A Modest Proposal Essay Examples

A Modest Proposal essays

Swift wants his readers to see that the persona he takes as a reasonable man whose goal is to solve the urgent problem of overpopulation and someone who feels deep sorrow for the kids, parents, and citizens who are affected by overpopulation. This feeling of pity is conveyed to the audience in paragraph 1 where he discusses the sad lives of the poor parents trying to provide a life for themselves and their kids, “forced to employ all their time in strolloing to beg sustenance for their helpless infants.” In conveying his thoughts to the audience, Swift helps to show that he should be taken seriously because he wouldn’t propose anything that isn’t a possibility. Additionally, he achieves this by using logical arguments to show the validity to his argument. An example of this can be seen in paragraph 6 when Swift says, “The number of souls in this kingdom being usually reckoned one million and a half, of these I calculate there may be about two hundred thousand couples whose wives are breeders.” Throughout this paragraph, Swift uses statistics and shows his calculations to show the audience that his persona thinks rationally. Overall, Swift’s main purpose in taking out this persona is to increase the satirical nature of the piece, not to really make the audience believe this is a reasonable proposal.

The Satirism in Jonathan Swift’s “A Modest Proposal”
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Jonathan Swift's IA Modest Proposalı (1729) is one of the greatest satires written in history. It deals with overpopulation and undernourishment problems in Ireland. Swift makes a very interesting proposal, to put an end to all this problems. As the reader starts reading several questions pop into his mind. What exactly is the narratoris so called Imodesti proposal? What is Swiftis real purpose in his essay? What changes does he hope for Ireland? Whose hearts and minds does Swift hope…...
A Modest Proposal
Irish Oppression and Modern Parallels in A Modest Proposal by Jonathan Swift
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During the English reign of Ireland, the English imposed a series of continually worsening conditions for the Irish. At the height of the oppression of the Irish, a period called Protestant Ascendancy, the Irish people were treated like slaves (Gascoigne, A History of Ireland, np). The Penal Laws were the result, a series of laws that systematically condemned the Irish to a life of hardship and suffering (Gascoigne, A History of Ireland, np). In Jonathan Swift's, A Modest Proposal, this…...
A Modest Proposal
Literary Devices and Word Choices in Paul Auster’s City of Glass and Jonathan Swift’s A Modest Proposal
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In the novel City of Glass by Paul Auster and Jonathon Swifts “A Modest Proposal”, the form is changed by content to modify the outcome of the text. Swifts text uses content built off of satire and rhetoric while Austers uses preconceptions of language and meaning to change the chosen form. In the context of this essay form being the mold, base or structure of the text, for example, the pamphlet style of “A Modest Proposal” and the detective fiction…...
A Modest Proposal
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A Comparison between a Modest Proposal by Jonathan Swift and a Treatise of Ireland by Sir William Petty
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Jonathan Swift's “A Modest Proposal" (1729) provides a satirical proposal to fix the many problems that plagued 18th-century Ireland. He creates a persona, known by critics as the Proposer, who finds a fix for those problems. The best way to address poverty, the Proposer decides, is to sell one-year-old babies from poor Irish Catholic families as a delicious luxury food that can be served at celebrations or simply to the families of the rich. “Stewed, Roasted, Baked, or Boiled", the…...
A Modest Proposal
A Review of Jonathan Swift’s “A Modest Proposal”
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Jonathan Swifts A Modest Proposal (1729) is one of the greatest satires written in history. It deals with overpopulation and undernourishment problems in Ireland. Swift makes a very interesting proposal, to put an end to all this problems. As the reader starts reading several questions pop into his mind. What exactly is the narrators so called modest proposal? What is Swifts real purpose in his essay? What changes does he hope for Ireland? Whose hearts and minds does Swift hope…...
A Modest ProposalJonathan Swift
An Analysis of A Modest Proposal and President Trump
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Underprivileged children, families, and the elderly are being treated like they are taking from the world and giving nothing in return. A Modest Proposal and the current events going on with Trump are extremely similar. In a modest proposal, Swift argues that the problem of poverty in Ireland can best be remedied by selling the children of the poor as food for the wealthy. Trump wants to set many cuts on programs helping the poor, underprivileged, and needy children as…...
A Modest ProposalDonald Trump
A Modest Proposal: Two Major Techniques
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Johnathan Swift’s “A Modest Proposal” exploits two major techniques that clearly make it a satire. One technique used constantly was exaggeration by stating that the only way to prevent poverty is by eating the children of the poor people. The other one is connotative language used to grab the reader’s eyes on the burden that the poor children bring upon their poor parents. The bigger picture of this paragraph is to explain how Swift exaggerated the social and political issue…...
A Modest Proposal
A Modest Proposal Jonathan Swift
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The art of confrontation can be handled in many different ways. Some may use a passive aggressive technique to make others know they are offended or something needs to change. Few people use a direct confrontation technique by approaching the person with the opposing view and having an outright dispute with them leaving nothing unsaid. There are others who avoid confrontation at all cost because they are scared of the outcome or afraid of disappointing the opposing party. A Modest…...
A Modest ProposalJonathan Swift
Satirical Strategies in Jonathan Swift’s Essay “A Modest Proposal”
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In Jonathan Swift's essay, “A Modest Proposal”, the satirical strategies he uses detract from his purpose and argument of his proposal. His whole essay is obviously satirical, but the strategies and examples he uses detract from what he is really trying to get across. He uses great strategies to explain himself and what he is trying to say about Ireland and the conditions they are in, however, unless you knew him or know somebody else who knows him, you wouldn’t…...
