A Modest Proposal and Other Satires

What idea about the English view of the Irish does Swift convey through his use of words such as breeder, carcasses, and flesh?


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The narrator of “A Modest Proposal” is English, but he is making prescriptions for the Irish. With this structure, Swift reveals the cultural arrogance of the English and the political subjugation felt by the Irish. Swift mocks the view of the English as civilized and the Irish as an uncivilized “barbaric” or “savage” people. Rumors had been circulating in the eighteenth century about cannibalism among such “inferior” groups as the Irish. Words like "breeder" imply they have too many children.