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“A Modest Proposal” by Dr. Jonathan Swift

June 1, 2012 by swaprshim · No Comments · AP Comp

In his satire, “A Modest Proposal”, Dr. Jonathan Swift In his satire A Modest Proposal, Jonathan Swift “argues” that a pragmatic solution to Ireland’s poverty and population problem is to eat the children of poor citizens, start harvesting human babies and use them to solve various problems that Ireland is facing. Because no one is trying to come up with a practical solution, he says that this idea is the best method to solve Ireland’s devastating poverty and overpopulation.

Throughout this essay, Swift’s words seem very sincere and thoughtful. His idea that is rather shocking is viewed as more practical and reasonable method to solve problems that Ireland is facing. His basic idea includes harvesting babies who cannot be raised by their children, feeding them until they become useful, using them as meat, servants, leather, and etc. He also adds that even though this idea seems extreme, it is actual not because it can solve almost all problems that Ireland is facing. It will keep the population relatively stable, provide people with food, keep people from dying on the street, improve marriages and make economy flow once more.

In addition to pointing out that poor people are to blame, he also blames this problem to catholics who he claim to have too many babies. Even though his real intention is otherwise, Swift just wanted to show riches, who actually have all the power to fix the extreme poverty, that they have to do something. Also, he does this in order to argue that riches are treating poor people like livestocks and their attitude should change.

I think this satire is considered one of the best known satire ever written because it tackles the issue that it id addressing very well while it doesn’t lose the characteristics of satire.

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