Some persons of a desponding spirit are in great concern about that vast number of poor people, who are aged, diseased, or maimed, and I have been desired to employ my thoughts what course may be taken to ease the nation of so grievous an encumbrance. But I am not in the least pain upon that matter, because it is very well known that they are every day dying and rotting by cold and famine, and filth and vermin, as fast as can be reasonably expected.
And as to the young laborers, they are now in as hopeful a condition; they cannot get work, and consequently pine away for want of nourishment, to a degree that if at any time they are accidentally hired to common labor, they have not strength to perform it; and thus the country and themselves are happily delivered from the evils to come. I have too long digressed, and therefore shall return to my subject. I think the advantages by the proposal which I have made are obvious and many, as well as of the highest importance.
For first, as I have already observed, it would greatly lessen the number of papists, with whom we are yearly overrun, being the principal breeders of the nation as well as our most dangerous enemies; and who stay at home on purpose with a design to deliver the kingdom to the Pretender, hoping to take their advantage by the absence of so many good protestants, who have chosen rather to leave their country than stay at home and pay tithes against their conscience to an episcopal curate.
Secondly, The poorer tenants will have something valuable of their own, which by law may be made liable to distress and help to pay their landlord's rent, their corn and cattle being already seized, and money a thing unknown. Thirdly, Whereas the maintenance of an hundred thousand children, from two years old and upward, cannot be computed at less than ten shillings a-piece per annum, the nation's stock will be thereby increased fifty thousand pounds per annum, beside the profit of a new dish introduced to the tables of all gentlemen of fortune in the kingdom who have any refinement in taste.
And the money will circulate among ourselves, the goods being entirely of our own growth and manufacture. Fourthly, The constant breeders, beside the gain of eight shillings sterling per annum by the sale of their children, will be rid of the charge of maintaining them after the first year.
Fifthly, This food would likewise bring great custom to taverns; where the vintners will certainly be so prudent as to procure the best receipts for dressing it to perfection, and consequently have their houses frequented by all the fine gentlemen, who justly value themselves upon their knowledge in good eating: Sixthly, This would be a great inducement to marriage, which all wise nations have either encouraged by rewards or enforced by laws and penalties.
It would increase the care and tenderness of mothers toward their children, when they were sure of a settlement for life to the poor babes, provided in some sort by the public, to their annual profit instead of expense. We should see an honest emulation among the married women, which of them could bring the fattest child to the market.
Men would become as fond of their wives during the time of their pregnancy as they are now of their mares in foal, their cows in calf, their sows when they are ready to farrow; nor offer to beat or kick them as is too frequent a practice for fear of a miscarriage. Many other advantages might be enumerated. For instance, the addition of some thousand carcasses in our exportation of barreled beef, the propagation of swine's flesh, and improvement in the art of making good bacon, so much wanted among us by the great destruction of pigs, too frequent at our tables; which are no way comparable in taste or magnificence to a well-grown, fat, yearling child, which roasted whole will make a considerable figure at a lord mayor's feast or any other public entertainment.
But this and many others I omit, being studious of brevity. Supposing that one thousand families in this city, would be constant customers for infants flesh, besides others who might have it at merry meetings, particularly at weddings and christenings, I compute that Dublin would take off annually about twenty thousand carcasses; and the rest of the kingdom where probably they will be sold somewhat cheaper the remaining eighty thousand.
I can think of no one objection, that will possibly be raised against this proposal, unless it should be urged, that the number of people will be thereby much lessened in the kingdom. This I freely own, and 'twas indeed one principal design in offering it to the world. I desire the reader will observe, that I calculate my remedy for this one individual Kingdom of Ireland, and for no other that ever was, is, or, I think, ever can be upon Earth. Therefore let no man talk to me of other expedients: Of taxing our absentees at five shillings a pound: Of using neither cloaths, nor houshold furniture, except what is of our own growth and manufacture: Of utterly rejecting the materials and instruments that promote foreign luxury: The primary target of Swift's satire was the rationalism of modern economics, and the growth of rationalistic modes of thinking in modern life at the expense of more traditional human values.
In English writing, the phrase "a modest proposal " is now conventionally an allusion to this style of straight-faced satire. This essay is widely held to be one of the greatest examples of sustained irony in the history of the English language.
Much of its shock value derives from the fact that the first portion of the essay describes the plight of starving beggars in Ireland, so that the reader is unprepared for the surprise of Swift's solution when he states: Swift goes to great lengths to support his argument, including a list of possible preparation styles for the children, and calculations showing the financial benefits of his suggestion.
He uses methods of argument throughout his essay which lampoon the then-influential William Petty and the social engineering popular among followers of Francis Bacon.
These lampoons include appealing to the authority of "a very knowing American of my acquaintance in London" and "the famous Psalmanazar , a native of the island Formosa " who had already confessed to not being from Formosa in In the tradition of Roman satire, Swift introduces the reforms he is actually suggesting by paralipsis:.
