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A Modest Proposal Essay


The tone of the article is that of calm and serenity, but his words are highly disturbing, giving the reader a sense of sadness, and perhaps reluctance to reveal his thoughts. A Modest Proposal is an allegorical masterpiece, showing many different aspects of human nature at the same time. It reveals the atrocities taking place throughout the entire kingdom at the time. The poverty, harshness, and some of the things people would do to end their suffering, and prevent their children from going through what they went through.

It shows the cruelty and savage nature of human beings as a whole. In his writing Swift portrays England as being very aggressive and violent ‘I could name a country which would gladly eat up our whole nation without it. ‘ He is referring to England, and how the English would not need such a proposal to prompt them to resort to cannibalism. He is also making a point that the Irish are far more passive than the English and that they need to become more proactive in order to survive.

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The way in which Jonathan Swift has written this piece gives the reader the impression that the narrator is a practical, self-content, vain yet intelligent person. He obviously prefers economical solutions as opposed to humane ones, and is fond of using statistics to prove his point. It is this image that he gives the reader which leads them to believe that he is being serious, because only somebody so uncaring would propose such a solution. But perhaps this was a mistake on Swift’s part, because we now know that he had not intended for anybody to take his writing in the literal sense.

The narrator defends his modest proposal by stating that he cannot possibly gain from his own proposal, as his children are too old to be killed and eaten, and his wife is incapable of having anymore children, so he is showing that his intentions to be noble and not for personal gain, but for the good of the nation. Some may argue that this is why he is proposing that we turn to eating children, because it is ensuring that his own children are safe from harm, showing how uncompassionate he is for others.

In effect, what Swift has accomplished is figurative piece of writing which works on multiple levels. On the one hand it condemns the English for being so aggressive and the Irish for being so passive, and at the same time it is accusing the narrator for being morally unjust and uncompassionate towards other human beings, and also the reader for accepting all the intolerable situations around us just because we don’t come into contact with any of them, such as poverty and fascism. In my opinion, this is what makes A Modest Proposal such a great piece of satirical writing.

Swift has successfully used many forms of sarcasm and irony, be they metaphorical or literal, to expose the idiocy and naivety of an entire nations worth of people. This is what makes it one of the most effective pieces of satirical writing to ever entertain the masses. Show preview only 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.

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A Modest Proposal. (2017, Nov 07). Retrieved from https://studymoose.com/a-modest-proposal-10-essay

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