunity for the landlords because as the children had enough servings of food, the landlord would learn how to better develop amongst the occupants. (Swift, Pg.374-375). Roman Catholics as well as those whom were rich were introduced in the proposal because that is a way that Swift found, once the number of sold children raised if would impact the growth of papists.

    Swifts proposal carries heavy humor and sarcasm and all at once explains the truths that were in occurrence, that was somewhat huge to digest. The predominant purpose of this proposal was to give a breath of relief to those parents in the poor level of society. “A Modest Proposal” is sure a praiseworthy piece of literature, full of great techniques and a great built monologue. This is an exclusively special prose writing piece which induces the reader to deep thinking and appreciation. This proposal is somewhat cruel and cannot me determined as just modest. Nor the rich or the poor will benefit or have any joy from selling babies and most definitely not eating them. That does not take credit away from Swifts interesting developed ideas. Swift transparently wanted the Irish to know that their economy was booming downward day by day and no one payed attention to him. Therefore, he developed this dramatic piece of writing that included the selling of children. This was a way of obtaining accurate attention from the country. Even though this proposal seemed somewhat cruel, the only purpose Swift wrote it for was so that everyone notices how poverty could change a country and that everyone should be helped and treated equally.


    1. Swift, J. (1924). Jonathan Swift: Selections, ‘A Modest Proposal’. (p. 367-378) Retrieved from Cengage learning, MINDTAP

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