Probably, as far as many of his contemporaries were concerned, this proposal did go too far, especially if they did not understand the text's ironic and embittered tone. Swift's point is that the situation between the wealthy English and impoverished Irish has already gone too far. He suggests that, if the English are content to treat their Irish brothers and sisters with such a lack of humanity, if they are willing to figuratively "devour" Ireland's land, resources, and government—which has resulted in terrible poverty among the Irish—then it does not require much of a leap to suggest that the English literally devour the Irish too.
In the end, the narrator even references other possibilities that could be used to alleviate the suffering of the Irish, saying,
. . . let no man talk to me of other expedients: Of taxing our absentees at five shillings a pound: Of using [no products] except what is of our own growth and manufacture: Of utterly rejecting the materials and instruments that...
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