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“A Modest Proposal” Essay Essay

Paper type: Proposal Pages: 3 (514 words)

Views: 10

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 women creates satire.

Instead of talking about them he talks about what they do. Or what they are supposed to do. This makes good artillery because referring to the women as breeders gives them a significant role and satire is created because instead of being known as women and mothers they are now breeders.

In beginning his proposal Swift uses the word ‘scheme’ before he gets into too much detail about what he has in mind. This word is an excellent word to use to start off.

“As to my own part, having turned my thoughts for many years upon this important subject, and maturely weighed the several schemes of our projectors”(Swift 1) Scheme meaning “A systematic plan of action” very well describes the plan that is later laid out by swift to solve the issues he talks about. “There is likewise another great advantage in my scheme”.(Swift 1) He immediately explains how his scheme will “prevent voluntary abortions, and that horrid practice of women murdering their bastard children”.(Swift 1,2)

It’s ironic how he says that then a little bit further down he says: “I have been assured by a very knowing American of my acquaintance in London, that a young healthy child well nursed is at a year old a most delicious, nourishing, and wholesome food, whether stewed, roasted, baked, or broiled”.(Swift 2) It’s pure satire to not abort the child so that they can be eaten at the age of one, don’t murder them before they’re born, wait a year. The word scheme makes excellent artillery as it is used to signify that the plan that Swift has is a clever plan and wasn’t just thought up over night.

He also uses the word advantage throughout the text. “There is likewise another great advantage in my scheme”.(Swift 1) “Many other advantages might be enumerated.”(Swift 3) The word disadvantage cannot be found. Therefore everyone has something to gain from the proposal and nothing will be lost. The word advantage is definite artillery, especially if you’re one of the wealthy people. They have nothing to loose and Swifts’ Proposal would benefit them entirely. It also creates satire; as for those who are not wealthy there is not an advantage except for only having to live in poverty for a shorter period of time, being able to contribute to society and for the general public, less beggars and homeless on the streets. Therefore the streets are cleaner, less hectic, not as crowded and just plain better.

Works Cited

Swift, Jonathon “A Modest Proposal” 75 Reading plue ed. Santi V. Buscemi, Charlotte Smith.

McGraw-Hill. USA, 2000.


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“A Modest Proposal” Essay. (2016, Jul 22). Retrieved from https://studymoose.com/a-modest-proposal-essay

Paper type: Proposal Pages: 3 (645 words)

Views: 262

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 1700’s. As ridiculous as Swift’s proposal was, the response was equally if not more bizarre than his solution.

Jonathan Swift has been called the greatest satirist in the English language. A satirist is defined as a person who uses, “…humor to show that someone or something is foolish, weak, bad, etc. : humor that shows the weaknesses or bad qualities of a person, government, society, etc.” (merriam-webster) Entertainers like Jon Stewart and Stephen Colbert use this type of comic relief to address issues in today’s world.

Swift used satire, to expose the English cruelty in Ireland. In “A Modest Proposal”, Swift suggests that in order to deal with the overcrowding and homeless people during a rough patch in England that their children be cooked and fed to the nobles. His proposal of selling poor Irish kids to the well-off people was to show that they could get basic necessities of life.

From the beginning, he notes that this idea is for the better of the country; it will bring relief to the community and alleviate financial constraints. Also, he stipulates that this will decrease the stress of poor people as it will get them food and provisions. In the conclusion he implements a pliable tone in the essay, which shows deviation from the arguments mentioned in the start. The reality is that he is unwilling to support the thoughts anticipated for the development of the country. He effectively stands on his belief in the conclusion by reiterating the central purpose of his essay, which are: the stipulation of contentment to the well-off, lessening the pressures of poor people, accomplishment of his country, and richness of nation’s business.

I can understand why Swift would resort to such measures as to write this proposal, since his country has been reduced to such deplorable conditions. He was depressed and sad to witness the mistreatment of citizens in Ireland. In the end, the essay gives a different conclusion from what is anticipated. I observed this when author affirms two proposals regarding why infants should be sold for money. He offers his standpoint that it will be hard for poor ones to get food after a certain age and to alleviate the number of abortions occurring in Ireland. The author’s suggestion on the surface is actually quite economical, witty, and daring but to undertake such a plan would be incredible – the conclusion will be diverse from what the readers anticipate.

Presenting many rationales makes him successful convincing the reader. He states that before any other authors represent their suggestions regarding the issue, they should realize that his thoughts that are simple, and above suspicion. This remark is to entice biased readers and to re-evaluate author’s stance. He offers testimony that his suggestion is practicable and includes the reality that the nation has many poor communities and that their administration will always be bankrupt if it preferred to nourish them. These positions specify author’s achievement in preparing the readers for the surprising end as they show equal interest in the wellbeing of his nation. Swift’s social/political/economic satire is as relevant today as when it was written. Hopefully, the circumstances which prompted this work won’t return, but the outlook derided in this text is prevalent all the same.

Satire – Definition and More from the Free Merriam-Webster Dictionary. (n.d.). Retrieved from http://www.merriam-webster.com/dictionary/satire

Swift, J (1729) A Modest Proposal. Retrieved form: http://www.victorianweb.org/previctorian/swift/modest.html

You may also be interested in the following: modest proposal examples, exaggeration in a modest proposal

Cite this page

A Modest Proposal. (2016, Mar 25). Retrieved from https://studymoose.com/a-modest-proposal-essay

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