Satire or Logic? A Satire can be defined as the use of sarcasm, wit and irony in ridiculing and denouncing human institutions or humanity itself. “A Modest Proposal” by Jonathan Swift is a satirical work that gives an extremely sarcastic solution to the problems that Ireland was having with poverty and overpopulation in the 1700 s and focusing on England’s economic oppression and nonchalant attitude over Ireland. Jonathan Swift’s “A Modest Proposal” is an excellent example of a satire because he has created a piece of literature that uses valid and logical ideas that are also extremely grotesque and immoral to draw attention to the problems of the Irish people. Swift’s description of the economic condition of Ireland equips the reader with a clear view of the hideous conditions of the Irish population, but those conditions are modest compared to the savage conditions the children must suffer. As the reader ponders an expected resolution to the anguish of the children, Swift introduces a valid but disgusting solution.
Since the children are being killed by the neglect of Ireland by the English, why not profit from the death of these helpless individuals? To solve the problem of the poverty-stricken and oppressed population of Catholics in Ireland, Swift’s essay calmly and rationally proposes that thousands of the children should be killed and eaten. In order to support his proposal, Swift states the benefit for the parents of the children. Not only would the women not worry about getting pregnant and having unsafe abortions, but they will also be treated better by their husbands because having a baby would mean a profit for the family. He adds texture to the logic of his bizarre proposal by stating seemingly factual mathematical accounts of the numbers and ages of those starving, underprivileged children surviving the current conditions of Ireland. In conclusion, Swift’s shocking satire is essentially effective because logically his solution actually makes sense. Selling Irish babies to the oppressing English as food, in strictly business terms, would be more beneficial to all and with the same result.
... of the highest importance,” (413) Swift thinks of his proposal as the ‘end-all, be-all’ to Ireland’s issue in order to ... by his technical diction and ironic essence. His irony and satire is most effective in assuaging possible feelings of disgust from ... a position on the subject. “There only remain 120,000 children of poor parents annually born” (409). This particular statement bears ...
As far-fetched as Swift’s proposal seems, it perfectly portrays the concept of England’s hideous neglect of the people and the children of the Irish.