Satire in Swift's A Modest Proposal Essay

597 Words 3 Pages
Satire in Swift's A Modest Proposal Swift's aim of his proposal is to expose the cruelty of the rich landlords of Ireland, who were not being aware of the poverty and suffering of the Irish people. Swift's proposal is an attempt to suggest a remedy of Ireland's situation by shocking those who are powerful enough to inflict change on Ireland's appalling circumstances.

In order to do this Swift creates an alter ego, a persona who puts forth the ghastly proposal but in a logical fashion. Swift uses a 'Juvenalian' sort of satire, a way of getting at the reader without targeting them directly. Swift tries to expose the reality of Ireland in a
…show more content…
The persona seems to be immoral and his ideas to 'help prevent children from becoming burdens to their parents' are irrational. His solution is unexpected and a little revolting as the benefits would be tasty meals for the rich and more money for the poor, as the solution would be for the poor to sell their children to the rich for them to devour, which with the situation of the rich landlords in Ireland, is literal.

Swift is clever as he manages to lure the reader into a 'Fake sense of security', where the reader is subconsciously agreeing to the problems of how bad the situation in Ireland is and the reader is also agreeing with

Asha Samrai

the persona that something needs to be done about it. The proposal is written in a subdued tone, pleasant and realistic which makes his solution a shock and unexpected. This tone makes the persona seem moral at first and then you realise later on that he is in fact immoral, his ideas of children 'making good dishes' are hideous and barbaric.

The poor are dehumanised by the persona, the parents being referred to as 'breeders', and babies when they are born are referred to as 'Dropped from their dams'. These terms are usually ways that animals are spoken of, therefore Swift is making a point that the poor are regarded
Open Document