Economic Quagmire In Jonathan Swift's A Modest Proposal

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Jonathan Swift’s satirical political essay A Modest Proposal, published in 1729, addresses the issue of Ireland’s current economic plight, by addressing the various internal and external, social and individual, causes that have engendered it, by means of relying upon satire. In particular, on the one hand, Swift presents Ireland’s economic quagmire as deriving from its own “self-destructive tendencies” (Sherman 2431), specifically the individual character of the Irish people, as well as its social institutions, especially the Church. Also, on the other hand, he attributes the country’s stagnated domestic economy to external sources, namely England, in the form of absentee landlords, which is a socioeconomic issue that implicates power inequalities and discrepancies in terms of privilege for reasons of nationality, class hierarchy, as well as religious beliefs. Additionally, he propounds cannibalism as a proposal meant to resolve Ireland’s plight, which, due to its blatant irrationality, I would argue functions concurrently as a rhetorical device aimed at directing the reader’s attention to Swift’s real, rational proposal, and also a metaphor for or allegory to either Ireland’s own self-sabotage in terms of its economy, or England’s detrimental effects on it. All the aforementioned instances are developed by Swift’s highly skillful satirical techniques, such as understatement, juxtaposition, and hyperbole.
On the one hand, as far as Ireland’s own accountability over its
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