In what sense is the proposal "modest" in Jonathan Swift's "Modest Proposal"?

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There is little to add the excellent response above.  Indeed, how can the "modest proposal" that the British eat Irish babies since they are killing them in other ways show regard for the decencies of behavior, which is the real meaning of modest in this context?

Keep in mind that satire is...

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There is little to add the excellent response above.  Indeed, how can the "modest proposal" that the British eat Irish babies since they are killing them in other ways show regard for the decencies of behavior, which is the real meaning of modest in this context?

Keep in mind that satire is writing that ridicules or holds up to contempt the faults of individuals or of group with the hope that this ridicule will induce change and improvement. A champion of the Irish cause, Swift has as his aim to shock the British into realizing that their scandulous economic and social policies have wrought the starvation and death of many Irish:  Since the British are eating up the Irish indirectly, why not directly?

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