Essay Title: 

Research on Swift, `A Modest Proposal` – Cannibalism [metaphor]

March 30, 2016 | Author: | Posted in literature and language

Jonathan Swift ‘s A Modest Proposal

Swift begins the essay in seemingly a serious manner . In fact his writing deals with the most serious and sad issue of street children belonging to extremely impoverished families . There is obviously nothing to speak lightly or make fun of here . Swift claims about the efficacy of the visionary solution he has come up with for this most dismal problem The author purports to solve Ireland ‘s overpopulation problem , as one critic put it , in consort with the spirit of economic expediency and national projecting characteristic [banner_entry_middle]

of the time (Richetti 241 . Piqued by curiosity as to what inventive scheme Swift may have concocted , we read on . In most Third World countries , destitute street children living in most deplorable conditions have for a long time been a huge problem Their plight is indeed extremely pitiful . However , those readers who have no clue what the main theme of this essay is about are certainly in for a nasty surprise . There is no solution coming really , but we would soon understand that Swift wrote this essay with a sincere intention to expose the problem and the plight of Ireland , and the unfair policies under which it suffered (Miller 465

When Swift speaks about having found “a fair , cheap , and easy method ” to transform the sick and starving children of the Ireland of his time (1700 ‘s ) into productive members of society , an unsuspecting reader has no clue what grim and gruesome solution he has in fact come up with . As it turns out , this is in fact no solution of any kind it is nothing but a bitter and vicious attack on the values and morals of our society that allows such atrocities as starving children happen in such prodigious numbers . The problem that Swift is dealing with here in this essay written a couple of centuries ago , is more prevalent today than ever and though his solution is by no means anything to go by , it certainly makes us rethink about the cruelty and brutality that we , each one of us individually , have unfortunately got accustomed to . There is no doubt about it , Swift ‘s attack is addressed to each one of us , because every child that goes about in streets without food , without direction , and absolutely without a future , is a living testimony of a massive failure of our civilization

So what is Swift driving at ? What is his modest , or as it turns out grotesquely immodest , proposal ? First , Swift admits that the problem is intractable , that there is no easy solution to this direst of all social maladies . 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 livelihood by stealing… [banner_entry_footer]


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