• A Modest Proposal as Applied to Modern Day America

    Pages: 5

    This 5 page paper looks at Jonathan Swift's A Modest Proposal and applies it to life in America today. The sarcastic commentary is taken seriously to some extent and whether or not crime, poverty and taxation would be reduced as a result is discussed. Bibliography lists 3 sources.

    File: RT13_SA245Swf.rtf

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    or not. In fact, the title in its entirety really expresses Swifts idea in greater detail. It is called "A Modest Proposal 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." At first glance, it sounds right, but then quickly the mind realizes  that Swift is indeed going a bit far by even calling children burdensome. Certainly, in this society that puts children on a pedestal, one could call it cruel. Of course,  it was written at a time when children where not the symbols they seem to be today. Rather, children were not idolized, prized or held to be something desirable. During  the eighteenth century, one had children but did not feel obliged to send them to the best schools or provide for them as parents do for their offspring today. That  being said, even at the time, one has to see the inherent problem in this work. Its use of irony and brash nature is startling and will shake  the sensibilities of even the most hard-hearted human being on the planet. In fact, the work is considered to be a masterpiece of irony ("Literature" PG). Swift emphasizes the horrible  poverty found in eighteenth-century Ireland as he ironically proposes that Irish parents can earn money if they sold their children as food (PG). In fact, it is the wording "a  modest proposal" itself that is often used ironically to introduce a major innovative suggestion (PG). At the time, Swifts political savvy was seen as satire by all, and so his  proposal was never taken seriously (Sollars PG). After a lengthy proposition that suggests what should be done to the children, Swift adds: " That the remaining hundred thousand may, 

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