A Modest Proposal and Other Satires
Examining the Elusive in "A Modest Proposal" College
The beginning of the eighteenth century witnessed the establishment of the Protestant Ascendancy in Ireland, and a gradual retraction of the civil rights of Roman Catholics (Papists). The Anglican minority took measures to enrich and empower itself through various policies, including mercantilism, which relied on the devaluation of a country’s goods to increase its exports. This rush to increase trade value came with the price of rapid impoverishing of the working class. Moreover, the laborer was considered part of a country’s capital, and no child was too young to go to work. In his satirical work “A Modest Proposal” Anglo-Irish essayist Jonathan Swift responds to the dilemma of the nation’s proliferating indigent masses in a parody of the autocratic landlords of his time. He introduces a method of putting the begging mothers to productive employment, and their children to the purpose of the gratification of landlords. Conning an unwavering loyalty to his perverted scheme and drenching every word in reasonableness, Swifts demonstrates his mastery in satire and effectively shocks, captivates and entertains the readers. If his support were not lacking in credibility (or his scheme in practicability), his tactful, persuasive...
Join Now to View Premium Content
GradeSaver provides access to 725 study guide PDFs and quizzes, 4184 literature essays, 1403 sample college application essays, 171 lesson plans, and ad-free surfing in this premium content, “Members Only” section of the site! Membership includes a 10% discount on all editing orders.
Already a member? Log in