Questions and Answers for A Modest Proposal

A Modest Proposal

What is the purpose of "A Modest Proposal?"  What is Swift trying to reform?  Does he go too far in this essay?

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...

Latest answer posted May 7, 2018 4:05 pm UTC

4 educator answers

A Modest Proposal

What are three examples of irony in A Modest Proposal?

Irony is continually present in A Modest Proposal, not least in the title since, if intended seriously, Swift’s proposal would be far from modest but very radical indeed. He writes that his idea...

Latest answer posted November 22, 2019 2:47 am UTC

3 educator answers

A Modest Proposal

What are the six principal advantages of Jonathan Swift's plan in A Modest Proposal?

In Jonathan Swift's famous work of satire "A Modest Proposal," he suggests that the conditions of poverty in Ireland might be solved by the cannibalization of its infants. Be aware, Smith's purpose...

Latest answer posted May 6, 2020 4:17 am UTC

4 educator answers

A Modest Proposal

What is the main idea of "A Modest Proposal"?

In a “Modest Proposal,” Jonathan Swift recommends a remedy for the great number of paupers’ children in the streets. He thinks that these children can serve a useful purpose and become less...

Latest answer posted March 19, 2015 10:45 am UTC

2 educator answers

A Modest Proposal

Hyperbole In A Modest Proposal

Hyperbole is exaggeration. Swift, fed up with the rejection of his commonsense solutions to problems of poverty, creates a narrator who, in an exaggerated way, is only capable of seeing people in...

Latest answer posted January 21, 2016 8:21 pm UTC

3 educator answers

A Modest Proposal

What are 3 examples of either sarcasm, hyperbole, or understatement in "A Modest Proposal" by Jonathon Swift?

The question asks for three examples of either sarcasm, hyperbole or understatement in "A Modest Proposal." I have chosen three examples of sarcasm. Sarcasm means saying the opposite of what you...

Latest answer posted July 29, 2017 2:37 am UTC

2 educator answers

A Modest Proposal

I need to find 2 metaphors in Jonathan Swift’s “A Modest Proposal”...help!!

There are numerous metaphors in Swift's "A Modest Proposal." In addition to the two mentioned above, Swift uses mataphor when he writes: I grant this food will be somewhat dear [costly], and...

Latest answer posted February 28, 2010 1:47 am UTC

2 educator answers

A Modest Proposal

What problem does Swift identify in "A Modest Proposal"? What general solution does he recommend?

Swift, in the persona of a learned scientist, attempts to tackle the chronic problem of over-population in Ireland. In turn, this problem leads to lots of other problems, such as poverty,...

Latest answer posted April 7, 2020 9:34 am UTC

5 educator answers

A Modest Proposal

List four benefits offered from "A Modest Proposal."

"A Modest Proposal" by Jonathan Swift is a satire. This means that when the narrator suggests ways in which the Irish will benefit by selling babies for food or eating them, Swift does not actually...

Latest answer posted August 5, 2018 12:28 am UTC

2 educator answers

A Modest Proposal

In "A Modest Proposal," how does Swift use pathos to enhance his argument? 

Swift’s central argument in A Modest Proposal is that children should not eternally remain the financial burden of their parents, and that the people and government of Ireland should take steps to...

Latest answer posted March 29, 2020 3:16 am UTC

3 educator answers

A Modest Proposal

What is the purpose of the last paragraph of A Modest Proposal? a modest proposal

The last paragraph is designed to convince the reader of the author's absolute sincerity in advancing his "modest proposal." To the untrained eye it may seem that what he's proposing is pretty...

Latest answer posted May 14, 2018 7:03 am UTC

2 educator answers

A Modest Proposal

Who was Jonathan Swift's audience in A Modest Proposal?  

The elevated style of A Modest Proposal—a parody of scientific papers presented to the Royal Society—indicates that Swift's audience consists of men much like himself: learned, intelligent,...

Latest answer posted January 27, 2020 8:45 am UTC

4 educator answers

A Modest Proposal

What does Swift mean when he refers to women as breeders in "A Modest Proposal"?

The first thing to remember about Swift's "A Modest Proposal" is that it is a satire. He doesn't actually mean what he writes. Or least that's what all of my teachers told me. I suppose he could...

