“A Modest Proposal” is an ironic essay: the author deliberately proposes the opposite of what he means. What is the real thesis or argument? What is Irony? “A Modest Proposal” itself is ironic since no one can take the proposal seriously. This irony is clearly shown at the end of the story when Swift states that the proposal is not going to affect him since his children are grown and his wife is unable to have any more children. It would unfathomable to think that a human being would want to partake in eating another human being. Therefore, Swift obviously had no intention of perusing this proposal.
In my opinion, the real thesis of this essay is generating attention to the poverty issue in Ireland. Swift was drawing attention to the vast poverty issue that we all face all over the world.What are the “six points” Swift outlines in support of his “Modest Proposal?” First, it will decrease the number of dangerous Catholics.
Second, it will give the poor some property. Third, it will increase the nation’s overall wealth. Fourth, the mothers will be free of the burden of bringing up children. Fifth, the new food will be welcomed in taverns and culinary circles. Sixth, it will enhance the institution of marriage as women take better care of their infants so that they may be sold, and men will take better care of their wives so that their wives can make more babies to sell.What effect, do you think, the brutally no-nonsense tone of the “Proposal” has upon it’s readers? What (if anything) is the advantage of writing about a very serious social issue in a satirical way? To begin with, Swift says that the Irish should not be treated like animals, he compares them to animals, as in this example: “I rather recommend buying the children alive, and dressing them hot from the knife, as we do roasting pigs.” Also, to point out that disease, famine, and substandard living conditions threaten to kill great numbers of Irish.
Swift’s “modest proposal” is how to solve the famine in Ireland and the social problems too.Swift says that many Americans have assured him that a healthy 1 year old child can be converted into a “nourishing and wholesome” dish to eat. This is how Swift comes up with a system of using some of the Irish children as an alternative food source, leaving many other children for breeding. He is very descriptive in the way that a child can be used in to feed a many people over a period of time. He talks about the cost of “infant flesh” and also who exactly will be eating the “infant flesh”. He talks about how much it will cost and how money will be saved by cooking the children in many different ways. Obviously Swift is not being serious.
He is using this “humor” to make a point. At first I was turned off but his writing, but then once I got more involved in the story and understood his humor, I actually enjoyed the reading.