Preview
Preview

Shocking the Sensibilities in A Modest Proposal Essay

No Works Cited
Length: 781 words (2.2 double-spaced pages)
Rating: Yellow      
Open Document
- - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - -

 

Shocking the Sensibilities in A Modest Proposal        

 

Two Works Cited    Three years after Gulliver's Travels was published, Jonathan  Swift wrote "A Modest Proposal," a work grounded in thoughtful satire. Swift describes the destitution that characterized the life of Ireland's poor in the 18th century then renders a brazenly inhumane solution to their problems. He shocks the sensibilities of the readers then leads them to consider the inhumanity of the destitution in the first place.

Although he was born in Ireland, Swift considered himself an Englishman first, and the English were his intended audience. Swift used the good reputation afforded him by previous works to expose an otherwise indifferent English public to the circumstances of Irish misery. Unfortunately, many of the English were so predisposed to hatred of the Irish that they would disregard the point of Swift's essay and might go so far as to endorse Swift's proposal. For the people of Ireland, "A Modest Proposal" built upon Swift's earlier Drapier's Letters and made Swift a national hero (Bookshelf).

 

"A Modest Proposal" begins with a description of the state of 18th century Irish life. Ireland was a place where children too often became beggars or thieves to sustain themselves or their families, women had abortions because they could not afford to raise children, few jobs were available to the workforce, and landlords abused poor tenants. As miserable as the picture Swift painted of Irish life was, the brushstrokes of history were even harsher. Actions of the English in the previous century had thrust the Irish people into a state of diaspora; tens of thousands had been ...


... middle of paper ...


...al footnote, not something that pertains to the present. Yet we need only look to poor children huddled on the streets of Brazil, or hear accounts of people who have resorted to using human flesh as sustenance to endure the North Korean famine, to realize that the misery of the world's poor has yet to be tempered by the progress of a modern age. "A Modest Proposal" could have been written yesterday; it might well be written tomorrow.

 

Works Cited

Swift, Jonathan. "A Modest Proposal: For Preventing the Children of Poor People in Ireland from Being a Burden to Their Parents or Country, and for Making Them Beneficial to the Public." 1729. Rpt. in Current Issues and Enduring Questions. Ed. Sylvan Barnet and Hugo Bedau. Boston, MA: St. Martin's 1996. 111-117.

"Johathan Swift." Bookshelf 1996-1997 Edition 1996.

CD-ROM. Redmond, WA: Microsoft, 1996.

 


Click the button above to view the complete essay, speech, term paper, or research paper








This essay is 100% guaranteed.


