Pre-reading • What does the title suggest to you? From the title, what do you expect this essay to be about? The title of this essay implies that the paper will be a proposition on a certain situation that contains modesty. This essay would possess a humble suggestion created to resolve a problem. The term “Modest” indicates a positive connotation implying that this plan will be morally correct and have a contributive impact. Introduction and definition of the problem • What is the problem, and to what extent is it a problem? What information leads you to your conclusion?
The lower class of children of Ireland are an economic burden to their parents, which eventually harms the country as a whole. The reader can conclude this as the author indicates that mothers do not possess the ability to work and earn money because they are forced to tend to their children. As a result, the families resort to begging or stealing ultimately prompting the children when they mature into adulthood to steal employment, leave the country and fight for the Pretender in Spain, or become indentured servants to the Barbados in desperation.
Children from little to no income parents cannot perform in agriculture, industry, nor infrastructure. For these reasons, the entire nation is damaged because of the youth. Throughout the essay, the author becomes serious in certain areas where the reader can identify that the real problem is because of the politicians, the rich, and Great Britain. Their indifference is driving the population into poverty. Swift indicates that the children are degrading Irish society to provide a comedic effect, which in turn lets the audience know the problem of the wealthy class and England draining the life out of Ireland.
Proposed solution • What is the proposed solution? In what ways does it appear serious? In what ways is it preposterous? The proposed solution is to render infants at the age of one as a dish or a piece of clothing for people to consume. Instead of absorbing food and fabric they will contribute to the feeding and clothing of the populace. The suggestion appears serious as Swift is proposing the butchering of infants and provides statistics on how it would unfold such as the number of poor children in the country as well as how many must die.
This idea is preposterous when the author expresses that one male is sufficient to four fem which compares humans to animals. The entire proposal is absurd as it is inhumane for a person to consume another, especially in an innocent child. The concept of poor parents selling their babies to the landlords or the wealthy in an attempt to restore Ireland economically and socially is bizarre. Swift’s deeper goal is to raise awareness of the horrible situation the population is in.
Implementation • Briefly, what would be involved in implementing the proposal? The proposal would be implemented by a series of slaughterhouses and breeders. The fattened infants would be sold by their mothers for ten shillings in the meat market. Butchers will purchase the children alive and dress them with tools similar to the method of roasting pigs, creating meals for people to eat. Endorsements • Who are the persons who appear to endorse the proposal? Swift’s American and other friends appear to endorse the proposal.
The acquaintances support the author’s scheme of consuming children by expressing that infants can make a delicious delicacy and through the addition of an example involving the carcass of a young girl being sold to the prime minister of a state after she attempted to murder the emperor, which was learned from Salmanaazor. • In what ways do their endorsements help or hurt the proposal? How do you know? The endorsements harm the proposal because one is reinforced by the fraud, Salmanaazar depleting credibility as the source is false. The same acquaintance proposes another idea relating to
Swift’s, which includes eating young adults instead of infants; however, the author resists this suggestion. The author reveals that his American friend conveyed to him that the meat in teenagers is tough adding reinforcement to Swift’s reasoning for refusing the idea, which again destroys the previous endorser’s reliability. However, the endorsements also helped the essay as the American friend provided additional positive support by simply being American because he symbolizes that Ireland was nott t the only place facing tyranny from England and expressing that infants create a formal meal.
As a result, the people are less likely to accept the author’s absurd plan because the endorsements are unreliable, but in some instances, they still help the proposal. Advantages • What are some of the principal advantages of the proposal? The author reveals six major advantages of the proposal, which include the decline of Paptists who attempt to deliver the kingdom to the Pretender in England, the poor possessing valuable goods allowing a better life, and stock in the economy increasing to fifty thousand pounds per annum.
In addition, breeders profit money as they sell their children after one year and no longer have to maintain them, a new custom is created as taverns create new recipes for the dish, and marriages will improve. Possible objections, concession, and refutation • What are the possible objections to the proposal? This idea is morally wrong because it is inhumane to consume another human being. There is a substantial amount of people who would refuse this plan as they do not desire to eat infants because of religion, love, or even taste.
Mothers become affectionate towards their children preventing them from selling their offspring to their demise. Also, Christianity is a dominant religion in Ireland, prohibiting people from engaging in this gruesome act. Human flesh is also considered by most to not be a pleasant tasting food to consume even though the author claims recipes will change it. • In what ways does Swift concede some of the objections? Swift concedes that this plan will significantly lower the population; however, he reveals that this is a goal of his proposal and that it was created for the circumstances of Ireland alone. In what ways does Swift refute some of the objections? Swift refutes other solutions such as absentees being taxed at five shillings a pound, consuming native goods, eliminating “the expensiveness of pride, vanity, idleness, and gaming in our women”, implementing parsimony, temperance, and prudence, landlords having mercy on tenants, and shopkeepers being honest. The author claims that these other proposals will not contribute as he has already considered similar impractical ideas.
Closing • What means does Swift use to reiterate his apparent sincerity? The author indicates that his motivation is the desire for the betterment of the people in Ireland not for personal interest. Swift will not gain anything as his child is not eligible for the proposal and his wife being past childbearing years, which reiterates his sincerity. Additional Question Using your understanding of satire, develop clearly Swift’s target, addressed failing, at least one satirical strategies, and his desired change. (8-12 sentences–make reference to the text when needed) In “A Modest Proposal,” Swift is angered by the extreme poverty in Ireland.
He reveals that the children are the reason for the nation’s economic downfall and proves this by indicating that the poor infants either hurt society when they grow up because they will commit wrongful decisions as they were predetermined by their degraded childhood or harm their parents because they prevent them from having employment and earning money. However, through an understanding of satire, the real problem is the British government, Irish politicians, and the wealthier class.
Swift expresses that an advantage of his solution would be adding more beef in the form of human meat for its exports to England; implying that since this tyrannical country is taking all of Ireland’s food, they might as well eat their babies. The politicians and the rich are indifferent as they refuse to address the issues in Ireland plunging the population into poverty. The author sarcastically expresses, “therefore very proper for landlords, who, as they have already devoured most of the parents, seem to have the best title to the children,” implying a direct attack towards them, indicating that he is exercising Juvenalian satire.
Throughout the speech, Swift applies incongruity, which can be concluded because the idea of consuming infants in a Protestant dominated country is absurd. Exaggeration is also applied as the reader can observe that eating infants to decrease a population is extreme. However, this is implemented to enlighten citizens on the high severity of the issues in the nation, which is the author’s main objective in the essay.
Post Reading Tasks Satire is the addition of irony or exaggeration of an issue for comedic effect. In 1729, Ireland and Great Britain struggled against each other religiously and economically. There was a great tension between Protestant Ireland and Roman Catholic Great Britain. England’s goal was to destroy Ireland’s markets and at the same time the Irish faced a devastating famine from lack of proper care of farmland. This drove the country into poverty prompting Swift to create his proposal.