Latest answer posted January 19, 2016 2:25 pm UTC

2 educator answers

A Modest Proposal

How does the final paragraph of the essay "A Modest Proposal" contribute to Swift's rhetorical purpose?

In "A Modest Proposal," Swift develops his argument through satire. Swift's purpose is to criticize the English response to the severe poverty in Ireland that occurred as a result of the draught...

Latest answer posted April 23, 2010 7:03 am UTC

3 educator answers

A Modest Proposal

What are three examples of irony in "A Modest Proposal"?

There are several forms of irony, but the kind most frequently employed by Jonathan Swift in this work is verbal irony. Verbal irony is when someone says something which is the opposite of what...

Latest answer posted January 10, 2020 10:20 am UTC

3 educator answers

A Modest Proposal

What are some of the other "expedients" that the author suggests in "A Modest Proposal"?

The clueless narrator of "A Modest Proposal" lists some other "expedients" (solutions) to the problem of poverty after he has outlined his own proposal in great detail. His proposal is to fatten,...

Latest answer posted March 4, 2020 5:47 pm UTC

3 educator answers

A Modest Proposal

What are the possible objections to the proposal in "A Modest Proposal"?

This depends on whether you are taking it literally (which is a fairly obvious genre mistake) or not. On a literal level, one could start by suggesting that eating babies is morally wrong. Next,...

Latest answer posted January 18, 2017 6:29 am UTC

2 educator answers

A Modest Proposal

What are two examples each of ethos, pathos, and logos in the first 8 paragraphs of "A Modest Proposal"?

Although it's important to understand that these three strategies often overlap--that is, any one sentence or idea within a piece of text could simultaneously demonstrate two or even all three of...

Latest answer posted April 2, 2016 12:01 am UTC

1 educator answer

A Modest Proposal

What is the sarcasm in A Modest Proposal?

Readers who don't catch the sarcasm in Swift's A Modest Proposal would think him a cruel and barbaric man, indeed. This type of sarcasm which is used to criticize others' ideas is actually called...

Latest answer posted June 1, 2019 1:19 am UTC

3 educator answers

A Modest Proposal

When does the reader begin to realize that "A Modest Proposal" is ironic/satirical?

When Jonathan Swift makes the nature of his proposal clear, a reader would immediately understand that the essay was meant to be satire. At first, it seems like Swift is really intending to make a...

Latest answer posted January 29, 2020 6:13 pm UTC

3 educator answers

A Modest Proposal

What is the target of Swift's satire "A Modest Proposal"? How successful is his attack?  

Taken as a whole, I would suggest that in "A Modest Proposal," Jonathan Swift's satire works on two distinct levels. First, Swift is addressing the problem of poverty within Ireland (a problem that...

Latest answer posted February 3, 2020 7:48 am UTC

3 educator answers

A Modest Proposal

In Swift's "A Modest Proposal," what problem does the speaker describe in the first two paragraphs?

The speaker describes the problem of poverty in Ireland, which he attributes to the lack of opportunities to earn money. He writes of mothers, trailed by hungry children, forced to beg for food,...

Latest answer posted July 17, 2016 5:52 pm UTC

2 educator answers

A Modest Proposal

How does Jonathan Swift make his argument effective in "A Modest Proposal"?

Swift makes his argument so effective, in part, by making his narrator completely ridiculous. First, it is the narrator who ostensibly titles this piece "A Modest Proposal," and the idea that this...

Latest answer posted January 28, 2018 1:34 pm UTC

2 educator answers

A Modest Proposal

What is Swift's proposal?

The proposal being made by the narrator is that the poor Irish sell their babies to the wealthy English as a food source. The narrator suggests that this would rid Ireland of many ills as well as...

Latest answer posted April 7, 2016 3:17 pm UTC

1 educator answer

A Modest Proposal

How does "A Modest Proposal" by Jonathan Swift use satire?

In "A Modest Proposal," Swift uses satire to savage the English establishment for its treatment of Ireland as well as mock what he sees as the pretensions of the gentleman scientists of the Royal...

Latest answer posted November 12, 2019 5:43 am UTC

4 educator answers

A Modest Proposal

What literary devices does Jonathan Swift use in "A Modest Proposal"?

While Swift's 1729 piece is a social satire, it also employs dark humor to help him get his point across: A child will make two dishes at an entertainment for friends, and when the family dines...

