Not everything an author writes is meant to be taken seriously. In Swift’s A Modest Proposal he is using sarcasm and litotes to tell england they have to many poor people. This proposal is not meant to make fun of the poor people.
Swift’s purpose of A Modest Proposal was to show that what was being done to the irish people wasnt right . He was showing the people of Ireland that this is what they were allowing to happen to their people. The poor people were not getting any type of money while the rich people were getting more snobby. Swift uses breeders to refer to women. He is basically saying that they were not needed to do anything else but have baby they could eat. Some of the ideas in A Modest Proposal would confuse people if they didnt know that he was making a fun of how Ireland treats their poor people compared to their rich people.
A Modest Proposal is protesting the treatment of the poor people in Ireland by the English government. Swift says that the proposal is giving a solution to preventing the children of the poor people in Ireland from causing more issues in the country. When Swift uses the word modest in the title he is already introducing irony , because the proposal is crazy. You only need to read a few lines to realize that this proposal is not modest. The irony that swift shows throughout the proposal is recognized in the justification s of his arguments ” it is agreed by all parties that overpopulation of children is a problem that is an additional grievance to the current deplorable state of Ireland (line 230). So whoever could find out a fair, cheap, and easy method of making these children useful members of the commonwealth would deserve so well of the public as to have this statue set up a preserver of the nation (line 230). Further down the text you are able to understand the meaning of the proposal.
Swift also uses litotes for example I have not the least personal interest (line 290). Litotes is when a negative statement is used to conform a positive statement. The litotes in the story suggest that swift is actually concerned for the Irish people. The proposer aka the narrator is cold-hearted, and the ruthless of his logic. He represents the hypocrisy in the story.
The narrator never gives away his identity. He is more interested in trying solving all of Ireland’s problems by suggesting that we eat children, A child will make two dishes at an entertainment for friends, and when the family dines alone, the fore and hind quarter will make a reasonable dish, and seasoned with a little pepper or salt will be very good boiled on the fourth day especially in the winter time (line 274). He is suggesting that if everyone eats the babies and the children that it will help to solve the poverty issues.
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