A Modest Proposal and Other Satires

A Meditation upon a Broomstick

How does Swift say a broomstick is like a man?

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The Narrator declares that a broomstick is like a man. He is born upright, with all his hair, but is turned upside down, then relegated to a “withered trunk” as he ages. Man lives according to the whim of maids, much like the broomstick. Man reveals abuses, sweeps up dirt, and participates in the very pollution he pretends to want to eradicate. Man’s fate, like that of the stick, is either to be kicked out of doors or to be used for criticism by others.