Skip Nav

A Summary and Analysis of 'A Modest Proposal' By Jonathan Swift

Introduction

❶For instance, he talks of butchering these children to be made delicious food and skinning of the children to make admirable gloves for ladies and summer boots for gentlemen. Summary In A Modest Proposal Swift adopts the persona of a concerned economist who suggests that, in order to better combat the poverty and overpopulation of Ireland, the children of the poor be sold as food to the wealthy.

Not what you're looking for?

From the SparkNotes Blog
Get Full Essay
Navigate Guide

Swift was a member of the Irish ruling class and a Protestant clergyman, which should be an indicator to the reader on how balanced—in terms of bias—the proposal will be. In his proposal, the use of logical explanation is immensely distinguishable from the resounding use of satire. Swift utilizes various stylistic techniques in his proposal; predominantly, the use of satire. As the audience descends further into the morbidly dis-jointed proposal the use of satire becomes more recognizable.

An instance of this would be the proposals thesis; essentially, poverty-stricken children between the ages of 1 and 6 should be sold as food to alleviate the debt in the country—among other untenable hardships.

He brings to the table the most unhinged idea for fixing several indefensible positions in the most calm and intelligent way. The disintegration of the Society of United Irishmen meant that it was unable to impose its grip on the long-awaited rebellion, which broke out in Ireland on 23 May The rebellion therefore consisted of a series of separate uprisings, based primarily on local grievances rather than any overriding set of ideas or a concerted plan.

At the time, some members of There can be little doubt that question of land, with specific regards to tenant farmers and absentee landlords, was a major obstacle for the British government as they attempted to 'solve the Irish Question'. However, in addition to the fact that there were other issues within Ireland which also formed obstacles to resolution, such as Home Rule, one must also consider the actions of the The three influences on Irish Political Culture that will be discussed in the essay will be: Religion and Secularisation I believe that Political Culture is the basic beliefs and traditions of a group of people towards Between the years of and , immigration from many Europeans countries very much shows that the United States has been a land of refuge and opportunity for immigrants.

This outlandish thesis is a manifestation of Swift's outrage at what he saw as the scandalous economic and political policies of the Irish and English governments, and the author uses the assumed voice of the economist, an abundance of detail, literalized metaphors, and other ironic and parodic techniques to devastating effect. At the same time Swift directs his satire at Protestant-Catholic divisions, contemporary economic theories, and other targets. A Modest Proposal has long been judged an incomparable work of rhetorical brilliance, and it continues to garner new readers and additional critical attention to this day.

Swift graduated from Trinity College in Dublin in As he was born of English parents, Swift was anxious to distance himself from Ireland, and he moved to England in —the first of many relocations between England and Ireland. While living at Moor Park in England, Swift served as a secretary to Sir William Temple, and it was there that he began his writing career.

After receiving his Master of Arts degree from Oxford University in , Swift was ordained into the Church of Ireland in and was stationed as prebendary of Kilroot, a poor town in northern Ireland.

He disliked the experience, and two years later he returned to Moor Park, where he remained until Temple's death in Swift subsequently returned to Dublin, where he would remain until , though he traveled often to London.

Although he originally supported the Whigs, Swift was eventually won over by the Tories due to their support of the Church of Ireland's position regarding taxation. Swift served as the Tory ministry's main political writer, culminating in , when he was asked to take responsibility for directing the Tory journal The Examiner. In he was appointed dean of St.

Swift was left with no opportunity for further political involvement, and therefore returned to Dublin, where, over the next two decades, he became increasingly engaged in the Irish political landscape and wrote the majority of his most influential political satire. Patrick's Cathedral until , when he was placed under the care of a guardian. By virtue of his ironic representation of political and societal flaws, many of Jonathan Swift's work had to be published either anonymously or under pseudonyms.

Jonathan Swift's writing style is influenced by the Juvenalian style of satire that employs weapons of satire and sarcasm to bring forth the incompetencies and flaws of society and politics. Known as one of the most famous English satirical essays, A Modest Proposal was published anonymously in Dublin in as a short pamphlet. First let's get you oriented with the premise of the essay.

There's remotely nothing modest about 'A Modest Proposal' as the essayist mentions of cannibalism and infanticide with a vapid tone; but satire is meant to be like that. Jonathan Swift starts the essay by describing a melancholic sight of riled women environed by an assemblage of ragamuffins. These gnawing bunch of kids not just pose a problem to their parents who have to think about ways to keep their gobs munching, but are a major contributing factor for the kingdom's undoing.

A mother can still brook up with the one-year-old kids, as they make the sucklings. However, with nature's sadistic in this context rule of growth, providing grub for the growing ones becomes disproportionately troublesome. Swift then does some frigid reckoning with the number of babies needed, number of Irish couples capable of breeding, number of little gobs that can be fed by their parents, etc.

The meat of the human babies may be a bit difficult to swallow, but Swift goes on to add that a certain gourmet American gentleman suggested that a well-fed child can make for ambrosial food that can be easily boiled, baked, stewed, or roasted as well as lend themselves scrumptious in a ragout or fricassee.

He then goes on to tell about the profits that mothers can reap from their children and continue increasing their financial wherewithal. Swift later goes on to say that he sees the poor either growing up and becoming thieves or fighting for the Pretender in Spain probably James Edward Stuart who was determined to take on his rightful British and Scottish thrones or sell themselves as bound workers in the plantations in the West Indies.

He believes that his proposal's sole intention is to abate the crisis of the poor and gratify the rich. Throughout the essay, Swift makes use of apathetic, insincere, and sarcastic language to refer to the faults of society, politicians, and people of Ireland. When he begins with the essay, he comes across as a social scientist, as if presenting an emphatic picture of the fettle of women and children in Ireland.

A Modest Proposal Rhetorical Analysis Essay Sample

Main Topics

Privacy Policy

Analysis of A Modest Proposal by Jonathan Swift Essay - This essay by Jonathan Swift is a brutal satire in which he suggests that the poor Irish families should kill their young children and eat them in order to eliminate the growing number of starving citizens.

Privacy FAQs

A Modest Proposal Jonathan Swift This entry presents criticism of Swift's satire A Modest Proposal for Preventing the Children of the Poor People from Being a Burthen to Their Parents, or the Country, and for Making Them Beneficial to the Publick.

About Our Ads

A Modest Proposal analysis essays"A Modest Proposal" by Jonathan Swift is a satirical work that gives an extremely sarcastic solution to the problems that Ireland was having with poverty and overpopulation in the s. Keywords: a modest proposal jonathan swift, a modest proposal satire. In A Modest Proposal the author, Jonathan Swift, uses techniques such as irony, satire, and sarcasm to mock the Irish government of his time. A Modest .

Cookie Info

Modest Proposal Analysis Essay Words | 5 Pages “A Modest Proposal” is an essay written by Jonathan Swift as a reaction to the social problem faced by the Irish in . A Summary and Analysis of 'A Modest Proposal' By Jonathan Swift Jonathan Swift's inflammatory and biting wit suffused essay, A Modest Proposal is most likely to disturb humorless folks. His impassive approach meshed with caustic raillery definitely stirs an otherwise complacent reader as well as dares to expose the flaws pertinent to the .