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

Expert Answers

An illustration of the letter 'A' in a speech bubbles

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, kill, and sell for food the infants of the poor when they are a year old.

The narrator does admit that there are other solutions than his own, but he goes on to dismiss these solutions as impractical and unworkable. He means, as a result, to increase the value of his own proposal as something that the rich might actually embrace as a good method of alleviating poverty.

These reasonable solutions to poverty are all proposals Swift, a clergyman, had suggested in the past, only to find them ignored. He wrote "A Modest Proposal" out of frustration with the way the suffering of the Irish poor was ignored. He wanted to shock his readers into taking action. Therefore, it makes sense to focus on the solutions Swift wished people would adopt rather than barbaric ideas of the narrator.

Swift, for example,...

(The entire section contains 3 answers and 877 words.)

Unlock This Answer Now

Start your 48-hour free trial to unlock this answer and thousands more. Enjoy eNotes ad-free and cancel anytime.

Start your 48-Hour Free Trial
Last Updated by eNotes Editorial on March 18, 2020