"A Modest Proposal" Book Review by write123

"A Modest Proposal"
An analysis of the purpose of Jonathan Swift's book, "A Modest Proposal."
# 106405 | 1,716 words | 4 sources | MLA | 2008 | US
Published on Jul 31, 2008 in Literature (English) , English (Analysis)

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This paper analyzes the conditions in Ireland during the times of Jonathan Swift. It specifically discusses Jonathan Swift's book, "A Modest Proposal" and discusses how it reflects the environment in Ireland at the time that it was written. The paper describes Swift's personal background and the purpose that he had in writing his book.

From the Paper:

"Those who do not understand the work as a satirical look at the plight of Irish children often misunderstand Swift's intentions in writing the piece. Taken literally, Swift could be viewed as an unthinkable English imperialist. However, this is simply the perspective chosen by Swift. His experience as a household servant to the English undoubtedly gave him a chance to experience the English attitudes towards the Irish first hand. A Modest Proposal has an air of truth in the manner in which the English viewed the Irish at the time. It is simply an exaggeration of what Swift saw in everyday life. This exaggeration was meant to make the English step back and look at their own behavior and attitudes."
"If one understands the horrors that Swift saw in his travels to Ireland and understands A Modest Proposal as the piece of satire that it is, a sense of compassion can be seen in the work. Swift understood the hopelessness of Irish children born into poverty. A Modest Proposal is an analogy. The key point that he was trying to make was that if the children were to be treated as animals, perhaps an early death would be better than a long life of suffering. This was the main idea of the proposal and summarized Swift's observations and feelings about the treatment of the Irish poor."

Sample of Sources Used:

  • Phiddian, Robert. Have You Eaten Yet? The Reader in A Modest Proposal. Studies in English Literature, 1500-1900 36.3 (1996): 603-621. Questia. Retrieved January 9, 2008.
  • Swift, J. A Modest Proposal. Project Gutenberg. < <http://www.gutenberg.org/catalog/world/readfile?fk_files=37421&pageno=6> Accessed January 8, 2008.
  • The Literature Network. Jonathon Swift. <http://www.online-literature.com/swift/ > Accessed January 8, 2008.
  • Wittkowsky, George. "Swift's Modest Proposal: The Biography of an Early Georgian Pamphlet." Journal of the History of Ideas 4 (January-October 1943): 75-104. In Phiddian, Robert. "Have You Eaten Yet? The Reader in A Modest Proposal." Studies in English Literature, 1500-1900 36.3 (1996): 603-621. Questia. Retrieved January 9, 2008.

Cite this Book Review:

APA Format

"A Modest Proposal" (2008, July 31) Retrieved December 02, 2020, from https://www.academon.com/book-review/a-modest-proposal-106405/

MLA Format

""A Modest Proposal"" 31 July 2008. Web. 02 December. 2020. <https://www.academon.com/book-review/a-modest-proposal-106405/>