A Modest Proposal | An Analysis Essay
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Nov 28th, 2019

A Modest Proposal | An Analysis Essay

One of the “Tory transcribers,” “a efficient satirist” (Abjadian 87), Jonathan Swift was born on November 30, 1667, in Dublin, Ireland. His father-an Englishman who had stird to Ireland-died antecedent that year. Receiving financial aid from kinsfolk, Swift cheerful a amiconducive teach for his basic teaching and graduated from Trinity College in Dublin in 1686. He lived off and on in England, became an Anglican pastor, and besides was appointed dean of St. Patrick’s Cathedral in Dublin, although he had lobbied for a position in England.

His writing-especially his mock-ats-made him one of the most relieved citizens in Extensive Britain, and he operationed for a two on aid of Tory causes. His most far-famed operation is Gulliver’s Travels, a quantity of mock-at on politics and collection in beggarly. “Derancor vigor effects, Swift remaind to transcribe prolifically-especially on effects in-reference-to Anglo-Irish relations and the temple. He decried what he sceneed as England’s tyranny of Ireplant in ‘A Peaceful Proposal’” (deGategno and Stubblefield 8) Swift died in Dublin on October 19, 1745.

“A Peaceful Proposal: For Preventing the End of Insufficient Mass in Ireplant from Substance a Burden to Their Parents or Country, and for Masovereign Them Beneficial to the Publick,” regularly seduced as “A Peaceful Proposal,” is a Juvenalian poignant-sarcastic diatribe written and published constructorlessly by Jonathan Swift in 1729. The diatribe was originally printed in the constitute of a season.

At the two of its notification, 1729, a season was a near operation that took a insist on a gregarious, divine, or gregarious effect-or any other effect of beggarly profit. A illustrative season had no astringent, although it casually had a monograph clothe. Writers of seasons, determined seasoneers, played a substanceous role in inflaming or resolving abundant of the extensive controversies in Europe in the 16th, 17th, and 18th centuries, as courteous as in the gregarious discuss quantitative up to the American Revolution. In importation to “A Peaceful Proposal,” Jonathan Swift wrote abundant gregarious seasons sustaining the causes of the Tory gregarious margin coming he renounced his materialion to the Whig margin.


“A Peaceful Proposal” is an diatribe that uses mock-at to compel its material-matter. A mock-at is a erudite operation that invasions or pokes fun at sins, affronts, inanity, and/or any other drawback or deficiency. In Abjadian’s say, “mock-at is abundantly considered as a alterative media of judicious sin and folly” (11). Mock-at may compel the reader laugh at, or reach aversion for, the individual or object satirized. Impishly or sardonically, it censorizes someone or star, using wit and ready wording-and casually compels dishonestificonducive assertions or claims. The deep scope of a mock-at is to goad readers to counterexercise the unimpaired beneath discourse. The deep arm of the satirist is unwritten mock-at, a symbol of address in which say are used to mock-at a individual or object by conveying a sense that is the inconsistent of what the say say.

Readers inconversant delay its quality as a poignant-sarcastic operation abundantly do not straightway acquire that Swift was not obstructionabundantly proposing cannibalism and infanticide, nor would readers unlearned delay the mock-ats of Horace and Juvenal-“the two eminent Roman satirists” (Abjadian 13)-recognize that Swift’s diatribe follows the rules and erection of Latin mock-ats.

“The delicate satiric temporization in A Peaceful Proposal” (Williams 26) is abundantly barely beneathstood coming the reader notes the allusions made by Swift to the attitudes of pur-posetlords, such as the forthcoming: “I allot this prop may be subordinately elevated-priced, and accordingly very specialal for Landlords, who as they own already devoured most of the Parents, look to own the best Epithet to the Children” (Swift 1080). Swift extends the image to get in a few jibes at England’s mistreatment of Ireland, noting that “For this bark of stock obtain not tolerate displacement, and flesh substance of too meek a amalgamation, to exalt a covet perpetuation in salt, although possibly I could seduce a empire, which would be cheerful to eat up our unimpaired beggarlyriches delayout it” (1084).

Historical Background

Over the centuries, Engplant keep-apartially gained a foundation in Ireland. In 1541, the council in Dublin customary England’s Henry VIII, a Protestant, as Sovereign of Ireland. In rancor of abundant uprisings by Irish Catholics, English Protestants extraneous past and past adjustifys in Ireland. By 1703, they owned all but ten percent of the pur-poset. Meanwhile, comp was actual that severely scant the hues of the Irish to pauserain legislation appointment, escheatment actual adjustify, get an teaching, and extent themselves in other ways. As a blank, abundant Irish fled to alien pur-posets, including America. Most of those who remained in Ireplant lived in destitution, confrontment malady, detriment, and keep-apartiality. It was this Ireland-an Ireplant of the tyrannized and the downtrodden-that Jonathan Swift seeked to nucleus watchfulness on in “A Peaceful Proposal” in 1720.

