The Satirical Nature of Jonathan Swift's A Modest Proposal Essay example

Decent Essays

A Modest Proposal
The satirical essay “A Modest Proposal” written and published in in 1729 by an Anglo- Irish man named Jonathan Swift, in response to the worsening conditions of Ireland, was one of his most controversial and severe writings of his time. The narrator in Swift’s essay “A Modest Proposal” argues for a drastic and radical end to poverty in Ireland. Swift’s proposal suggests that the needy, poor people of Ireland can ease their troubles simply by selling their children as food to the rich and make them useful, benefitting the public. With the use of irony, exaggeration and ridicule Swift mocks feelings and attitudes towards the poor people of Ireland and the politicians. However, with the use of satire Swift creates a …show more content…

When he presents his proposal in a ludicrous manner, he states that from a known friend in London, that a young child whether “stewed, roasted, baked or boiled” is the most delicious. In “The Modest Proposal” he also uses ethos in order to persuade his reader that his sources are credible. A child as an infant is said to cost more than a “boy or girl before twelve years old” because by being “assured by our merchants”, Swift proposes that being no “saleable commodity…they will not yield about three pounds.” He describes one of his acquaintances as a “true lover of his country” whose qualities he supports, was happily pleased with Swift’s proposal. Swift also makes the reader feel as if he is a man who will do anything to help and save his country.
Furthermore, Swift also creates a strong argument throughout this essay, with the use of logos; appealing to logic and his use of statistics. Swift states that the “number of souls in this kingdom…of these I calculate there may be about two hundred thousand couples who wives are breeders”; furthermore proposing that an infant can be sold for “two shillings per anun” and “with eight shillings net profit the mother will also benefit and be fit for work to produce another child.” Another quote that implies the reader of his logic and reason , is when he states in these lines that an infant’s flesh can be seasoned throughout the year “with a little pepper or salt…especially in the winter.” He also states that the carcass

Get Access
Get Access