What Is The Theme Of A Modest Proposal A Satire

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In 1729, Jonathan Swift wrote possibly the world’s most ironic essay entitled, A Modest Proposal. Swift implies that poverty in Ireland can best be resolved by selling the children of the poor as food for the wealthy. Swift argues that children could be sold into a meat market as early as the age of one, which provides income to poor families because it saves them the costs of nurturing so many children. Throughout his entire essay, Jonathan Swift utilizes irony and satire to convey his sardonic arguments. The essay begins by discussing the extreme poverty of Ireland such as overpopulation in the eighteenth century. To express his concern, Jonathan Swift gives a speech to the public of Dublin, which carries a proposal to solve the issue of poverty. With his proposal, Swift wants to advance Ireland’s trade, provide for infants, relieve the poor, and give some pleasure to the rich. He then tells us that a young healthy child at the age of one, is the most delicious, nourishing,…show more content…
He introduces his idea in the most shocking way possible with his claim that one-year-old babies are “delicious” whether they are stewed, roasted, baked, or boiled. The image of a baby being cooked is very alarming and disturbing. The idea is so extreme that it demonstrates the overall satire of his essay. Swift suggests that he is not the only one prejudiced enough to support the idea of eating Irish children. He gladly states, “A very worthy person was lately pleased in discoursing on this matter to offer a refinement upon my scheme.” This person suggests eating the flesh of fourteen-year-old children in addition to infants. Satire is present throughout the essay, but also in the title. The word “modest” describes something small or manageable, but killing 100,000 of Ireland’s children to be eaten is the exact opposite of modest. Swift uses satire to allow the readers to understand the exaggeration of his
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