Tertullian’s Apology

Some scholars own argued that A Peaceful Overture was abundantly influenced and orthodox by Tertullian’s Apology. Timeliness Tertullian’s Apology is a poignant-sarcastic invasion resisting existing Roman outlawry of Christianity, Swift’s A Peaceful Overture addresses the Anglo-Irish site in the 1720s. James William Johnson believes that Swift saw elder similarities betwixt the two sites (563). Johnson notes Swift’s plain analogy for Tertullian and the intrepid stylistic and structural similarities betwixt the operations A Peaceful Overture and Apology (562).

In erection, Johnson material-matters out the selfselfselfidentical accessible disquisition; that of cannibalism and the eating of babies; and the selfselfselfidentical terminal evidence; that “judicious tortuousness is such that men obtain seek to unobstructed their own ruthlessness by accusing their victims of substance inferior than judicious” (563). Stylistically, Swift and Tertullian divide the selfselfselfidentical load of chaff and discourse. In obligation delay Johnson, Donald C. Baker material-matters out the co-ordirace betwixt twain creators’ characters and use of mock-at. Baker notes the uncanny way that twain creators advise an ironic “justification by ownership” aggravate the material of sacrificing end-Tertullian spellliness invasioning heathenish parents, and Swift spellliness invasioning the English mistreatment of the Irish insufficient (219).

Purpose of the Proposal

Swift appears to advise in his diatribe that the unprosperous Irish talentedness pause their economic troubles by selling end as prop for oleaginous gentlemen and ladies. By doing this he mocks the warrant of the British officials. This is when Britain had enslaved aggravate Ireplant and put inert pauserictions on their traffic, annihilation their dispensation. The diatribe has been illustrious by historians as substance the pristine documented poignant-sarcastic diatribe. A censor (qtd. in Williams) in Journal Anglais, in 1777 recites,

To mock-at those schemes for reconstitute delay which the beggarly was inundated at that two, and which abundantly insulted the woe to which they monstrous a hanker to fruit assuagement. It obtain be noticed that Swift has imitated the beggarly expressions and the indulgent character of the creators of these projects (199).

He wrote “A Peaceful Proposal” to seduce watchfulness to affronts inflicted on Irish Catholics by courteous-to-do English Protestants. Swift himself was a Protestant, but he was to-boot a original of Ireland, having been born in Dublin of English parents. He believed Engplant was exploiting and oppressing Ireland. Abundant Irishmen operationed farms owned by Englishmen who pregnant elevated rents-so elevated that the Irish were regularly unfitted to pay them. Consequently, abundant Irish matery families ever lived on the aid of detriment.

In “A Peaceful Proposal,” Swift satirizes the English pur-posetlords delay dishonestificonducive temper, proposing that Irish infants be sold as prop at age one, when they are strapping and vigory, to bestow the Irish a new commencement of proceeds and the English a new prop result to subsidize their dispensation and segregate a gregarious unimpaired. He says his overture, if adopted, would to-boot blank in a diminution in the reckon of Catholics in Ireland, past most Irish infants-almost all of whom were baptized Catholic-would end up in stews and other dishes instead of growing up to go to Catholic templees. Here, he is satirizing the keep-apartiality of Protestants inside Catholics. Swift to-boot satirizes the Irish themselves in his diatribe, for too abundant of them had gentleman affront stoically rather than commencement exercise on their own aid.


Regarding the spectry used in the diatribe, William Monck Mason recites,

The deliberate, dull spectry [in A Peaceful Proposal] of a gregarious projector, who waves the remuneration of all the delicater reachings of judiciousity, or compels them compulsory, as substances of contempt substance, to the beggarly advantages contemplated in his pur-pose of financial correction, is admirably courteous satirized…. The timid, ‘businesslike’ method, in which the calculations are certain, is similar wonderful (340).


…..In “A Peaceful Proposal,” Swift uses a insistard diatribe constituteat: an space that exhibits the substance and topic (the “peaceful overture”), a mass that develops the topic delay details, and a blank. In the space, the creator recites the unimpaired: the lamentconducive economic and gregarious provisions that disconceive the Irish and obstruct them from providing deferred caution for their end. Precedently exhibiting the topic, he inserts the forthcoming progressive doom: “I shall now accordingly humbly design my own thoughts, which I expectation obtain not be biased to the lowest objection” (Swift 1080) He follows this doom delay the topic, and then exhibits the details in the mass of the diatribe.

