The Usefulness In Jonathan Swift's A Modest Proposal

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Jonathan Swift’s essay “A Modest Proposal” was first published as a pamphlet in 1729. The piece is clearly written in essay form having an introduction of the proposal, presentation of the proposal, its explanation followed by the arguments supporting the idea and convincing the readers of its usefulness. The words beneath the title, “For Preventing The Children of Poor People in Ireland From Being A burden to Their Parents or Country, and For Making Them Beneficial to The Public” (1729, Swift) seems to prepare the reader for a serious argument where the author is going to convince us to agree with him. “A Modest Proposal” is an essay with a proposition. In clear, simple words, the writer offers the idea of cannibalism as the solution to the problems of the time. Young children, he says, in the ninth paragraph, of about a year old can be sold as meat to the richer people. As a result, their poor parents will not have to feed them and will instead earn money by selling their fattened children. The large families of the poor would become smaller. He even suggests recipes and manners of treating and rearing the meat, how it can be turned into a delicacy for the rich people by innovative cooks. The country will have a much needed economic boost which would result in the whole population being wealthy and happy. It is only when the author introduces the idea from the American in the ninth paragraph that one is aware of the author’s true intentions in the essay. The use of the

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