In "A Modest Proposal," what are the disadvantages?

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mperez-mugg21 eNotes educator| Certified Educator

In "A Modest Proposal", the author of the proposal can only think of one serious objection or disadvantage to his proposal, which is that it will significantly decrease the population of the country. He notes that this would probably be a significant problem in most countries and no doubt limits the usefulness of his proposal in places other than Ireland. However, he feels that reducing the population is no disadvantage when it comes to Ireland and argues that it is actually a virtue of his plan. He does, however, note some other minor disadvantages of his plan to sell one year old infants for food. Perhaps most importantly, the author notes that his proposal cannot reasonably be applied to the current population over one as their meat would undoubtedly be too tough. He also notes that the flesh of infants will not be an exportable commodity (although he seems to see this as an advantage) as it wouldn't survive the trip to England by boat. Ultimately, the author thinks that there are no significant disadvantages that should stand in the way of his proposal which he thinks will be a great benefit to the country.

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