In a troubling and hilarious reversal of expectations, the Proposer rejects his friends amendment not because it strikes him as unethical, but because he doesnt believe a teenager would taste very good. At most he is worried that other people will see eating teenagers as cruel. Active, themes, satire and Sincerity ' data-html'true' data-placement'auto bottom' data-toggle'popover' data-trigger'hover' colonialism, Greed, and Inhumanity ' data-html'true' data-placement'auto bottom' data-toggle'popover' data-trigger'hover' misanthropy (Hatred of Humankind) ' data-html'true' data-placement'auto bottom' data-toggle'popover' data-trigger'hover' the Proposer wants to give his friend a little credit, however. This Very worthy person got his idea from george Psalmanazar, who spoke of an incident on his native island of Formosa in which a young woman was executed for treason and then eaten by various members of the court. Hearing this tale, the Proposer admits that he wouldnt mind if some of the plumper young women of Dublins high society met the same fate. The mention of Psalmanazar, whose name an 18th-century reader would have certainly recognized, further exposes the Proposer as out of touch with reality.
Comments on the, a list Apart Article, a, modest, proposal
If theyre feeling extra entrepreneurial, they can even sell the hides of their children, which make for lovely gloves and boots! In a stunningly dark turn, Swifts satirical intentions become immediately clear, and the reader will be shocked by the Proposers monstrous and repulsive suggestion (and by the deadpan manner in which it is delivered). The Proposer story is revealed to be a clueless and fundamentally evil member of the ruling class. His comfort with the idea of cannibalism illustrates in literal terms the figuratively cannibalistic greed of the English colonizers. The Proposer makes this connection explicit when he remarks that the (mostly English) landlords have already devoured most of the parents—an aside that almost seems to come from Swift himself (rather than the voice of his narrator winking at his own satire. Active, themes, satire and Sincerity ' data-html'true' data-placement'auto bottom' data-toggle'popover' data-trigger'hover' colonialism, Greed, and Inhumanity ' data-html'true' data-placement'auto bottom' data-toggle'popover' data-trigger'hover' society, rationality, and Irrationality ' data-html'true' data-placement'auto bottom' data-toggle'popover' data-trigger'hover' the Proposer then explains that a very worthy person has offered an amendment. Their flesh is, apparently, similar to venison (deer meat and the Irish deer population has recently been hunted to extinction. However, the Proposer respectfully declines this suggestion. Firstly, he argues, the flesh of teenagers is far too tough. Secondly, certain sensitive people may (wrongly, the Proposer emphasizes see the consumption of teenagers as somewhat cruel.
The children cant support themselves by stealing, either; theyre too young! Nor is selling them into slavery an option—if only because no infant will fetch a worthwhile price at auction. The Proposers assertion that the Irish neither build houses nor cultivate land, while clearly exaggerated, illustrates one of barbing the effects of colonialism in Ireland: the Irish rely greatly on imported goods. In addition, the Proposers casual mention of slavery further reveals his total disregard for the humanity of the lower classes. Active, themes, satire and Sincerity ' data-html'true' data-placement'auto bottom' data-toggle'popover' data-trigger'hover' colonialism, Greed, and Inhumanity ' data-html'true' data-placement'auto bottom' data-toggle'popover' data-trigger'hover' society, rationality, and Irrationality ' data-html'true' data-placement'auto bottom' data-toggle'popover' data-trigger'hover' at long last, the Proposer finally unveils his own plan. He has heard from an American friend that the flesh of a one-year-old, breastfed infant is delicious. So, of the 120,000 impoverished children in Ireland, 20,000 will be reserved for breeding in order to maintain the population, while the remaining 100,000 will be reared for a year on their mothers breast milk and then sold to wealthy gentleman—who will eat them. In particular the children will be sold to wealthy landlords, who have already devoured most of the parents, and so seem to have the best title to the children. The mothers will turn a considerable profit by selling their offspring.
