A Modest Proposal Essay Research Paper 2

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A Modest Proposal Essay, Research Paper “A Modest Proposal” was a satirical essay written by Jonathan Swift depicting the horrific conditions of Ireland and the lives of the Irish people in 1729. The author portrays and attacks the cruel and unjust oppression of Ireland by its oppressor, the mighty English and ridicules the Irish people at the same time. However, Swift’s opposition is indirectly presented. Jonathan Swift is able to do so by using the persona, irony, and wit in order to expose the remarkable corruption and degradation of the Irish people, and at the same time present them with practicable solutions to their unscrupulous and pathetic lives. The author uses a satire to accomplish his objective not only because he is able to conceal his true identity but

also because it is the most effective way to awake the people of Ireland into seeing their own depravity. Swift creates a fictional persona because by hiding his true identity he is able to convince the readers of the significance of Ireland’s problem and allow them to see truth and reality. The persona is a concerned Irishman who is very intelligent, sound, and serious. He appears to be a brute and a monster for proposing something evil and immoral very calmly as if it is normal to consume the flesh of another human being. What makes his proposal to be even more depraved is that he proposes to eat the babies. The persona declares, “and at exactly at one year old that I propose to provide for them, in a such a manner as, instead of being a charge upon their parents, or the

parish, or wanting food and raiment for the rest of their lives, they shall, on the contrary, contribute to the feeding and partly to the clothing of many thousands.” The persona justifies his proposal with numerous reasons. Besides the prevention of voluntary abortions and infanticide, it will also prevent the loss of money for maintenance of children and the abuse of women and children. The number of Papists would be reduced and the children will not become beggars, thieves, or prostitutes. The proposal will aid in the increase in the status of the peasantry, promote love, and care from the mothers towards their children. However the persona alone is inadequate to make the narrator seem too plausible. The persona must utilize irony and wit in order for his essay to be more

efficacious. “A Modest Proposal” is so effective and appealing because of the authors’ copious uses of irony throughout his essay. The title itself is definitely ironic. It provides the reader with false expectations of decency and sensibility on the part of the writer. The butchery of innocent babies and the use of their skin for clothing is way beyond being “modest.” It is brutal and insane. The proposal is intended to shock and throw the reader off balance. The narrator also ridicules the Irish. His proposal would be a great incentive for marriage, not because the Irish will marry for the expected reasons, of love and happiness. Instead they will marry for money. As the persona pronounces, “this would be a great inducement to marriage, which all wise nations have

either encouraged by rewards or enforced by laws and penalties.” Moreover, this proposal if put into effect would aid in establishing love and care in families, between spouses and towards the children. The mother would provide her babies with better nourishment. Since, plump, fat, and juicy babies are worth more than the lean and abused ones. The husbands will become fond of their wives and refrain from abusing them, to avoid a possible miscarriage. Furthermore, normally the child is introduced to Christianity to celebrate his or her birth and introduction to Christianity. However, ironically Christenings will celebrate a baby’s impending death. The baby must be murdered in order for the parents to profit. Thus, the primary motive of the Irish is money. The persona’s