Jonathan Swift's A Modest Proposal Essay

1150 Words5 Pages
Jonathan Swift's A Modest Proposal Swift was said to “declare at one stage in his life: ‘I am not of this vile country (Ireland), I am an Englishman’” (Hertford website). In his satire “A Modest Proposal,” he illustrates his dislike not only for the Irish, but for the English, organized religions, rich, greedy landlords, and people of power. It is obvious that Swift dislikes these people, but the reader must explore from where his loathing for the groups of people stems. I believe Swift not only wanted to attack these various types of people to defend the defenseless poor beggars, but he also had personal motives for his writings that stemmed from unconscious feelings, located in what Sigmund Freud would call the id, that Swift…show more content…
This left Swift feeling “a complete contempt for the teaching at Trinity,” and I believe this may have been the beginnings of his contempt for Ireland, people in positions of power and leadership, as well as adding to his resentment of parental figures. After graduation Swift left Ireland and went to England, where he received a job, but government officials there never gave him a chance to advance in politics or law and he never had much success in those areas. Swift shows his despair from the rejection he has experienced from every caregiver or leader in his own life, just as the poor have been rejected by society, forcing them to resort to begging. He feels that something drastic will have to happen in order for things to change, otherwise the misery of being devoured by society will be upon the poor “breed for ever,” as well as himself (Swift). Perhaps this drastic change that would have to occur is already too late for Swift. Perhaps his unresolved childhood complexes are too far past that they can never be resolved, but he is still trying to resolve them through his proposal that is trying to resolve society’s large problem of poverty. The babies being devoured, like Swift’s feelings of being devoured by leadership in society, stirs up emotions in both rich and poor people. This use of archetypal patterns and images (motherhood, birth, death, and rebirth) cause emotions in every reader no matter what their
Get Access