A Modest ProposalJonathan Swift
Satire and Colonialism in the eighteenth century: ‘A Modest Proposal’ and ‘Gulliver’s Travels’
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Paper Type:Satire essays
Jonathan Swift is an eighteen century English writer. I am going to have a look at two of his satirical texts, 'A Modest Proposal' and 'Gulliver's Travels'. They are both satirising The English ruling class and government. I personally think that satire is used by writers and people to make fun of something or other people, but in a more clever way, and sometimes the targets of satire don't realise that are being satirised. Swift was a member of the…...
A Modest ProposalJonathan SwiftSatire
A Modest Proposal: Review
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Paper Type:Proposal essays
In “A Modest Proposal” Jonathan Swift adopts the persona of a concerned economist who suggests that, in order to better fight the poverty and overpopulation of Ireland, the children of the poor should be sold as food to the wealthy. He argues that the population will be reduced, but the income of the poor will increase significantly as they sell their children. A modest proposal uses satirical elements such as exaggeration, irony, and sarcasm to make its point. Swift wrote…...
A Modest ProposalIronyJonathan Swift
The methods and objectives of Jonathan Swift’s satire
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Paper Type:Satire essays
'I have finished my travles..they are admirable things and will wonderfully change mend the world.' (Letter to Charles Ford about Gulliver's Travels). 'Satire is a sort of glass, wherein beholders do generally discover everybody's face but their own.' (A Tale of a Tub). Taking one or both of these statements by Swift as a starting point, write and essay on the methods and objectives of Swift's satire. This essay will look at the first quotation of Swift's and analyse his…...
A Modest ProposalSatire
Analysis “A Modest Proposal” by Jonathan Swift
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Paper Type:Proposal essays
A Modest Proposal' is a sarcastic leaflet that inspects the disposition of the rich towards the poor starving youngsters in their general public. Jonathan Swift uses various explanatory gadgets adequately. He utilizes consistent errors in reasoning, rhetorical devices, repetition and parallelism just as amusingness, mockery, and satirical tone to feature these negative mentalities. Swift effectively persuades the audience that the English landlords are making use of the penniless Irish by using the the rhetorical triangle that consists of ethos, logos…...
A Modest ProposalJonathan Swift
The satire A modest proposal by Jonathan Swift
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The satire "A modest proposal" by Jonathan Swift is relevant to our current time in several ways. It shows how a corrupted or a ruling class without empathy, is not for the betterment of their people but their gain. One cannot just blame those in power if the less powerful need financial betterment to have a better life, for example, take care of children and spouses. We as people need to do better at taking care of our own and…...
A Modest ProposalEducationLoanPovertySatire
Rhetorical Analysis of Jonathan Swift’s ‘A Modest Proposal’
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A Modest Proposal is a satirical pamphlet that examines the attitude of the rich towards the poor starving children in their society. Jonathan Swift uses a number of rhetorical devices effectively as he highlights his proposal. He uses logical fallacies, metaphors, repetition and parallelism as well as humor, sarcasm and satire tone to highlight these negative attitudes. Jonathan swift begins by mocking and blaming the mothers of the children by telling them that they should engage or find themselves in…...
A Modest ProposalJonathan SwiftRhetoric
A Modest Proposal | An Analysis
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One of the “Tory writers,” “a talented satirist” (Abjadian 87), Jonathan Swift was born on November 30, 1667, in Dublin, Ireland. His father-an Englishman who had moved to Ireland-died earlier that year. Receiving financial assistance from relatives, Swift attended a good school for his basic education and graduated from Trinity College in Dublin in 1686. He lived off and on in England, became an Anglican clergyman, and eventually was appointed dean of St. Patrick’s Cathedral in Dublin, although he had…...
A Modest Proposal
Analysis on Jonathan Swift’s “A Modest Proposal”
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Jonathan Swift, according to the Norton Reader, was born in 1667 and passed away in 1745. He was born in Ireland to parents of the English heritage and studied at Trinity College in Dublin. After graduating from college he moved to London where he began to get more involved in literacy and politics. It was in London where he launched off his career and become an “Anglo-Irish poet, satirist, and cleric” (1164). Also in the textbook, the editors explain that…...
A Modest ProposalJonathan Swift
‘A Modest Proposal’ by Jonathan Swift and ‘Stone Cold’ by Robert Swindells
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Compare and contrast the ways in which the problem of homelessness and the solution to it are presented in the two texts: 'A Modest Proposal' by Jonathan Swift and 'Stone Cold' by Robert Swindells. In this assignment I am going to compare the two texts, which talk about their anger of homelessness. Although the two texts are written 250 years apart where the problem of homelessness was first outlined by Jonathan Swift it is still a big problem today as Robert…...
A Modest ProposalJonathan Swift
The Human Nature in Swift’s Gulliver’s Travels and A Modest Proposal
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Jonathan Swift is the author of some of the most powerful satires in English literature. His works, Gulliver’s Travels and A Modest Proposal, satirize vehemently the human nature. The satire is veiled in each of the two texts in specific ways. Thus, Gulliver’s Travels is a work of fiction but its writer claims for it the authenticity of an explorer’s account. A Modest Proposal is written as an essay addressed to the general public which seems to offer an original…...
A Modest ProposalHuman NatureJonathan Swift
An Analysis of Jonathan Swift’s “A Modest Proposal”
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Paper Type:Proposal essays
