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In 'A Modest Proposal', Swift proposes that eating the children of the poor is the answer to Ireland's economic problems.

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Introduction

A Modest Proposal - Jonathan Harvey The Eighteenth Century was an extremely difficult time for the country of Ireland. Not only were the English lords ruling the nation, but they were also taxing the Irish out of all of their income. Due to these harsh taxes and other laws passed from distant England, Ireland was quickly becoming a land of the starving. By 1729, something had to be done, regardless of how drastic it was. Jonathan Swift's 'A Modest Proposal' is a satirical essay that disregards all humanity and morality for the sake of economic gain. In 'A Modest Proposal', Swift proposes that eating the children of the poor is the answer to Ireland's economic problems. ...read more.

Middle

He even describes that once a boy reaches the age of twelve, the meat becomes tough and lean due to the boy's constant exercise. He also describes how many meals one infant could last for. By going into great detail about the actual eating of children, Swift establishes the idea that Ireland may start eating children in order to boost the economy. The second situation that Swift creates where moral order is confused is when he states that the marriage rate would increase as people would breed for the sole purpose of supplying the nation with food. He also proposes that mothers would take better care of their children since they will want them to be as healthy as possible when they are slaughtered. ...read more.

Conclusion

He states that no one should mention any of the ideas he lists unless they are willing to put those ideas into practice. Swift uses his drastic plan, cannibalism, to bring attention to the problems the Irish are facing, and then he subtly suggests some alternative plans that would alleviate Ireland of their economic suffering. As we can see, Swift uses satire throughout 'A Modest Proposal' to point out the problems of Ireland and the solutions to these troubles. He originally suggests a ridiculous idea like cannibalism in order to illustrate the magnitude of the problems the Irish face. Once the reader has read that, the other ideas that Swift says will not work suddenly seem brilliant. Due to 'A Modest Proposal', Jonathan Swift can be credited with helping Ireland recover from its economic troubles. -Jonathan Harvey ...read more.

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