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"A Modest Proposal" is an ironic Essay: the author deliberately writes what he does not...

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rtruex | Student, Undergraduate | eNotes Newbie

Posted September 29, 2011 at 2:55 AM via web

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"A Modest Proposal" is an ironic Essay: the author deliberately writes what he does not mean. What is the real thesis? Is there more then one?

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tenfold | Middle School Teacher | eNotes Newbie

Posted September 29, 2011 at 3:25 AM (Answer #1)

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On the surface, Swift mocks the English political/cultural invasion of Ireland.  On another level, his "modest" proposal is also a stab at the soulless, utilitarian aspects of enlightenment thinking.  If there is a "thesis" for Swift, it likely lies in the idea that human problems cannot be solved by rational thought alone.

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