Jonathan Swift's Essay, A Modest Proposal

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Jonathan Swift's Essay, "A Modest Proposal" Jonathan Swift in his essay, "A Modest Proposal" suggests a unique solution to the problem concerning poor children in Ireland. Swift uses several analytical techniques like statistics, induction, and testimony to persuade his readers. His idea is admirable because he suggests that instead of putting money into the problem, one can make money from the problem. However, his proposal is inhumane. Swift wrote his proposal for those that were tired of looking at poor children of Ireland. He starts out explaining the situation in Ireland regarding single poor mothers that have three to six children and cannot afford to feed or clothe them. The children of the poor are a burden and a disgrace…show more content…
I again subtract 50,000 for those women who miscarry, or whose children die by accident or disease within the year. There only remain 120,000 children of poor parents annually born." He would keep about 20,000 for breeding and sell the rest for food. Swift argues that this would boost the country economically by 8 shillings per child. That is at least 800,000 shillings compared to their debt of 2,000,000 pounds sterling. Swift also uses induction from a case where in Formosa (now Taiwan); anytime a young person was killed the state would sell the body for a fair price and was considered a delicacy. Also there was a young, fifteen-year-old girl that tried to kill the emperor and was sold to the Prime Minister for a good meal. He points out that there are same non-productive young people in their country who could be sold for a profit like in Formosa. He suggests that such "a course may be taken to ease the nation of so grievous an encumbrance." Swift then uses the testimony of a very "worthy person, a true lover of his country, and whose virtues I highly esteem." This person and many more gentlemen like himself supported Swift’s proposal due to a lack of deer meat and the need for more money. "He conceived that the want of venison might be well supplied by the bodies of young lads and maidens, not exceeding fourteen years of age nor under twelve." There were also testimonies from an American who backed the tastefulness
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