Last Updated 06 Jul 2020

A modest proposal Analysis

Essay type Proposal
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A modest proposal BY green0784 A Modest Proposal In his satirical essay "A Modest Proposal," Johnathan Swift examines treatment of the poor in Ireland during the eighteenth century: "l 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 boiled, and I make no doubt, that it will equally serve in a fricassee, or ragout. (Swift 763) In his essay, Swift describes a repulsive suggestion or dealing with the children of the poor in Ireland. Swift describes in detail how poor children should be raised and sold to the wealthy at age one. He details how the children should be and how they should be prepared for the wealthy to consume. Swift's abhorrent proposal for the poor children not only points out the awful treatment of the poor in Ireland during the eighteenth century, but also Ireland's inability to devise a more desirable plan for the poor.

His use of statistics and graphical depiction of the poor children's lives adds to the credibility of his essay. In the beginning of the essay, Swift describes the streets of Ireland as "crowded with beggars of the female sex, followed by three, four, or six children, all in rags and importuning every passenger for an alms. " (Swift 762) Approximately 120,000 children are born annually to parents in poverty and the mothers of these children are forced into begging for money Just to care for their children.

He backs up these facts with detailed approximations of the number of children born into poverty; "l again subtract fifty thousand for those women who miscarry, or whose children die by ccident or disease within the year. There only remain a hundred and twenty thousand children of poor parents annually born. " (Swift 763) Swift's main goal of his essay was to convince the the people of Ireland that the treatment of their poor was unacceptable.

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By his graphical depiction of the arrangement for the poor children, Swift is able to add to the credibility of his essay. Swift first describes the use the children will have for society under his plan: "Those who are more thrifty will flay the carcass; the skin of which artificially dressed will ake admirable gloves for the ladies, and summer boots for fine gentlemen. " (Swift 764) He then explains how the children will be raised and sold once they reach the proper age and weight. l have already computed the charge of nursing a beggar's child to be about two shillings per annum, rags included; and I believe no gentleman would repine to give ten shillings for the carcass of a good fat child, which, as I have said, will make four dishes of nutritive meat. " (Swift 764) Swift then describes how the way in children will be prepared: "This food would likewise bring great customs to averns, where the vintners will certainly be so prudent as to procure the best recipe for dressing it to perfection, and consequently house frequented by all the fine gentlemen, who Justly value themselves upon their knowledge in good eating. (Swift 766) Swift writes his essay in a way that will attract readers to his essay and give more credibility to his essay. He does this by the use of a vulgar depiction of his plan for the poor and his use of statistics to back up his facts. Swifts tone throughout the its country and come up with a solution to the problem.

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A modest proposal Analysis. (2018, Jul 03). Retrieved from

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