Swifts Modest Proposal Ending Free Essay

Total Length: 340 words ( 1 double-spaced pages)

Total Sources: 3

Jonathan Swift wrote “A Modest Proposal” in 1729 as piece of political satire, or as Cody (2000) puts it, a “disgusted parody” and a “savage indictment,” (p. 1). As it falls within the genre of satire, there is a healthy dose of humor embedded in the text but also rich political commentary as well. As both the course text and Cody (2000) point out, Swift was concerned about issues like class conflict and discrimination against the Irish. Swift recognized that the English were systematically exploiting the Irish. “A Modest Proposal” makes an outlandish case for eating children as the solution to poverty.



Swift writes “A Modest Proposal” in first person, effectively making it seem that he truly believes in what he is saying. The approach can be considered ironic, in that what Swift states on the surface is not precisely what he means. The entire substantive content, and not just the ending, of “A Modest Proposal” are surprising. “A Modest Proposal” is shocking not because Swift suddenly introduces the concept of eating children at the end of the passage, but because the concept is introduced early in the essay and matter-of-factly.




However, in the last paragraph, Swift notes with tongue firmly in cheek that he has “no children” he can contribute to the public cause (Swift, 1729, last para.). This last paragraph is therefore potently ironic. Swift has just presented a firm proposal to solve social, economic, and political problems but then proceeds to say that he has “not the least personal interest in endeavoring to promote this necessary work,” (Swift, 1729, last para.). His lack of interest in personally helping the Irish cause is actually part of Swift’s overall strategy of lambasting the English through satire. With this surprise ending, Swift suggests even that the Irish might lack the gumption to take steps to make a change in their own society.











References



Cody, D. (2000). A Modest Proposal. Retrieved online: http://www.victorianweb.org/previctorian/swift/proposal1.html

Course Text.

Swift, J. (1729). A modest proposal. Retrieved online: http://www.victorianweb.org/previctorian/swift/modest.html.....

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References

Cody, D. (2000). A Modest Proposal. Retrieved online: http://www.victorianweb.org/previctorian/swift/proposal1.html
Course Text.

Swift, J. (1729). A modest proposal. Retrieved online: http://www.victorianweb.org/previctorian/swift/modest.html

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