Therefore let no man talk to me of other expedients: Of taxing our absentees at five shillings a pound: Of using neither clothes, nor household furniture, except what is of our own growth and manufacture: Of utterly rejecting the materials and instruments that promote foreign luxury: Of curing the expensiveness of pride, vanity, idleness, and gaming in our women: Of introducing a vein of parsimony, prudence and temperance: Of learning to love our country, wherein we differ even from Laplanders , and the inhabitants of Topinamboo: Of quitting our animosities and factions, nor acting any longer like the Jews, who were murdering one another at the very moment their city was taken: Of being a little cautious not to sell our country and consciences for nothing: Of teaching landlords to have at least one degree of mercy towards their tenants.
Lastly, of putting a spirit of honesty, industry, and skill into our shop-keepers, who, if a resolution could now be taken to buy only our native goods, would immediately unite to cheat and exact upon us in the price, the measure, and the goodness, nor could ever yet be brought to make one fair proposal of just dealing, though often and earnestly invited to it. Therefore I repeat, let no man talk to me of these and the like expedients, 'till he hath at least some glympse of hope, that there will ever be some hearty and sincere attempt to put them into practice.
A Modest Proposal also targets the calculating way people perceived the poor in designing their projects. The pamphlet targets reformers who "regard people as commodities". Critics differ about Swift's intentions in using this faux-mathematical philosophy. Edmund Wilson argues that statistically "the logic of the 'Modest proposal' can be compared with defence of crime arrogated to Marx in which he argues that crime takes care of the superfluous population".
Smith argues that Swift's rhetorical style persuades the reader to detest the speaker and pity the Irish. Swift's specific strategy is twofold, using a "trap"  to create sympathy for the Irish and a dislike of the narrator who, in the span of one sentence, "details vividly and with rhetorical emphasis the grinding poverty" but feels emotion solely for members of his own class.
Swift has his proposer further degrade the Irish by using language ordinarily reserved for animals. Lewis argues that the speaker uses "the vocabulary of animal husbandry"  to describe the Irish. Once the children have been commodified, Swift's rhetoric can easily turn "people into animals, then meat, and from meat, logically, into tonnage worth a price per pound".
Swift uses the proposer's serious tone to highlight the absurdity of his proposal. In making his argument, the speaker uses the conventional, textbook-approved order of argument from Swift's time which was derived from the Latin rhetorician Quintilian.
Many, notably his close friend Thomas Sheridan , believed that they were secretly married in ; others, like Swift's housekeeper Mrs Brent and Rebecca Dingley who lived with Stella all through her years in Ireland dismissed the story as absurd.
Although the tone of the letter was courteous, Swift privately expressed his disgust for Tisdall as an "interloper", and they were estranged for many years. During his visits to England in these years, Swift published A Tale of a Tub and The Battle of the Books and began to gain a reputation as a writer. Swift became increasingly active politically in these years.
He found the opposition Tory leadership more sympathetic to his cause, and, when they came to power in , he was recruited to support their cause as editor of The Examiner. In , Swift published the political pamphlet The Conduct of the Allies , attacking the Whig government for its inability to end the prolonged war with France. The incoming Tory government conducted secret and illegal negotiations with France, resulting in the Treaty of Utrecht ending the War of the Spanish Succession.
Swift was part of the inner circle of the Tory government,  and often acted as mediator between Henry St John Viscount Bolingbroke , the secretary of state for foreign affairs —15 , and Robert Harley Earl of Oxford , lord treasurer and prime minister — Swift recorded his experiences and thoughts during this difficult time in a long series of letters to Esther Johnson, collected and published after his death as A Journal to Stella. The animosity between the two Tory leaders eventually led to the dismissal of Harley in With the death of Queen Anne and accession of George I that year, the Whigs returned to power, and the Tory leaders were tried for treason for conducting secret negotiations with France.
Also during these years in London, Swift became acquainted with the Vanhomrigh family Dutch merchants who had settled in Ireland, then moved to London and became involved with one of the daughters, Esther. Swift furnished Esther with the nickname " Vanessa " derived by adding "Essa", a pet form of Esther, to the "Van" of her surname, Vanhomrigh , and she features as one of the main characters in his poem Cadenus and Vanessa.
The poem and their correspondence suggest that Esther was infatuated with Swift, and that he may have reciprocated her affections, only to regret this and then try to break off the relationship. Their uneasy relationship continued for some years; then there appears to have been a confrontation, possibly involving Esther Johnson.
Esther Vanhomrigh died in at the age of 35, having destroyed the will she had made in Swift's favour. Before the fall of the Tory government, Swift hoped that his services would be rewarded with a church appointment in England. However, Queen Anne appeared to have taken a dislike to Swift and thwarted these efforts.