But what to do with them? The Proposers complicated and apparently baseless calculations father's begin to suggest that he is something of a quack. He pulls his statistics out of thin air, and yet he seems to trust in them utterly. Furthermore, his flurry of calculations belies his concern for the estate Irish populace: he is unable to think of impoverished families as anything other than data points, perhaps even commodities. However, its still somewhat hard to see the distinction here between the Proposer and Jonathan Swift. This kind of off-the-cuff number crunching was common in political writing of the time period. Active, themes, satire and Sincerity ' data-html'true' data-placement'auto bottom' data-toggle'popover' data-trigger'hover' colonialism, Greed, and Inhumanity ' data-html'true' data-placement'auto bottom' data-toggle'popover' data-trigger'hover' society, rationality, and Irrationality ' data-html'true' data-placement'auto bottom' data-toggle'popover' data-trigger'hover' these children cant be trained in crafts or farming, the Proposer claims, because the.
In fact, its a little hard to tell whether there is any significant difference between the Proposer and the real writer, jonathan Swift. Active, themes, satire and Sincerity ' data-html'true' data-placement'auto bottom' data-toggle'popover' data-trigger'hover' colonialism, Greed, and Inhumanity ' data-html'true' data-placement'auto bottom' data-toggle'popover' data-trigger'hover' the Proposer claims to have devoted years of careful thought to this problem. He has weighed the many other plans proposed by civic-minded gentleman like himself, but has found these plans insufficient, their computations inaccurate. To offer a corrective, the Proposer makes some computations of his own. The cost of supporting a child for one year is about two shillings, which any beggar can certainly manage. (Under the Proposers plan, the child will be released from the care of its parents after its first year.) by the Proposers count, there are 200,000 Irish couples who are actively breeding. He reckons that, of these 200,000, about 30,000 couples are able to provide for their children. An additional 50,000 lose their children to miscarriage or disease within the first year. That leaves 120,000 couples who are unable to provide for their children, which means that about 120,000 children are born into abject poverty each year.
Reading quiz on a, modest, proposal by jonathan Swift
The reader is expecting this objection to be that it is morally wrong to kill babies, but Swift subverts our expectations once again, suggesting that there are people so cold to reality that they could be swayed by merely practical economic arguments and cannot even. Finally, when the duffy's writer reassures the reader that he has nothing to gain economically from his proposal, for he has no children, Swift is playing on the common protestation of writers that their grandfather's political and social proposals are made altruistically for the good of society. If the writer did have children and lived in Ireland, it would be consistent to eat them or sell them. Swift, by 1729, was quite late in his career, being already over 60 years old. If his more careful, complex, difficult satires had not been sufficiently understood and appreciated, it was time to bang the people over the head with a satire that they could recognize and which would renew interest in his other works. Gullivers Travels was fresh in peoples minds, it was already 25 years after. A tale of a tub.
Anyone who becomes intrigued. Jonathan Swift after reading a modest Proposal should go on to the works that are worthy of a more sophisticated critic). In his opening remarks, the Proposer outlines one of the biggest problems facing the Irish commonwealth: women beggars are everywhere in the streets, and many of them have children whom they cannot support. If nothing is done, these children, like their parents, will end up begging in the streets as well. But the Proposer claims to have a plan that will ensure that all the poor children of Ireland grow up to become contributing members of society. In these opening paragraphs, the Proposer comes off as fairly innocuous—he is an earnest, concerned citizen, and the problems he describes are indeed serious.
The narrators statement that an American told him that children are delicious parodies the idea that the Americans, like the Irish, were considered to be a barbaric people in need of instruction from the English. So, too, does the reference to the island of Formosa evoke a kind of English cultural arrogance. All people who could be classified as other are potentially dangerous to the English, needing to be tamed. A modest Proposal is also literary commentary. Swift intended to parody similar pamphlets that were being circulated at the time.
