“A Modest Proposal” is a paper written by Jonathan Swift in 1729 as a message to the British Government, which is not concerned about the quality of Irish people’s lives. To begin with, the proposal is satirical writing, which can be seen in various parts of the paper. For instance, the phrase “advantages by the proposal which I have made are obvious and many” reminds readers about the absence of the need to take the writing seriously because eating children is immoral and cannot have plenty of advantages (Swift 5). Therefore, Swift’s writing is a satire, which is proven by the ironic notions throughout the whole paper.
Moreover, the author suggests poor tenants sell their children in order for them to pay the rent because “money a thing unknown” (Swift 5). This notion emphasizes conditions in which poor people were stuck, having no money for living. It also emphasizes the irony in the paper: selling people only to pay the rent means that a person is absolutely dehumanized and devalued. Then, the author tries to present some mathematical calculations to show how the economy is working and claims that children will be “introduced to the tables of all gentlemen of fortune in the kingdom, who have any refinement in taste” (Swift 5). This also characterizes a paper as a satire: Swift says that infants will be eaten only by aristocrats having a deliberate taste, representing children as delicious dishes. Finally, Swift portraits mothers as people who will get an opportunity to “be rid of the charge” of their children, parents’ burdens because of constant breeding and the lack of money (Swift 5). The author overturns the sanctity of parenthood, presenting children as food for aristocrats.
In conclusion, one should recall the thesis that Swift’s proposal is satirical writing, which he addresses to the British Government. The genre of the paper can be seen in various excerpts, such as those discussed in the paragraphs above. The main aim of this proposal is to show that selling children is the last option that remains for poor Irish people to survive.
Swift, Jonathan. A Modest Proposal. 1729. University of Oregon, Web.