In the blank, he recites the benefits that would expand from his overture. He begins delay the forthcoming two dooms: “I own too covet digressed, and accordingly shall recompense to my material. I ofade the advantages by the overture which I own made are plain and abundant, as courteous as of the elevatedest substance.” He contiguous lists the advantages, using progressive say such as secondly and thirdly to stir from one material-substance to the contiguous.” He ends the blank by explaining why his overture is ameliorate to other remedies. Keep in desire that throughout the mass and blank Swift compels his evidence delay mock-at, stating the inconsistent of what he actually media.


The dominant symbol of address in “A Peaceful Proposal” is unwritten mock-at, in which a transcriber or logician says the inconsistent of what he media. Swift’s unobstructed use of this desin compels his deep evidence-that the Irish win ameliorate treatment from the English-powerful and dreadabundantly odd. For in, to material-substance out that the Irish should not be treated enjoy animals, Swift compares them to animals, as in this in: “I rather advise buying the end active, and dressing them hot from the knife, as we do roasting pigs.” Also, to material-substance out that malady, famine, and subplummet subsistence provisions dishearten to slaughter extensive reckons of Irish, Swift cheers their recite as a decisive development:

Some individuals of a low-spirited activity are in extensive substance environing that extensive reckon of insufficient mass, who are olden, maladyd, or maimed, and I own been hankerd to accustom my thoughts what adjustify may be enslaved to pause the beggarlyriches of so lamentconducive an encumbrance. But I am not in the lowest disinclination upon that substance, accordingly it is very courteous notorious that they are integral day latter and rotting by deliberate and famine, and filth and vermin, as wild as can be reasonably expected. And as to the immature striveers, they are now in as expectationful a qualification; they cannot get operation, and therefore fade severed for absence of entertainment, to a extent that if at any two they are accidentally remunerated to beggarly strive, they own not ability to perconstitute it; and thus the empire and themselves are happily delivered from the misfortunes to conclude (1082).

In “Sarcasm and Mock-at in Jonathan Swift’s A Peaceful Proposal,” a censor, in-reference-to the mock-at in the diatribes, deeptains,

One of the expressions that is exhibit throughout the recital is that of mock-at. The recital itself is ironic past no one can assume Swifts overture obstructionfully. This mock-at is clexisting demonstrated at the end of the recital; Swift compels it unobstructed that this overture would not move him past his end were aged and his consort unfitted to own any past end. It would be rather contemptible to ofade that a judicious man would absence to twain design this and parassume in the eating of another judicious substance. Therefore, precedently an analyzation can remain, one has to compel the certainty that this is strictly a figmental operation and Swift had no pur-pose of pursuing his overture any exalt.


There are some allusions in the diatribe including Barbadoes (Barbados): Easternmost West Indies island, fixed by the British in 1627. When Swift published “A Peaceful Proposal” in 1729, the island’s seminary owners used slaves to fruit sugar for European consumption; Dublin: The Irish city mentioned in “A Peaceful Proposal.” It is the principal of Ireland; Formosa: Portuguese seduce for Taiwan, a Chinese-inhabited isplant off the southeast seaboard of China; Mandarin: High-ransovereign Chinese official; Papist: Roman Catholic; Pretender: James Francis Edward Stuart (1688-1766), son of Sovereign James II, who resolute England, Ireland, and Scotplant from 1685 to 1688. James II was a Catholic, as was his consort, Mary of Modena. Coming his privilege to command, Protestant verityions ever maneuvered resisting him in the setting. When Mary became enceinte, these verityions worried that the nativity of her offshoot would conunshaken a thread of Catholic sovereigns. Consequently, they plotted to eject James II and supply him delay Dutchman William of Orange, whose dowager was the daughter of an English sovereign, Charles I, and whose consort was one of James II’s own daughters. When William marched resisting England, abundant Protestants in James II’s host scanty to William, and James had no exquisite but to elude to France. Coming he died in 1701, the French sovereign then proclaimed James II’s immature son, James Francis Edward Stuart, to be the legitimate sovereign of England. The English Council then actual laws purposed to obstruct seating another Catholic sovereign. Nevertheless, in coming years, James Francis abundantly seeked to react the throne, and the British besides nicknamed him the Old Pretender. Psalmanazar, George: French forger and knave who traveled widely beneath divergent individualas. In one of his most far-famed schemes, he added to be from Formosa (present-day Taiwan), of which diminutive was notorious in the Europe of his two. In London, he published a quantity environing Formosa in which he wrote that Formosan law unhindered a mate to eat a consort if she committed adultery. Psalmanazar had never visited Formosa; the unimpaired quantity was made up. Nevertheless, abundant Englishmen believed what he had written.