Satire as a form of discursive practice may be properly understood if it is contextualized within a particular culture, institution, attitude, or belief. It is only by placing the satire within a particular setting [as presented by the elements mentioned above] that a satire will garner the “non-linguistic components covering the preparatory preconditions necessary for the construction of satirical discourse” (Simpson 70). An example of the satire as a form of discursive practice is evident, for example, in Jonathan Swift’s…...
A Modest ProposalJonathan Swift
A Modest Proposal
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Paper Type:Proposal essays
“A Modest Proposal” is a strongly written satire by Jonathon Swift. In the essay, Swift applies nearly all of the elements of satire. Some of the most obvious elements are his use of creating a persona and his exaggeration. Beginning by analyzing the title, “A Modest Proposal for Preventing the Children of Poor People in Ireland from Being a Burden to Their Parents or Country, and For Making Them Beneficial to The Public”, it is a reasonable topic for the…...
A Modest Proposal
A Modest Proposal Questions
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Paper Type:Proposal essays
1.The initiator perceived that the worst problems in Dublin were the poverty level being very high and that poor children are a burden to their parents because of the cost to take care of them. The issues that trouble him make him appear to be someone who cares about the economic well being of his country but not the well being of the people because he sees poor children as a burden to their families and society. 2.The initiator uses…...
A Modest Proposal
Commentary on Jonathan Swift’s Essay “A Modest Proposal”
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Paper Type:Proposal essays
Jonathan Swift cleverly illustrates a very “humble” solution to the crisis in Ireland in his personal essay, “A Modest Proposal. ” His voice urges annoyance and frustration, evoking a tone of sarcasm. Through the use of cynical language, he creates an intense and informative response. He uses language to create imagery which he intends to elicit a response of shock and moral responsibility. His intention is to mock Ireland and the economic crisis they have got themselves in. Swift appropriately…...
A Modest Proposal
George Orwell’s Politics and the English Language vs. Jonathan Swift’s A Modest Proposal:
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George Orwell's “Politics and the English Language” and Jonathan Swift's “A Modest Proposal” are essays from two different times; the former written in 1946, and the latter in the 18th century. Both essays aim to spark people's attention and address important national issues of their countries. “Politics and the English Language” basically presents Orwell's opinion about the then-current state of the English Language—that it was decaying, just like what was happening to civilization at that time. He attributed the decay…...
A Modest ProposalEnglish LanguageJonathan SwiftPolitics
A Modest Proposal For The Homeless People
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Paper Type:Proposal essays
When you walk the streets of downtown, all you see is smelly, dirty homeless people begging for money. All they do is take up all the space on the sidewalks with their cardboard signs, annoying people while they walk by homeless people because they scary and harmful. Instead of them trying to find a job, they’re always asking for money and when they do get money they never use it on food and water, they’ll most likely spend it on…...
A Modest ProposalHomelessPeople
“A Modest Proposal” Essay
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Word choice gives Swift artillery to create satire in "A Modest Proposal". In "A Modest Proposal", Swift uses several different words to create satire, one of which is the word 'breeders'. He uses the term breeders in reference to the women. In several paragraphs he talks about these breeders and their role. "I calculate there may be about 200,000 couples whose wives are breeders;"(Swift 2) The way that he refers to the women as breeders instead of mothers, wives or…...
A Modest Proposal
Rhetorical Analysis of “A Modest Proposal”
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Paper Type:Proposal essays
Since the first British colonization attempts of Ireland the island had been a place of tyrannical oppression and prejudicial mistreatment. This went on for centuries, with constant rebellion and resistance. In 1729 Jonathan Swift, an Irish clergyman living in England, denounced the cruel policies of England in a backwards manner. His use of verisimilitude in "A Modest Proposal exposes the corruption of British foreign policy towards the impoverished Irish people. He captures the minds and hearts of his audience, the…...
A Modest ProposalRhetoric
Jonathon Swift: A Modest Proposal
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Jonathon Swift: A Modest Proposal Jonathon Swift’s A Modest Proposal is a parody on the economic situation of the society in which he attempts to “find out a fair, cheap and easy method” (Swift) for the children in poverty to be put to good use for good of Ireland. This is seen right away in the full title of the pamphlet, “A Modern Proposal for Preventing the Children of Poor People from Being a Burden to their Parents, or the…...
A Modest Proposal
Jonathan Swift’s satire “A Modest Proposal…”
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Paper Type:Proposal essays
In the depths of disparity and desperation, some will resort to unimaginable measures in order to find solutions. Novelist Jonathan Swift wrote the satire, “A Modest Proposal For Preventing The Children Of Poor People In Ireland, From Being A Burden On Their Parents Or Country, And For Making Them Beneficial To The Publick” (1729) which was shortened to “A Modest Proposal”. A Modest Proposal offers a comical yet impressive suggestion to rid Ireland of the impoverish times of the mid…...
A Modest ProposalJonathan SwiftSatire
Illegal Mexican Immigrants and A Modern Modest Proposal
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The border between Mexico and the United States has been left open, leaving the entire nation accessible to disease, violence, and economic ruin. Being able to come and go as they please, illegal Mexican immigrants have came to U.S. in the millions, and with them they have brought terrors to our citizens. Every year they smuggle millions of pounds of cocaine, and once settled within our communities, their gangs and criminals begin to murder, steal, rob, and commit other crimes,…...
A Modest ProposalImmigrationMexicoPovertySlavery
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Poor Ireland People

