• Join over 1.2 million students every month
  • Accelerate your learning by 29%
  • Unlimited access from just £6.99 per month

An Analysis of Swift's "A Modest Proposal"

Extracts from this document...


An Analysis of Swift's "A Modest Proposal" Swift, in his modest proposal, has parodied a rational economic proposal of the type commonly submitted to the British government. However in doing so he has put forth ideas for economic savings and gain, suspending any sense of seemingly basic moral attitudes. It is a political satire full of irony, dealing with the problem of homelessness in Ireland. Swift has organised his proposal clearly and objectively. To begin with, he has described the social problem and expressed the necessity for a solution. He has then expressed his determination to resolve this critical situation, emphasizing his hope for public approval. He has then put forward his proposal and explained the plan and the benefits of it. Any possible arguments have been invalidated and the main benefits have been summarised. Finally he has expressed his sincere intentions for promoting this proposal. The persona Swift has adopted is that who is malicious, savage and inhumane. ...read more.


This is an extremely fascist, unreasonable and intolerant attitude. In short, he uses rational, sensible language to express his extremely discriminating, fascist views. Swift's proposal is established upon parody and ridiculous ideas put forth in a very serious manner. His persona states that "There only remain an hundred and twenty thousand children of poor parents born annually. The question therefore is, how this number shall be reared and provided for..." This appears to be leading to the explanation of a very sensible, effective proposal. However, the true horror of the proposal becomes apparent when his persona outlines his plans for selling the children of the poor to the rich, to be eaten as a delicacy. "A child will make two dishes at an entertainment for friends..." Although a ludicrous idea, it is put forth with the utmost sincerity. His idea is made even more ridiculous when he says that one "may flay the carcass: the skin of which...will make admirable gloves for ladies, and summer boots for fine gentlemen." ...read more.


but he combats this by saying that it is in fact an advantage. At this stage Swift reveals his actual concern for the poverty problems Ireland has. He rubbishes other possible proposals for solving the problems, which are actually in his mind, the true solutions to the problem; this is merely an ironic way of making them seem more powerful. He is expressing his concern that the British government are not taking more plausible action than his proposal, as he feels that so much more could me done to solve the problem of homelessness and poverty, confined within moral boundaries. Swift's Modest Proposal is designed to exhibit the kind of lives the poor people in Britain live. He has used parody to highlight his concerns and enlighten the public as to the fact that the poor do not have things easy. He intends to shock and horrify the reader, and in doing so, promoting values and increasing awareness, and warning against the dangers of focusing purely on economic gain. Faizal Patel Page 1 5/2/2007 ...read more.

The above preview is unformatted text

This student written piece of work is one of many that can be found in our GCSE Jonathan Swift section.

Found what you're looking for?

  • Start learning 29% faster today
  • 150,000+ documents available
  • Just £6.99 a month

Not the one? Search for your essay title...
  • Join over 1.2 million students every month
  • Accelerate your learning by 29%
  • Unlimited access from just £6.99 per month

See related essaysSee related essays

Related GCSE Jonathan Swift essays

  1. How effective is 'Modest Proposal' by Jonathon Swift

    But now an average baby in are time the 20th century a baby is on average 7-8 lbs. swift also says in paragraph 8 that each child who comes to the age of 12 will be not as expensive as a 5 yr old child, so they will only be

  2. What are the Objects of Swift's Satire in 'Gulliver's Travels' in the 'Voyages to ...

    This is perhaps another satirical point from Swift mocking the English culture, maybe Swift feels like it's unfair that even if you do something heroic, such as saving a royal family member, you can be convicted because of the method you used.

  1. Compare the Way in which John Donne and Swift present the women in their ...

    He is once again parodying her and comparing her to something that she will never be but dreams to be. This shows that Swift sees love as something which will only cause pain and suffering because in the end the endurance of it all is not worth the final result.

  2. Discuss the similarities and differences in themes and ideas as shown in a modest ...

    When he wrote A Modest Proposal he made fun of the economics of that time showing how ridiculous their arguments were. Swindells wrote a thriller which uses a psychopathic character Shelter who stalks Link. Shelter builds up suspense because the reader doesn't know if Link will be murdered or not.

  1. In a Modest Proposal, by Jonathan Swift, the main objective was to draw attention ...

    Not only would the opponent win a landslide victory, but the candidate that suggested such an awful and anomalistic act would probably be hounded and hunted by the rich and poor alike. Jonathan Swift disgusted and humored many people from his time when he wrote this essay.

  2. Discuss the ways in which Swift criticises his society in 'A Modest Proposal'.

    Swift also incorporates the use of gruesome details delivered in a pleasant voice, an example of this is, "the skin of which, Artificially dressed, will make admirable Gloves for Ladies". This challenges the reader's beliefs between right and wrong, and makes him think of how horrible and cruel they are to the Catholics.

  1. Discuss the ways in which Jonathon Swift and George Orwell create a sense of ...

    The device that is evident in all three pieces is the comparison with animals. Human beings have always considered themselves far superior to animals and are disgusted to be compared to them. In 'How The Poor Die', Orwell comments on how people 'were just dying like animals'.

  2. Explain the effect a 'Modest Proposal', by Jonathan Swift has on the reader, including ...

    This interprets to us that he has done some research. Swift repeatedly uses offensive language by referring to humans as 'breeders' and describing the people of Ireland dwelling in a kingdom. For example 'The number of souls in this kingdom being usually reckoned one million and a half...'

  • Over 160,000 pieces
    of student written work
  • Annotated by
    experienced teachers
  • Ideas and feedback to
    improve your own work