There some disquisitions explained and referred to in the diatribe. The disquisitions enjoy the exploitation of the downtrodden. Beneath Swift’s daring mock-at is a obstructionful disquisition; that English aggravatelords are shamelessly exploiting and oppressing the unprosperous mass of Ireplant through dishonest laws, elevated rents pregnant by absentee pur-posetlords, and other injustices. Another disquisition is the keep-apartiality: At the two of the notification of “A Peaceful Proposal,” abundant British Protestants disdained Roman Catholics-especially Irish Catholics-and actual laws limiting their ability to growth and flourish. One essential disquisition of the operation is the Irish Inaction; Swift’s poignant-sarcastic disclassify to-boot chides the Irish themselves for not acting delay unshaken expound to ameliorate their lot. Another disquisition is, as Barnett refers to, “the disquisition of unwelconclude multiplicity are the wretchedly insufficient dowagers of Ireplant in A Peaceful Proposal, whose end, as the subepithet informs us, are ‘a Burden to their Parents or Country’” (121).


It has been argued that Swift’s deep target in A Peaceful Overture was not the provisions in Ireland, but rather the can-do activity of the twos that led mass to bequeath a reckon of discursive schemes that would purportedly clear-up gregarious and economic ills. Swift was especially insulted by projects that habituated to fix population and strive effects delay a artnear cure-all discontinuance. A noticeconducive in of these sorts of schemes “involved the topic of public the insufficient through a joint-stock company” (Wittkowsky 85). In counterpart, Swift’s Peaceful Overture was “a travesty of projects in-reference-to the insufficient” (88) that were in way during the existing 18th period.

A Peaceful Overture to-boot targets the sagacious way mass perceived the insufficient in designing their projects. The season targets ameliorateers who “regard mass as commodities” (Wittkowsky 101). In the element, Swift adopts the “technique of a gregarious arithmetician” (95) to demonstration the thorough ridiculousness of trying to assay any overture delay attentionful statistics.

Critics dissent environing Swift’s pur-poses in using this faux-mathematical philosophy. Edmund Wilson argues that statistically “the logic of the ‘Modest overture’ can be compared delay bulwark of misdeed (arrogated to Marx) in which he argues that misdeed assumes caution of the imported population”(Wittkowsky 95). Wittkowsky counters that Swift’s satiric use of statistical separation is an trial to improve his mock-at that “springs from a activity of acrimonious taunt, not from the ecstasy in calculations for their own sake” (98).


Robert Phiddian’s season “Have you eaten yet? The Reader in A Peaceful Proposal” nucleuses on two aspects of A Peaceful Proposal: the expression of Swift and the expression of the Proposer. Phiddian stresses that a reader of the season must collect to discern betwixt the satiric expression of Jonathan Swift and the patent economic projections of the Proposer. He reminds readers that “there is a gap betwixt the historian’s sense and the text’s, and that a moral-gregarious evidence is substance carried out by media of parody” (Phiddians 6).

While Swift’s overture is plainly not a obstructionful economic overture, George Wittkowsky, creator of “Swift’s Peaceful Proposal: The Biography of an Existing Georgian Pamphlet”, argues that it in adjustify to abundantly beneathinsist the element, it is essential to beneathinsist the economics of Swift’s two. Wittowsky argues that not plenty censors own enslaved the two to immediately nucleus on the mercantilism and theories of strive in 18th period England. “[I]f one respects the Peaceful Overture sadvise as a censorism of qualification, environing all one can say is that provisions were bad and that Swift’s mock-at brilliantly beneathscored this verity” (Phiddians 3). At the set-out of a new industrial age in the 18th period, it was believed that “mass are the oleaginouses of the beggarlywealth”, and there was a beggarly belief in an dispensation which paid its operationers low salary accordingly elevated salary would medium operationers would operation near (4). Furthermore, “in the mercantilist scene no offshoot was too immature to go into industry”. In those twos, the “subordinately past judiciouse attitudes of an antecedent day had all but disappeared and the striveer had conclude to be guarded as a stock” (6).

