In "A Modest Proposal," what social advantages will Squires (i.e., landlords) have from this new policy?  

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lusie0520 eNotes educator| Certified Educator

In “A Modest Proposal,” Jonathan Swift proposes, in a satirical way, a solution for the starvation of the poor in his native country, Ireland.  Swift says that a perfect solution to this problem would be to use children of about one year old to contribute as a food source.  In other words, the population should begin “eating babies.”  This shocking suggestion is, of course, his way of making the people in both his country and in England see that starvation is rampant and something should be done about it.  He proposes many advantages to his idea, such as “lessening the number of papists among us” (para. 10), and the fact that so many new and tasty dishes will be invented.  The landlords, or Squires, would also gain a few advantages.  First, landlords would be willing to pay good money for a fat infant carcass from their tenants, making them good landlords and therefore popular with the people.  Also, the tenants will now have something valuable for their landlord to seize from them; therefore making sure the rent to the landlord is paid.  In Swift’s proposal,  everyone gains.  It is his satirical way of saying that the country is in such desperate circumstances that someone must take notice.

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A Modest Proposal

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