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Please summarize the 3rd and 4th selections in the satire "A Modest Proposal" by...

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aboud93 | Student, Undergraduate | (Level 3) eNoter

Posted November 6, 2010 at 5:48 AM via web

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Please summarize the 3rd and 4th selections in the satire "A Modest Proposal" by Jonathan Swift.

I mean from the paragraph which starts with "I shall now therefore humbly ....... " till the paragraph which ends with  " ......... are happily delivered from the evils to come."

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accessteacher | High School Teacher | (Level 3) Distinguished Educator

Posted November 6, 2010 at 7:55 AM (Answer #1)

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The selection you have indicated begins with Swift's "humble proposal" of his thoughts on how to solve the famine in Ireland and the subsequent social problems that this has led to. He starts off by saying that an American has assured him that a healthy child at one year old can be transformed into a "nourishing and wholesome" dish for consumption. Swift therefore comes up with a system of using most of the Irish children as an alternative food source, leaving an appropriate number for breeding.  He details the way that a child can be used in different ways to feed a number of people over a period of time. He talks about the cost of "infant flesh" and also who will be eating them. He talks about the various costs and how money will be saved by using children in this way, and the way that you can cook a child in many versatile manners.

He goes on to tell of how another "worthy person" refined this scheme by suggesting that the lack of venison for hunting might be made up for by the hunting of young Irish teenagers. Swift begs to differ because their flesh would be too "tough and lean" and they could be breeders.

It is important to remember that this is a "satire" - not for one minute is Swift being serious! Look at how his language and reasonable tone is trying to shock his readers into action.

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