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What is an analysis of Jonathan Swift's "A Modest Proposal" ?

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sts28 | eNotes Newbie

Posted December 5, 2012 at 3:41 AM via iOS

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What is an analysis of Jonathan Swift's "A Modest Proposal" ?

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thanatassa | College Teacher | (Level 2) Educator Emeritus

Posted December 5, 2012 at 4:59 AM (Answer #1)

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"A Modest Proposal" is among the best known satirical prose works of the English language, a work widely taught and studied across the Anglosphere. The work itself, as many satires, was born from an impulse of righteous indignation and pity at the sufferings of the Irish poor. It argues for the need to remedy their sufferings through what is known as a reductio ad absurdum. That is, is shows that the failure to apply workable remedies and to suggest that the Irish themselves find a way out of poverty rather than receiving charity from the English, leads to an absurd consequence; since they have no ability to feed themselves the only solution would be one so abhorrent that the reader is compelled to revisit the charitable options the narrator pretends to dismiss in the opening.

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