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Word Count: 512
A Modest Proposal Jonathan Swift In very simple terms A Modest Proposal is a satire of the social and economic events in Ireland It was written in the early eighteenth century in an attempt to shame England and to shock Ireland Jonathan Swift lived in an Ireland which was a colony politically militarily and economically dependent on England England was happy to keep things as they were to keep Ireland weak The result was an overpopulated and poor Ireland Swift offers a solution for the problems of Ireland in a practical manner Through his ironic prose Swift suggests one solution for both the problem of overpopulation and the growing numbers of starving people The idea is to breed the children of Ireland for food and then sale the carcasses to England to improve Irelands living conditions Swift was writing in response to the belief that the English are taking control and destroying the Irish It definitely shows England as the villain For this kind of commodity will not bear exportation the flesh being of too tender a consistence to admit a long continuance in salt although perhaps I could name a country which would be glad to eat up our whole nation without it This writing also gives equal responsibility to the Irish for their plight Swift was extremely enraged at the passivity of the Irish people It was an attempt to shock the Irish out of their lethargic state Swift had made numerous proposals to the Irish Parliament which were ignored These proposals included the taxing of absentee landlords to encourage the Irish industries and to improve the land A Modest Proposal is a parody of Swifts own serious proposals But as to myself having been wearied out for many years with offering vain idle visionary thoughts and at length utterly despairing of success By mentioning his clearly more rational ideas that would have helped Ireland
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