Latest answer posted March 31, 2020 2:19 pm UTC

3 educator answers

A Modest Proposal

In "A Modest Proposal," a clear difference exists between Swift and the persona who makes this proposal. How can the...

The speaker that Jonathan Swift creates for “A Modest Proposal” is an intellectual, a philosopher, and probably a man of science. Although in Swift’s day the social sciences had not yet been...

Latest answer posted February 16, 2020 4:06 am UTC

3 educator answers

A Modest Proposal

How does "A Modest Proposal" by Jonathan Swift show quantification and dehumanization?  

Swift quantifies the number of children it would it take to feed the thousands and calculates the saved expenses by enacting his proposal. He begins by counting the population and the number of...

Latest answer posted December 20, 2016 1:22 pm UTC

2 educator answers

A Modest Proposal

What are the six advantages made by the proposal in A Modest Proposal?

After stunning the reader with his tongue-in-cheek "proposal" that Irish children be raised and sold for food, Jonathan Swift offers six advantages to this plan. The first, he assures the reader,...

Latest answer posted January 3, 2020 2:41 pm UTC

4 educator answers

A Modest Proposal

In "A Modest Proposal," why would Swift choose to have it be an American who first introduced the speaker to...

In "A Modest Proposal," Swift writes that he (or, more accurately, the persona he has assumed for the satire) has "been assured by a very knowing American of my acquaintance in London" that a...

Latest answer posted March 2, 2020 3:50 pm UTC

4 educator answers

A Modest Proposal

What are some examples of hyperbole in "A Modest Proposal" by Jonathan Swift?

Most readers would agree that Swift's satirical piece is hyperbolic in the sense that it is premised on showing a persona that is an exaggerated example of cruelty and hypocrisy. The speaker, under...

Latest answer posted January 15, 2020 11:59 pm UTC

2 educator answers

A Modest Proposal

Discuss the relevance of "A Modest Proposal" in today's social and political reality, and possible future. Discuss...

After using a more serious voice to attempt to bring change to impoverished Ireland, Swift felt that his ideas were not being heard and turned to satire in order to shed light on the problems...

Latest answer posted February 5, 2020 2:17 pm UTC

3 educator answers

A Modest Proposal

What evidence does the Swift give to prove that he will not benefit from "A Modest Proposal"?

Swift's narrator begins the essay by professing all of the myriad reasons that he believes his proposal to be a sound one: a plan that will benefit the country of Ireland and its people (with no...

Latest answer posted May 15, 2019 11:47 pm UTC

2 educator answers

A Modest Proposal

What are the six advantages Swift believes about his proposal in A Modest Proposal?

First, it is most important to realize that Swift most emphatically does not believe in the "modest" proposal his clueless narrator makes about eating the children of the poor. He creates a...

Latest answer posted August 11, 2019 3:33 am UTC

3 educator answers

A Modest Proposal

If Swift does not actually think the Irish people should eat their children, what does he think they should do?

The narrator of this piece actually doesn't suggest that the Irish eat their own children; he suggests that the Irish sell their children to the English as a source of income. Not only would it...

Latest answer posted July 24, 2016 6:12 pm UTC

2 educator answers

A Modest Proposal

In what ways does Jonathan Swift support his argument in "A Modest Proposal"?

The full title of the satirical essay "A Modest Proposal" by Jonathan Swift is "A Modest Proposal for Preventing the Children of Poor People in Ireland from Being a Burden to Their Parents or...

Latest answer posted January 28, 2020 3:58 pm UTC

3 educator answers

A Modest Proposal

In "A Modest Proposal," does Jonathan Swift expect readers to take the speaker’s solution seriously?  

Of course Jonathan Swift's "A Modest Proposal" is not intended to be taken seriously, not by those who originally read it and not by modern readers. Swift's use of irony serves to shock his readers...

Latest answer posted August 11, 2013 9:00 pm UTC

1 educator answer

A Modest Proposal

Consider the additional proposal Swift mentions in paragraph 17 of "A Modest Proposal." Explain the rhetorical...

In this paragraph, the speaker mentions another proposal that he heard from a person he holds in high esteem as both a patriotic and virtuous individual. This man suggests that the shortage of...