His diction throughout the piece, including the word modest in the title, highlights this effect. Of course, ones proposals are modest and offered humbly. With word choice like this, Swift is mocking the false modesty in the tone of many of the pamphlets of his contemporaries; their style may have professed deference, but their proposals displayed audacity. Swift finally gets down to some real arguments when the narrator lists all the arguments that he will not give any time. If eating the children were off the table, the people would have to turn to realistic arguments like these, such as the encouragement of virtue and thrift. A modest Proposal is accurately called one of the most effective satires in the English language. There are a few key moments of satirical success that should be mentioned. Swifts decision to put off the actual suggestion of eating babies until several paragraphs into the piece makes his idea all the more arresting when it does come. Also, naming population decrease as the one potential objection to his proposal, Swift heightens the irony of an already ironic piece.
A, modest, proposal, analysis Jonathan Swift: Summary
The first reason Swifts narrator gives for adopting his proposal—that it will lessen the number of Catholics—is perhaps the best example of satire of religious prejudice in the piece. Furthermore, he uses the word papists in the offensive sense of anti-catholic rejection of the pope. In Protestant England, many people might share the stereotypes but would never go so far as the speaker suggests about eating children. The theme of prejudice against the lower classes is revealed in suggestions such as the idea that the carcasses of the poor children could be used for clothing, womens gloves. Swift suggests, with this extreme yardage example, as well as his declaration that the landlords have already devoured the poor infants parents, that the rich live at the expense of the poor. By referring next to another figure, a very worthy person (who is meant to represent a member of the upper, learned classes Swift furthers his satire of the upper classes by implying that there are people so disconnected from the lower classes that they might. Swifts aim, however, was not merely to expose Englands biased view of Ireland or to illuminate general English arrogance towards other peoples, although the latter aim is achieved.
Swift concludes by saying first that he would welcome any other suggestions anyone may have on this question, then assuring the reader that he has no personal economic stake in this idea because he has no children and therefore could not profit by selling them. Analysis, if you do not realize that this proposal is satirical, you have no sense of humor or irony. It is impossible to imagine a serious proposal for eating children. Yet, it is not enough simply to indulge ones outrage over the argument or to smile vlsi at the jokes. Is Swift just having fun, or does he have something serious to say? Stereotypes against Irish Catholics make it easier for Swift to use them as the subject of his satire. The stereotypes are present in both the reasons for the proposal and the language used. The narrators argument that something must be done with infants because they are too young to steal implies that this is a common employment of Irish Catholics, even while it is humorous apart from the stereotype. The overall idea of overpopulation comes from the stereotype that Catholics tend to have a lot of children.
mothers will be free of the burden of bringing up children. Fifth, the new food will be welcomed in taverns and culinary circles. Sixth, it will enhance the institution of marriage as women take better care of their infants so that they may be sold, and men will take better care of their wives so that their wives can make more babies to sell. Swift then raises a potential objection to his proposal: that it will deplete Irelands population. Swift responds by saying that this is the point. He says that this proposal will in no way encumber England, as the infants will not be able to be exported, as their flesh is not easily preserved for later consumption. He is not willing to entertain any other arguments for solving the problem, like virtue and thrift.
He surmises the times of year when the infants owl will be most plentiful, based on the purported sexual patterns of the Irish. There might also be uses for the discarded skin of the infants, such as for ladies gloves. A friend of the narrators, a very worthy person, has already heard the proposal and suggested that children of fourteen, too, be a potential food. The writer has dismissed this idea, though, because the flesh of fourteen-year-old boys is too lean, and fourteen-year-old girls might soon become breeders of infants themselves. He defends his friend, nevertheless, by saying that the friend learned of this practice in Asia among certain savage peoples. This digression continues with the observation that he is unconcerned about those adults who are ill, disabled, or starving, because there is nothing he can do for them. He returns to the chief proposal and lists six reasons why it should be adopted.
Reasonable compromise on, gun Control, a, modest
A modest Proposal begins with an account of the impoverished state of many in Ireland. The writer expresses sympathy and the need for a solution. This proposal hopefully will decrease the number of abortions performed by poor mothers. The writer calculates the number of infants born in Ireland and asks what should be done with them. He points out that they are unfit for any employment, being even too young to steal. Neither will merchants buy or sell children. Therefore, it seems like a good idea that the people of Ireland simply eat the infants when they reach the age of one year. The writer treats the weight of an infant, what kind of dish it will make, and how many people it will serve.