Term Paper: Modest Proposal Reaction to Swift

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¶ … Modest Proposal

Reaction to Swift's "A Modest Proposal"

In "A Modest Proposal," it is erroneous to state that the speaker does not believe that his own proposal boarders on cruelty. On the contrary, the speaker does not actually attempt to justify his proposal by stating that it is not cruel. In fact, the speaker acknowledges that the cruelty of his proposal is the major objection that opponents have mentioned. Instead of defending the humanity of his argument, the speaker gives other reasons to support the argument. First, he believes that his proposal would reduce the number of Catholics. Second, he believes that allowing the children of the poor to be used as feed would at least give the poor an interest in some type of property. Third, the country would save money on the maintenance of poor children, which the speaker believes would enrich the finances of all of the citizens. Fourth, because those who are constantly breeding are those who are least able to support their children, this will provide them with an income stream. Fifth, taverns will increase their business once they can sell babies as food. Sixth, the speaker maintains that it would increase the care of pregnant women and improve the care of infants less than one year of age. In addition, while the speaker suggests that the use of adolescents would border on cruelty, when he explains his objections to using adolescents, they are actually based on the fact that the males would be too rangy to eat and the females too close to breeding age to be used for a food source, not on issues of cruelty or inhumanity.

Anyone familiar with Swift's satire understands that he intended for one to be uncomfortable with his suggestion. However, an argument can be made for the idea that Swift did not go far enough, and that his proposal does not make the reader as uncomfortable as it should. Of course there is horror in the suggestion that one eat babies. However, the point that Swift was trying to make, which is that… [END OF PREVIEW]

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Modest Proposal Reaction to Swift.  (2007, February 1).  Retrieved December 7, 2019, from https://www.essaytown.com/subjects/paper/modest-proposal-reaction-swift/95894

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"Modest Proposal Reaction to Swift."  Essaytown.com.  February 1, 2007.  Accessed December 7, 2019.
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