Written by Jonathan Swift (1729), “A Modest Proposal” is an essay with content based upon the lifestyle of Ireland, where the majority who were poor Roman Catholic Believers work as agricultural laborers and lessee farmers. The modes of payment were the produce, and the rates were excessively high for the laborers to afford.
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The rulers who were manly Protestants were not born in Ireland and temporarily resided there. There was an easy substitution of labor forces, and lack of a social security system meant starvation was the norman ain problem they faced. The modest proposal written by Swift was a way of laying down the contemporary issues pertaining the suffering in the society.
The main issue addressed in Swift’s proposals entails the reality of poverty. He gives the facts and details of a wide population of children who suffer from poor feeding styles. He also outlays the problem of baggers comprising of mothers and their children in the streets. He depicts that the issue does not end with those in the streets but also for the parents who barely are able to provide basics for their children.
He aims to address the issue of idleness and raising of children who are a liability to society. The writer acknowledges the need for addressing the devastating issue of beggars by making children important aspects of society. How can these children be helpful to the situations other than continuing to be beggars and a hindrance to the development of the society?
The engagement of children to be contributory aspects of the society would positively influence voluntary abortions, the miscarriages, and child deaths due to poor sanitation and nutrition. With the current situation at hand, Swift considers the issue of employment handicraft or agriculture as invalid considering the hindrances and worse still is lack of building practices in the area. The children end up learning the act of stealing at the early ages of less than twelve years.
His proposal entails the sale of children to the neighborhood England to work and butchered as food for the rich thus enhance a better life for their parents and siblings. Their poor health caused by deprived nutritional needs would mean they cost less, but considering their output after just a little investment would be incomparable.
The main aim of the author is to try to find a way of turning the hard-edged economic crisis into its solution by fattening the malnourished children to sell them to rich proprietors thus combating the unemployment and overpopulation. The families are relieved the expenses of bearing children and equally compensated with a little more income.
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Ironically, he tries to find a fair, cheap and easy method of making life better by using the starving children to improve the lives of their parents’ trough converting them to useful members of the commonwealth. The issue meant to address probably the authorities that are in a position of taking the proposal to assist them.
Swift indicates the cost incurred in nursing of beggar’s child yields more income and thus his fight for sale of some of the children as labor forces. “A Modest Proposal for Preventing the Children of Poor People from Being a Burthen to their Parents, or the Country, and for making them Beneficial to the Publick.”
In the proposal, realistically he does not expect the parent to buy the idea of selling their children for preparation of delicious food for the rich but anticipates that the proposal becomes a revelation to them. The aim is to foster a positive effect over family morality, the need for respecting women and the need to value children.
Conclusively, the proposal is primarily for fostering and probably strengthening other proposed solutions for the social, political and economical wellbeing of Ireland.
Swift, Jonathan. A Modest Proposal. Courier Dover Publications. 1729