A Modest Proposal Questions and Answers

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)

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A Modest Proposal

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

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)

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A Modest Proposal

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)

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A Modest Proposal

Jonathan Swift's A Modest Proposal, first published in 1729, is a satirical essay in which the author proposes absurd solutions to the problems of overpopulation, abject poverty, and unemployment...

Latest answer posted March 14, 2021, 9:37 am (UTC)

1 educator answer

A Modest Proposal

In this essay, in which an unnamed speaker suggests that the poor Irish sell their babies to the rich English as a new food source, Swift seeks to draw attention to the plight of the impoverished...

Latest answer posted February 12, 2021, 1:24 pm (UTC)

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A Modest Proposal

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)

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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)

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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

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)

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A Modest Proposal

Jonathan Swift enlivens his essay “A Modest Proposal” with some highly creative and interesting literary devices. First and foremost, he employs satire to present his extremely exaggerated and...

Latest answer posted May 29, 2021, 3:31 pm (UTC)

1 educator answer

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)

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A Modest Proposal

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)

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A Modest Proposal

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

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

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)

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A Modest Proposal

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)

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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)

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A Modest Proposal

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)

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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)

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A Modest Proposal

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)

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A Modest Proposal

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)

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A Modest Proposal

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

In A Modest Proposal, Jonathan Swift satirically advocates a seemingly unpalatable yet fiscally advantageous solution to alleviating poverty, overpopulation, and starvation—cannibalism....

Latest answer posted July 7, 2020, 10:16 pm (UTC)

1 educator answer

A Modest Proposal

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)

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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)

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A Modest Proposal

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

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

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

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)

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A Modest Proposal

Swift's real reason for writing "A Modest Proposal" was to shame the wealthy people of Ireland and England who were responsible for the sufferings of the poor of Ireland. However, he chose to...

Latest answer posted June 11, 2013, 2:37 am (UTC)

1 educator answer

A Modest Proposal

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

Even before the narrator expresses this hope, he begins to outline the importance of his plan as well as some of its intended benefits, though not the plan itself. He describes poor Irish mothers...

Latest answer posted February 2, 2018, 12:41 pm (UTC)

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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)

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A Modest Proposal

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)

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A Modest Proposal

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

It's important to differentiate between the speaker (the narrator) of "A Modest Proposal" and Jonathan Swift, the author of the piece. The speaker, an individual focused solely on economics, spends...

Latest answer posted June 19, 2016, 5:25 pm (UTC)

2 educator answers

A Modest 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

In "A Modest Proposal," Enlightenment-era rationalism is very much the target of Swift's criticism. We see this in the tone his mouthpiece takes and in his use of argumentation. He (the speaker of...

Latest answer posted July 13, 2019, 6:58 am (UTC)

2 educator answers

A Modest Proposal

In discussing his ironic proposal--that people should solve their social and economic woes by eating the children of the poor--the speaker alludes to several countries: First, he addresses the...

Latest answer posted April 1, 2016, 11:34 pm (UTC)

1 educator answer

A Modest Proposal

One objection Swift admits is that "the number of people will be thereby much lessened in the kingdom" if his plan is put into action. This he freely accepts, adding that it is actually part of his...

Latest answer posted January 30, 2018, 12:58 pm (UTC)

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A Modest Proposal

In Swift's A Modest Proposal, there is an italicized section that is set apart from the rest of the piece; the italics ensure that Swift's words in this section are understood as serious, rather...

Latest answer posted February 21, 2018, 11:59 pm (UTC)

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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

The real thesis of Jonathan Swift's satirical masterpiece titled A Modest Proposal is manifold: through an ironic concept that seemingly supports the sale of Irish children as a source of food,...

Latest answer posted November 2, 2019, 11:11 am (UTC)

3 educator answers

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

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

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

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

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

Toward the end of the essay, the narrator suggests that there are other ways of solving the problem with the poor Irish: one idea is to raise taxes, or to purchase only products that are grown or...

Latest answer posted January 24, 2018, 12:03 am (UTC)

2 educator answers

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