The story takes place in Dublin, Ireland. During the projected time of 18th century, you could not travel there without tripping over a child because there are tons of them everywhere. In the story, the people are about of the city just as much as the countryside. A Modest proposal is written in first person by an unknown person. In the story, you can kind of start to see the narrator put in some of their own bias in the satire.
Swift in the story wanted you to imagine going into a huge city and being forced to be confronted with poverty and all things bad because it is everywhere. When Swift wrote A Modest Proposal, Dublin was going through a famine and so by having overpopulation and freezing conditions, it made it harder to find food. Nonetheless, the poor were not allowed to build houses or cultivate land and there rent was raised randomly.
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The wealthy people in the story were protestant and lived in power of Catholic gaining any power. This was because the last ruler King James Francis Edward Stuart was taken off the throne due to Catholicism and on top of that, all the poor people are Catholic.
A modest proposal is a juvenile satirical story that was written anonymously by Jonathan Swift. The story behind a modest proposal was that the wealthy people had all the land that they wanted but no food, all the poor people had over population issue and no one could afford all the kids they were having, mind you, they did not have birth control back then. This is where Jonathan Then comes in and says why the poor people do not sell their babies to the wealthy in exchange for money to buy food, and the wealthy will eat the babies as entry meal.
The people did not respond very well to this.
The proposal was one of those situations where if you did not like the situation then fix it. Swift in the story shows how greed corrupts the thinking of the upper society at the time as well as the ability for the people to do anything useful for themselves like grow food and try to survive. Secondly, the poorer tenants will have something valuable of their own, which by law may be made liable to distress and help to pay their landlord’s rent, their corn and cattle being already seized, and money a thing unknown (21jonathan Swift). The rich were so about getting land that there was no space for the peasant life-style. Swift knew that everyone was suffering and wrote this in hopes to spark a change in the society.
A Modest Proposal has a little of ethics and morality to it. It all starts out as a dubious idea that is ideally turned into a scheme. The kind of interesting part about it all is that Swift does not talk about any morals in the story at all or make any judgments. All he really does is make horrible suggestions about poor selling their babies to wealthy people for money. So for this satire to do its job, all the people reading the story have up their minds and create their own judgments on what they believe is right.There is likewise another great advantage in my scheme, that it will prevent those abortions, and that horrid practice of women murdering their bastard children, alas, too frequent among us, sacrificing the poor innocent babes, I doubt, more to avoid the expense than the shame(5Jonathan Swift).
In the story Swift also talks about religion. He mentions how his protestant friends do not care about the situation because they care more about their religion.These mothers, instead of being able to work for their honest livelihood, are forced to [ ] beg sustenance for their helpless infants, who as they grow up, [ ] leave their dear native country to fight for the Pretender in Spain (1Jonathan Swift).
Swift said that by children growing up blaming and hating the protestant may very well go the extreme. It is said that after the Glorious war, when James Francis Edward Stuart was taken offed the thrown, many people feared that a catholic army would break out. A Modest Proposal also deals with a power issues.
Swift talks about how the wealthy people are overcharging tenants and all the Politician is, so they can have a little money for themselves on the side.That the remaining hundred thousand may at a year old be offered in sale to the persons of quality and fortune through the kingdom(11jonathan Swift).In the story, you could also consider the wealthy people to be cannibals at the rate that they were consuming the poor Irish people. In the story, there are many animals in the story. That is how the children are being portrayed as. They are also seen as mortals, which strips them of receiving any sympathy from anyone.
The tone of the story you could say is cynical and ironic. Swift in the story as I mentioned early kindly tells you his thoughts about cannibalism. He uses an ironic voice to plant an idea of how awful things are. His writing is also wordy and pretentious.I think it is agreed by all parties that this prodigious number of children in the arms, or on the backs, or at the heels of their mothers, and frequently of their fathers, is, in the present deplorable state of the kingdom, a very great additional grievance; and therefore, whoever could find out a fair, cheap, and easy method of making these children sounds useful members of the commonwealth would deserve so well of the public as to have his statue set up for a preserver of the nation.(2Jonathan Swift).
In the end of the satire, the narrator expresses that he is a loyal Irishman just trying to propose greatness to his country.
But my intention is very far from being confined to provide only for the children of professed beggars; it is of a much greater extent, and shall take in the whole number of infants at a certain age who are born of parents in effect as little able to support them as those who demand our charity in the streets. (3)
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