Latest answer posted May 17, 2020 3:59 am UTC

4 educator answers

A Modest Proposal

What is the rebuttal in "A Modest Proposal"?

Swift's narrator seems to anticipate possible rebuttals to his proposal toward the end of the essay. He outlines a number of other suggestions that people might make rather than submit to the...

Latest answer posted March 28, 2018 2:56 pm UTC

3 educator answers

A Modest Proposal

What are the social problems addressed in the narrator's proposal? 

The overarching social problem the clueless narrator addresses in "A Modest Proposal" is the problem of poverty in Ireland. Being of a very analytical frame of mind, the narrator breaks poverty...

Latest answer posted January 8, 2019 2:13 pm UTC

2 educator answers

A Modest Proposal

Indicate Swift's motivational appeals, specifically those to thrift, economy, and patriotism in "A Modest Proposal."...

Swift's callous and clueless speaker emphasizes both "ease" and "thrift" as positive attributes of his proposal that poor mothers sell their children when they are one year old to be killed and...

Latest answer posted August 28, 2019 6:54 pm UTC

3 educator answers

A Modest Proposal

In Jonathan Swift's essay "A Modest Proposal" could you expand on how Swift uses the word dressing in three different...

I found three references to the word dressing in the essay. The first reference, below has to do with the serving of roasted children, much in the same way that roasted pig is served, and carving...

Latest answer posted April 17, 2009 6:42 am UTC

1 educator answer

A Modest Proposal

How does Swift use satire and irony to make his points in "A Modest Proposal?"

Swift employs dramatic irony——irony created when the reader knows more or understands something that the character does not ——to masterful effect when he creates his narrator. Think of the narrator...

Latest answer posted February 13, 2018 1:24 pm UTC

2 educator answers

A Modest Proposal

Explain how these 5 alternate solutions can solve the problem. 1. taxing absentee residents 2. stopping imports 3....

These of course are suggested ironically by Swift as ideas that would not work. He is trying to draw attention to the good ideas that he had previously proposed that were ignored. Each of these...

Latest answer posted February 28, 2011 1:41 pm UTC

2 educator answers

A Modest Proposal

Which targets does Swift ironically identify in paragraphs 21 and 22 of "A Modest Proposal"? By using such a method,...

In paragraph 21, the author of the Proposal tries to sell his big idea by suggesting that it would be a useful way of reducing the number of Roman Catholics in Ireland. If poor Catholics can breed...

Latest answer posted April 18, 2018 7:08 am UTC

2 educator answers

A Modest Proposal

How does Jonathan Swift use ethos, logos, and pathos in "A Modest Proposal"?

Because “A Modest Proposal” is such a deeply ironic work, the use of ethos, pathos and logos differs markedly from their normal usage in, for instance, a political speech. All these rhetorical...

Latest answer posted November 26, 2019 7:49 am UTC

3 educator answers

A Modest Proposal

In a "Modest Proposal," what does Swift suggest in his proposal (on the surface)?

Jonathan Swift, at that time Dean of the Anglican Christ Church Cathedral in Dublin, wrote "A Modest Proposal" as a satirical response to the inefficacy of other schemes to ameliorate poverty and...

Latest answer posted September 20, 2011 6:23 am UTC

2 educator answers

A Modest Proposal

Write a modest proposal of your own in the manner of Swift to remedy a real problem; that is, propose an outrageous...

Excellent answer above concerning your writing an essay in the manner of Swift's "A Modest Proposal." One thought comes to mind. Your satire should have targets, as Swift's does: English...

Latest answer posted February 22, 2010 11:58 pm UTC

2 educator answers

A Modest Proposal

What is the major logical fallacy in "A Modest Proposal"?

Jonathan Swift's "A Modest Proposal" is a brilliant example of satire from one of the undisputed masters of the craft, and it's primary logical fallacy is an Appeal to Authority. Essentially,...

Latest answer posted February 3, 2016 6:07 am UTC

2 educator answers

A Modest Proposal

In "A Modest Proposal," what contrasts and discrepancies are at the heart of Swift's ironic statement in paragraphs 9...

The contrasts and discrepancies that are at the heart of these two paragraphs are the actual thoughts and feelings of Swift, who was clearly opposed to the attitude of the British towards the Irish...

Latest answer posted November 6, 2013 6:58 am UTC

1 educator answer

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