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What would you say is Jonathan Swift's true purpose in writting "A Modest Proposal?" 

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Kaylamiles96 | eNotes Newbie

Posted October 2, 2013 at 7:12 PM via web

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What would you say is Jonathan Swift's true purpose in writting "A Modest Proposal?" 

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literaturenerd | High School Teacher | (Level 2) Educator Emeritus

Posted October 3, 2013 at 2:02 AM (Answer #1)

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Jonathan Swift is renowned for his satirical texts. Satires use humor, irony, exaggeration, and ridicule to illuminate and criticize a person's or group's ignorance or vices. In regards to Swift's "A Modest Proposal," Swift had no intent to really offer up the children of Ireland for dinner. In fact, Swift is only wishing to draw attention to the deplorable state of this beloved country. 

Given the state of the country and its youth, Swift proposes that the youth of the country be offered up as sustenance for Irish adults. Swift, by no means, wishes to be taken seriously. Instead, he only wishes to shock the Irish into action. In essence, Swift's true purpose is to provide a call to action, nothing more. 

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