Essay on Jonathan Swift's A Modest Proposal

1391 Words6 Pages
In Jonathan Swift’s essay, “A Modest Proposal”, Swift proposes that the poor should eat their own starving children during a great a famine in Ireland. What would draw Swift into writing to such lengths? When times get hard in Ireland, Swift states that the children would make great meals. The key factor to Swift’s essay that the reader must see that Swift is not literally ordering the poor to cannibalize. Swift acknowledges the fact of the scarcity of food and empathizes with the struggling and famished souls of Ireland through the strange essay. Being of high society Britain, which at the time mothered Ireland, Swift utilizes his work to satirically place much of the blame on England itself. Through his brilliant stating of the fact…show more content…
Because of this fact, it is clear that further analysis would show that this work is purely fictional and cannot be taken literally. Many people of the time actually did take Swift’s recollections literally, which brought about much condemnation to Swift as a literary writer. Cynical readers of the time had come to expect such a voice from one like Swift. From the first sentence of the essay, Swift begins to fool the reader by applying the dreary atmosphere of starvation in Ireland. For example, Swift keenly routes to the beggars in the streets with there starving children close at hand. It must be brought to attention that Swift’s piece shows much remorse for the poor especially the children of the poor, even though it doesn’t state this quite so clearly. Swift does not feel that the starving children are of no use for the Irish people, except for being expended of. He may state that the children of the rich hold Ireland’s future in hand and the children of the poor. It is his combination of feelings between the rich and impoverished which brings the reader to see all directions to which the essay will embrace. Furthermore, this roots to the many underlying statements, which emerge all throughout the story. Swift clearly holds deep resentment directed to those who blame those who are forced on bringing themselves to begging for food and wandering the streets. Though he indifferently speaks of the needy as “dead and rotting,” Swift is being nothing more than
Get Access