A modest proposal summary. A Modest Proposal Summary & Study Guide 2019-01-12

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A Modest Proposal and Other Satires Summary

a modest proposal summary

The person suggests eating the flesh of fourteen-year-old children in addition to infants, which would reduce a child-bearing Irish generation as well. These Catholics, who are prolific breeders, insist on remaining at home in Ireland, hoping to deliver the nation to the Pretender. This section contains 384 words approx. Smith argues that Swift's rhetorical style persuades the reader to detest the speaker and pity the Irish. It turns out that man is very like a broomstick, often being upside-down and irrational, sweeping up and raking up dirt as people criticize one another, and becoming soiled in the process.


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A Summary and Analysis of 'A Modest Proposal' By Jonathan Swift

a modest proposal summary

Thompson writes a letter to a local newspaper informing them that, on Christmas Eve, he was going to use to burn a number of dogs and hopefully any humans they find. His conclusion is that the implementation of this project will do more to solve Ireland's complex social, political, and economic problems than any other measure that has been proposed. Swift however, Landa argues, is not merely criticising economic maxims but also addressing the fact that England was denying Irish citizens their natural rights and dehumanising them by viewing them as a mere commodity. He even goes as far as to argue that the practice of selling and eating children will have positive effects on Irish family morality, mocking the English upper classes' prejudice against the Irish lower classes as lacking in morals and civilized values, deeming them lazy and prone to petty crime. This quarrel first began, as I have heard it affirmed by an old dweller in the neighbourhood, about a small spot of ground, lying and being upon one of the two tops of the hill Parnassus; the highest and largest of which had, it seems, been time out of mind in quiet possession of certain tenants, called the Ancients; and the other was held by the Moderns. The reader may think at first that this is a serious essay, making the point all the more jarring when it eventually appears. This is most likely because both authors appeared literally in the same book, bound together.

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SparkNotes: A Modest Proposal: Summary

a modest proposal summary

Even better, the author calculates exactly how much a child should weigh to serve the maximum number of guests. His main purpose was to shock the readers into thinking of proposals that might actually have potential and criticizing ones that were already out there. After that a merchant would buy it for at least ten shillings, leaving the beggar woman with eight shillings. The author states there are six advantages to his idea. Not only can parents make a tidy profit on their youngsters, but the culinary experience will make Ireland a hot spot for tourists. The essay's approach has been copied many times.


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A Modest Proposal Summary & Analysis from LitCharts

a modest proposal summary

Swift is mocking Boyle's literary style, with its almost stream-of-consciousness reflections that seem to go almost nowhere. These gnawing bunch of kids not just pose a problem to their parents who have to think about ways to keep their gobs munching, but are a major contributing factor for the kingdom's undoing. There only remain an hundred and twenty thousand Children of poor Parents annually born: The question therefore is, How this number shall be reared, and provided for, which, as I have already said, under the present Situation of Affairs, is utterly impossible by all the methods hitherto proposed, for we can neither employ them in Handicraft, or Agriculture; we neither build Houses, I mean in the Country nor cultivate Land: they can very seldom pick up a Livelyhood by Stealing until they arrive at six years Old, except where they are of towardly parts, although, I confess they learn the Rudiments much earlier; during which time they can however be properly looked upon only as Probationers, as I have been informed by a principal Gentleman in the County of Cavan, who protested to me, that he never knew above one or two Instances under the Age of six, even in a part of the Kingdom so renowned for the quickest proficiency in that Art. The profits overall will boost the Irish economy, as the children are an entirely domestic product, their flesh being too delicate to export. The Proposer shrugs this question off, reasoning that the old and sick are nearing death anyway. Note how he refers to mothers of children as breeders later on. Swift's tract parodies the style and method of these, and the grim irony of his own solution reveals his personal despair at the failure of all this paper journalism to achieve any actual progress.

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A Modest Proposal Part 1 Summary

a modest proposal summary

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. Swift explains that the Irish deserve better treatment from the English; through satire he continuously mocks the English. Further, the Proposer promises us that he is speaking in complete earnest. He believes in a cycle of poverty where the parents are too poor and thus their children remain poor and thus useless to society and his only offering is that these children be put to use. That's one year the kid won't be out on the streets, clamoring for food. Originally titled as 'A Modest Proposal for Preventing the Children of Poor People From Being a Burthen to Their Parents or Country, and for Making Them Beneficial to the Publick', this essay makes bizarre assertions to direct attention to the apathetic as well as abusive approach of the English towards the Irish.

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A Modest Proposal Summary

a modest proposal summary

Satire is the use of irony, humor or exaggeration to criticize the ideas of others. First, As things now stand, how they will be able to find Food and Raiment for a hundred thousand useless Mouths and Backs. A Modest Proposal begins by lamenting the sad fate of the poverty-stricken Irish who have to spend all their time looking for food to stuff in their kids' mouths. His comfort with the idea of cannibalism illustrates in literal terms the figuratively cannibalistic greed of the English colonizers. I again Subtract fifty Thousand for those Women who miscarry, or whose Children dye by accident, or disease within the Year. For one, the mothers will be able to sell their young children at a considerable profit, as it costs little to rear a child for one year.

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Satire in Swift's Modest (Continued) Flashcards

a modest proposal summary

His proposal, in effect, is to fatten up these undernourished children and feed them to Ireland's rich land-owners. The fifth reason is that taverns would become places fitter for gentlemen. His Historical and Geographical Description of Formosa 1704 described their religious practices: every year 18,000 young boys were sacrificed to the gods, and the parishioners ate their raw hearts. Also, to point out that disease, famine, and substandard living conditions threaten to kill great numbers of Irish, Swift cheers their predicament as a positive development. Dissenters or Nonconformists, whose principles Swift rejected. Five shillings a pound is a twenty-five percent tax.


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Satire in Swift's Modest (Continued) Flashcards

a modest proposal summary

The Proposer is revealed to be a clueless and fundamentally evil member of the ruling class. People who treat humans as mere figures and the ones who fail to view them with compassion and humanity wouldn't shy away from actuating Swift's proposal of looking at babies as livestock. But what to do with them? It is also worth noting that this line comes late in the essay. But, while 'A Modest Proposal' bemoans the bleak situation of an Ireland almost totally subject to England's exploitation, it also expresses Swift's contempt for the Irish people's seeming inability to stand up for themselves. Topinamboo, a district in Brazil. However, the Proposer respectfully declines this suggestion. His radical proposal of having babies to feed to the public and stimulate the economy, is his proposal to the public, but is not the heart of the essay.

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