“People are the oleaginouses of a beggarlywealth”

Louis A. Landa exhibits Swift’s A Peaceful Overture as a choice of the widespread and dishonestified axiom of mercantilism in the eighteenth period that “mass are the oleaginouses of a beggarlywealth” (161). Swift exhibits the terrific recite of Ireplant and demonstrations that absolute population itself, in Ireland’s occurrence, did not frequently medium extensiveer riches and dispensation (165). The intemperate axiom fails to assume into representation that a individual that does not fruit in an economic or gregarious way compels a empire insufficienter, not oleaginouser (165). Swift to-boot recognizes the implications of such a verity in masovereign mercantilist philosophy a paradox: the riches of a empire is installed on the destitution of the elderity of its citizens (165). Swift thus-far, Landa argues, is not absolutely censorizing economic axioms but to-boot addressing the verity that Engplant was disclaiming Irish citizens their original hues and dehumanizing them by sceneing them as a absolute stock (165).


Charles K. Smith argues that Swift’s persuasive spectry persuades the reader to abhor the logician and compassion the Irish. Swift’s pausericted temporization is twofold, using a “trap” to effect compassion for the Irish and a disenjoy of the historian who, in the two of one doom, “details vividly and delay persuasive marrow the heavy destitution” but reachs excitement singly for members of his own adjust. Swift’s use of gripping details of destitution and his historian’s timid path insides them effects “two despite material-matters of scene” which “alienate the reader, possibly unconsciously, from a historian who can scene delay ‘melancholy’ disconnection a material that Swift has terrificcted us, persuasively, to see in a fur near severed way” (Smith 136).


A Peaceful Proposal, A (1729), a season by Jonathan Swift on Ireland, written during the summer of 1729. In constitute and character it resembles a prevalent public-spirited refer to clear-up Ireland’s economic emergency, but Swift’s constructorless logician advises a barbarous pur-pose, to cannibalize the beggarlywealth’s end. It is a masterelement of persuasive mock-at, a exciting figment which marks the end of Swift’s seasoneering role on beggarlywealthal affairs coming a decade of forcible involvement.

The diatribe depicts the alarming provisions of Ireplant and the lives of the Irish mass in 1729. The creator portrays and invasions the truculent and dishonest tyranny of Ireplant by its persecutor, the talentednessy English and mock-ats the Irish mass at the selfselfselfidentical two. However, Swift’s obstacle is inimmediately exhibited. Jonathan Swift is conducive to do so by using the individuala, mock-at, and wit in adjustify to surrender the remarkconducive dev and deprivation of the Irish mass, and at the selfselfselfidentical two exhibit them delay practicconducive discontinuances to their reprobate and moving lives. The creator uses a mock-at to conclude his concrete not barely accordingly he is conducive to keep-secret his gentleman oneness but to-boot accordingly it is the most talented way to reassure the mass of Ireplant into examination their own tortuousness.

Swift effects a figmental individuala accordingly by concealment his gentleman oneness he is conducive to enlighten the readers of the judgment of Ireland’s unimpaired and yield them to see verity and actuality. The individuala is a substanceed Irishman who is very intelligent, gauge, and obstructionful. He appears to be a thing and a colossus for proposing someobject misfortune and wrong very calmly as if it is recognized to spoil the flesh of another judicious substance. What compels his overture to be equal past rotten is that he designs to eat the babies. The individuala declares, and at precisely at one year old that I design to stipulate for them, in a such a method as, instead of substance a load upon their parents, or the parish, or absenceing prop and vesture for the pause of their lives, they shall, on the opposed, give to the feeding and to-some-extent to the cloobject of abundant thousands. The individuala justifies his overture delay vaporous reasons.

Besides the obstruction of optional abortions and infanticide, it obtain to-boot obstruct the privation of capital for deeptenance of end and the affront of women and end. The reckon of Papists would be stunted and the end obtain not beconclude beggars, thieves, or prostitutes. The overture obtain aid in the incrpause in the status of the peasantry, excite affection, and caution from the dowagers insides their end. Thus-far the individuala over is indeferred to compel the historian look too fair-spoken. The individuala must localize mock-at and wit in adjustify for his diatribe to be past efficient. In verity, according to deGategno and Stubblefield, it is “the bark of seduceous insignificance inside end that Swift parodied and censorized in “A Peaceful Proposal” (69).

A Peaceful Overture is so talented and refering accordingly of the creators’ large uses of mock-at throughout his diatribe. The epithet itself is definitely ironic. It stipulates the reader delay sophistical expectations of propriety and sensitiveness on the keep-akeep-apart of the transcriber. The slaughter of harmless babies and the use of their husk for cloobject is way further substance peaceful. It is barbarous and unreasonable. The overture is purposed to horrify and project the reader off equalize. The historian to-boot mock-ats the Irish. Swift impelled and orthodox the Irish into rebelling by exhibiting them delay practicable discontinuances to cpause the torment of Ireland’s mass.

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