Her dislike has been attributed to A Tale of a Tub , which she thought blasphemous, compounded by The Windsor Prophecy , where Swift, with a surprising lack of tact, advised the Queen on which of her bedchamber ladies she should and should not trust. Once in Ireland, however, Swift began to turn his pamphleteering skills in support of Irish causes, producing some of his most memorable works: His printer, Edward Waters, was convicted of seditious libel in , but four years later a grand jury refused to find that the Drapier's Letters which, though written under a pseudonym, were universally known to be Swift's work were seditious.
Also during these years, he began writing his masterpiece, Travels into Several Remote Nations of the World, in Four Parts, by Lemuel Gulliver, first a surgeon, and then a captain of several ships , better known as Gulliver's Travels. Much of the material reflects his political experiences of the preceding decade.
For instance, the episode in which the giant Gulliver puts out the Lilliputian palace fire by urinating on it can be seen as a metaphor for the Tories' illegal peace treaty; having done a good thing in an unfortunate manner. In he paid a long-deferred visit to London,  taking with him the manuscript of Gulliver's Travels. During his visit he stayed with his old friends Alexander Pope , John Arbuthnot and John Gay , who helped him arrange for the anonymous publication of his book.
First published in November , it was an immediate hit, with a total of three printings that year and another in early French, German, and Dutch translations appeared in , and pirated copies were printed in Ireland. Swift returned to England one more time in and stayed with Alexander Pope once again. The visit was cut short when Swift received word that Esther Johnson was dying, and rushed back home to be with her. Swift could not bear to be present at the end, but on the night of her death he began to write his The Death of Mrs Johnson.
He was too ill to attend the funeral at St Patrick's. Death became a frequent feature of Swift's life from this point. In he wrote Verses on the Death of Dr. Swift , his own obituary published in In , his good friend and collaborator John Gay died. In , John Arbuthnot, another friend from his days in London, died.
In Swift began to show signs of illness, and in he may have suffered a stroke, losing the ability to speak and realising his worst fears of becoming mentally disabled. To protect him from unscrupulous hangers on, who had begun to prey on the great man, his closest companions had him declared of "unsound mind and memory".
However, it was long believed by many that Swift was actually insane at this point. In his book Literature and Western Man , author J. Priestley even cites the final chapters of Gulliver's Travels as proof of Swift's approaching "insanity". Bewley attributes his decline to 'terminal dementia'. In , guardians were appointed to take care of his affairs and watch lest in his outbursts of violence he should do himself harm.
In , he suffered great pain from the inflammation of his left eye, which swelled to the size of an egg; five attendants had to restrain him from tearing out his eye. He went a whole year without uttering a word. In , Alexander Pope died. Then on 19 October , Swift, at nearly 80, died. Go forth, Voyager, and copy, if you can, this vigorous to the best of his ability Champion of Liberty. He died on the 19th Day of the Month of October, A. Yeats poetically translated it from the Latin as:.
Swift was a prolific writer, notable for his satires. The most recent collection of his prose works Herbert Davis, ed. Basil Blackwell, — comprises fourteen volumes. A recent edition of his complete poetry Pat Rodges, ed. Penguin, is pages long. One edition of his correspondence David Woolley, ed. Lang, fills three volumes. Swift's first major prose work, A Tale of a Tub , demonstrates many of the themes and stylistic techniques he would employ in his later work.
It is at once wildly playful and funny while being pointed and harshly critical of its targets. In its main thread, the Tale recounts the exploits of three sons, representing the main threads of Christianity, who receive a bequest from their father of a coat each, with the added instructions to make no alterations whatsoever.
However, the sons soon find that their coats have fallen out of current fashion, and begin to look for loopholes in their father's will that will let them make the needed alterations. As each finds his own means of getting around their father's admonition, they struggle with each other for power and dominance.
Jonathan Swift: The Great Satirist - Jonathan Swift is known as one the greatest satirists in literature. His experience in religion, politics and science allow his works to .
Jonathan Swift - Essays! Click Here To Search For Essays On Jonathan Swift Born in Ireland, author Jonathan Swift wrote a number of stories and treatises with .
A Modest Proposal For preventing the Children of Poor People From being a Burthen to Their Parents or Country, and For making them Beneficial to the Publick, commonly referred to as A Modest Proposal, is a Juvenalian satirical essay written and published anonymously by Jonathan Swift in The essay suggests that the impoverished Irish might. Note: Jonathan Swift (), author and satirist, famous for Gulliver's Travels () and A Modest Proposal (). This proposal, where he suggests that the Irish eat their own children, is one of his most drastic pieces. He devoted much of his writing .
Jonathan Swift. burlesque. a mockery by exaggerated literary imitation. We Will Write A Custom Essay Sample On Jonathan Swift FOR YOU For Only $/page. order now. digression. a turning aside from the main point. exclusive. limiting use to a single group or individual; single, whole. misanthrope. In A Modest Proposal the author, Jonathan Swift, uses techniques such as irony, satire, and sarcasm by teasing the Irish government. A Modest Proposal was a tough social explanation.