In paragraph 1-7, Swift’s use of diction which dehumanizes the poor Ireland people can instantly be seen in paragraph 1. Instead of saying women, Swift substitutes this word for “the female sex” which almost portrays these people as not human. By doing this, Swift conveys a sense of uncaring towards the beggars. Another example of portraying these women beggars in a negative manner can be seen when he calls the poor mothers, “dam”. The word dam is one that is usually associated with animals, furthering the dehumanization which is occurring throughout the essay. Quantification of the children can be seen when he values a child with little nourishment no more than “2 shillings”. Valuing a child in terms of price is an odd concept and demonstrates both the dehumanizing and quantifying diction. The purpose of Swift’s word choice is to use rational thinking to make the readers agree with him that a change to fix overpopulation must be made, which is the main goal of the essay. Swift takes advantage of the natural tendencies of humans of following numbers to get this point across.

Swift explains the anticipated results in order to make the readers agree with him before going in specifics on his plan. He does this to demonstrate the idea that the children of the poor is the problem. This can be seen by when he says that the “mothers, instead of being able to work for their honest livelihood, are forced to employ all their time in strolloing to beg sustenance for their helpless infants”. This sentence, before getting into the proposal, makes the audience come to the realization that the kids are what is keeping these parents from achieving a stable life. The anticipated results is that the children would be used as “useful members of the commonwealth”. This idea is one that could make the audience feel even more convinced by Swift that the children should be targeted for a change to occur.

