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A Modest Proposal by Jonathan Swift
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A Modest Proposal

21 ratings, 5 reviews

In 1729 Jonathan Swift anonymously published "A Modest Proposal for Preventing the Children of Poor People in Ireland From Being a Burden to Their Parents or Country, and for Making Them Beneficial to the Public", or as it's more succinctly called, "A Modest Proposal." The essay opens with a sympathetic and concerned citizen's persuasive introduction to the issue of the Irish poor. Soon however the speaker divulges his morbid solution: the Irish should raise their children as feed stock for the the wealthy throughout the kingdom. This solution, he continues unflinchingly, would resolve the issues of poverty, overpopulation, and Ireland's unbalanced trade with England.

A Modest Proposal is Swift's answer to the fervent debates at the time over social reform, ones which coldly and scientifically outlines plans for the poor. Readers unfamiliar with Swift's satirical genius might not immediately realize that he isn't seriously proposing cannibalism or infanticide, but that's part of the rhetorical genius of the work. Swift's speaker is brutally calculating in his argument, at one point citing figures and statistics as to the validity of the theory, and at another offering recipes for the children to be eaten: "A young healthy child well nursed, is, at a year old, a most delicious nourishing and wholesome food, whether stewed, roasted, baked, or boiled; and I make no doubt that it will equally serve in a fricassee, or a ragoust."

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Dara Peou

June 13, 2013

Good book is difficult to find, but we can find here a lot.


Pol Hamtiaux

February 19, 2013

Swift ist mein


Temperance Z

August 30, 2012

One of the best satrical work I have ever read. He blatantly stabs at our coventional thinking with a pitch fork; but when we are ready to cry out and to valiantly defend our ethics, we realize our self-centredness and nochalance is allowing something that is much horrific to happen right under our eyes


Chryss Hart

June 25, 2012

Jonathan Swift's classic satirical pamphlet setting forth a solution to the dual problems of famine and overpopulation in post-Industrial Ireland (and beyond!) is a fantastic (and fairly quick) read for anyone with an appreciation for the macabre.


Awa Kone

May 21, 2012

Not sure If I should get this book but it seems quite interesting