Title Length Color Rating  
Irony in Swift's A Modest Proposal Essay - Although I realize your concern, you have missed the point of this well thought out essay completely. Despite what you may think about A Modest Proposal by Jonathan Swift, this essay is a satire master piece filled with irony. Swift’s essay was not intended to convince people to eat babies, but to call attention to the abuses Catholic’s face from their well-to-do Protestants. He only uses eating babies in his essay to explain to the reader the impossible burdens the Protestants are imposing on the Irish Catholics and by making their life hard, they are making a life of a new born impossible....   [tags: A Modest Proposal] 806 words
(2.3 pages)
Better Essays [preview]
Juvenelian Satire in A Modest Proposal by Jonathan Swift Essay - Effectively ushering change in society or pointing out faults that have existed and gone unnoticed can be a daunting task for any social commentator. Often, blandly protesting grievances or concerns can fall upon deaf ears and change can be slow or non-existent. However, Jonathan Swift in his pamphlet A Modest Proposal, uses clever, targeted, and ironic criticism to bring the social state of Ireland to the attention of indolent aristocrats. He accomplishes such criticism through satire, specifically Juvenalian satire....   [tags: A Modest Proposal] 1059 words
(3 pages)
Strong Essays [preview]
Swifts' Powerful Message in A Modest Proposal Essay - Swifts' Powerful Message in A Modest Proposal                 In the Holy Bible, Jesus Christ states that there will always be poor, pathetic, struggling masses and nothing we can do will ever completely eliminate this element.  Swift also acknowledges the homeless people, but in a different vein than Christ.  In "A Modest Proposal," the narrator expresses pity for the poor, but at the same time he strives to maintain his social dominance over them.  According to Swift, the English-Irish common people of the time exist in a disgusting state, a fact that he attempts to make the English Parliament aware of.  The poor that Swift refers to are Catholics, peasants, and every homeless man, wom...   [tags: Swift Modest Proposal Essays]
:: 2 Works Cited
1148 words
(3.3 pages)
Strong Essays [preview]
Jonathan Swift's A Modest Proposal Essay - In Jonathan Swift’s essay, “A Modest Proposal”, Swift proposes that the poor should eat their own starving children during a great a famine in Ireland. What would draw Swift into writing to such lengths. When times get hard in Ireland, Swift states that the children would make great meals. The key factor to Swift’s essay that the reader must see that Swift is not literally ordering the poor to cannibalize. Swift acknowledges the fact of the scarcity of food and empathizes with the struggling and famished souls of Ireland through the strange essay....   [tags: A Modest Proposal] 1381 words
(3.9 pages)
Strong Essays [preview]
A Modest Proposal With A New Critical Approach Essay - A Modest Proposal With A New Critical Approach A Modest Proposal, by Jonathon Swift is very much an ironic persuasive essay. He is proposing the eating of babies as a way to help with poverty. Throughout the essay he makes many thought-out yet almost unthinkable arguments that support his proposal. You do however know he doesn't really want people to start eating babies. He is just trying to show a major problem in a shocking way. His arguments for the eating of babies are as follows: it would greatly reduce the number of poverty stricken people (especially children); it would give those same people income when they sold their children; the nation as a whole will have more money because o...   [tags: Johnathan Swift Modest Proposal Essays]
:: 2 Works Cited
2067 words
(5.9 pages)
Powerful Essays [preview]
Satire, Humor, and Shock Value in Swifts' A Modest Proposal Essay - Satire, Humor, and Shock Value in Swifts' A Modest Proposal Swift's message to the English government in "A Modest Proposal" deals with the disgusting state of the English-Irish common people. Swift, as the narrator expresses pity for the poor and oppressed, while maintaining his social status far above them. The poor and oppressed that he refers to are Catholics, peasants, and the poor homeless men, women, and children of the kingdom. This is what Swift is trying to make the English government, in particular the Parliament aware of; the great socioeconomic distance between the increasing number of peasants and the aristocracy, and the effects thereof....   [tags: Swift Modest Proposal Essays] 1036 words
(3 pages)
Strong Essays [preview]
A Modest Proposal by Jonathan Swift Essay - Not So Modest Proposal In 1729, with “A Modest Proposal';, Jonathan Swift raised the argument that, “For preventing the children of poor people in Ireland from being a burden to their parents or country, and for making them beneficial to the public'; (44), we should rid ourselves of them by our own consumption. We should bake them, fry them, or serve them in a fricassee or ragout. Swift proposes his “humble'; thoughts, for which he expects no objection, on the idea that it would be beneficial to the parents, the country, and even the children if they were to be eaten....   [tags: Jonathan Swift's A Modest Proposal]
:: 1 Works Cited
762 words
(2.2 pages)
Better Essays [preview]
Animal Farm and A Modest Proposal Essay - Animal Farm and A Modest Proposal Although 'Animal Farm' and 'A Modest Proposal' were written over two hundred years apart, and one is non-fiction and the other is not, there are distinct similarities between the two. Both of the pieces are political, with 'Animal Farm' based on the Russian Revolution, and 'A Modest Proposal' based on the situation of homelessness in Ireland. Also, both of the pieces are satirical. Animal Farm ridicules the ordinary Russian people for being gullible, and 'A Modest Proposal' mocks politicians who ignore sensible suggestions and come up with extreme ones....   [tags: Animal Farm A Modest Proposal Essays] 2689 words
(7.7 pages)
Powerful Essays [preview]
Jonathan Swift's A Modest Proposal Essay - Jonathan Swift's A Modest Proposal Swift was said to “declare at one stage in his life: ‘I am not of this vile country (Ireland), I am an Englishman’” (Hertford website). In his satire “A Modest Proposal,” he illustrates his dislike not only for the Irish, but for the English, organized religions, rich, greedy landlords, and people of power. It is obvious that Swift dislikes these people, but the reader must explore from where his loathing for the groups of people stems. I believe Swift not only wanted to attack these various types of people to defend the defenseless poor beggars, but he also had personal motives for his writings that stemmed from unconscious feelings, located in what Sigm...   [tags: Jonathan Swift Modest Proposal Essays]
:: 2 Works Cited
1149 words
(3.3 pages)
Strong Essays [preview]
Jonathan Swift's Essay, A Modest Proposal - 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....   [tags: Jonathan Swift A Modest Proposal] 660 words
(1.9 pages)
Better Essays [preview]