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Modest Proposal


            In the work "A Modest Proposal", Jonathan Swift uses this plea to provoke change through the use of satire. However, what I found most interesting about this work was the constant reinforcement of England's superiority. This work has a condescending tone throughout it, as though England is the ruler and Ireland should follow its every suggestion and request. The idea that cannibalism be used to solve Ireland's poverty and famine problem is typical of England during this era, and to have the narrator look down upon the Irish as though they were expendable, is expected of England. Furthermore, had this proposal been for real, the English may have even considered implementing it, which suggests their complete disregard for the people of Ireland, and make the work even more ridiculous.
             In the beginning of the text, Swift is focused on the people of Ireland, and their benefit to the country. Swift explains that unless the children of Ireland become "useful members of the commonwealth", there is virtually no point to keeping them around because they are not contributing to the overall welfare of the country. Swift suggests that the best way to dispense of these people are to eat them as they would serve as a source of nourishment, as well as provide as a resource for clothing. Therefore, the proposal merely suggests that not only would disposing of them be economically reasonable, but that England would not oppose or disapprove. In addition, the reader starts to get a sense that this work is a "scheme", as Swift so boldly puts it, to weed out the useless and lesson the inconvenience of the upper class. He wrote this to show that if this proposal were the real thing, the English would obviously have no idea what is must be like for these families to struggle and stoop to the level of begging in order to save the lives of their children, which if this were up to the English, they would have it.


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