Bordering Upon Cruelty

Swift saying this “very worthy person” is one who he “highly esteems,” helps for this unknown person to gain credibility. By doing this, Swift, when he says that even this person is “bordering upon cruelty”, shows that he is being rational and this person is crazy. This creates the idea that Swift is still being a reasonable man because when his idea is surrounded by even more absurd ideas, his doesn’t seem too far from possibility. Additionally, using this unknown person to further his argument shows that the persona Swift takes on is credible because he has a limit to his madness and that he has a sense of justice.

In paragraph 21, Swift targets the protestants who want to reduce the number of Catholics. This would appeal to them because his plan to breed the children would result in less catholic children/parents. Saying the Catholics would be reduced increases the satiric nature of the essay because he is really saying that the protestant landlords should be reduced. In paragraph 22, Swift ironically targets the protestant landlords, the ones who force the tenants to pay themselves into beggars. This helps to demonstrate a satiric nature of the piece itself and show that his was not a serious and rational method, although it was portrayed as one, to fix the problem of overpopulation.

Swift’s assumes that reducing the number of papists would be beneficial in solving the problem of overpopulation in paragraph 22. He then makes the assumption that the price of children would differ throughout time because the market will also create a change in price. Next, Swift assumes that the selling the babies as food will also increase the profitability of the taverns and it would be better for the culture in general. His last assumption is that the parents, if children are sold, will have babies in wedlock which may or may not be true.

Other “Rational” Proposals

One expedient that Swift proposes is to tax the English if they don’t live in their home country because this would force the English to move back. He also wants the people to not use and buy the items that promote “foreign luxury” because more money would remain at the house. Another is to only use the goods/items that are made at home, items made out of Ireland. Some other expedients he suggests are not spending money for luxury, but instead, we should help the women, “learning to love [their] country”, letting go of animosity against each other, teaching the landlords to be nicer and more caring toward their tenants, and to put honesty into the shop-keepers and have them deal fair prices. The irony throughout the piece helps him to develop the thought that people are too greedy by nature.

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