Swift’s A Modest Proposal
May 04, 2014
A Modest Proposal by Jonathan Swift has indeed a very surprise-shocking ending. The proposal begins with an utterly realistic, although compassionate, portrait of the underprivileged state of the people in Ireland especially the families of beggars in Ireland. The writer expresses his sympathy and the need for the solution. The writer computes the number of children born in and recommends that people of Ireland should eat those children to solve the problem. The very thought of human being eating another human being’s flesh is very sickening and absolutely disgusting. People eating each other flesh is never and never will be the solution to the problem regarding shortage of food. The most surprising thing for me was that instead of making recommendation to government to provide the food to the starved population to meet their requirements, he made a bizarre suggestion that the poor people should serve themselves as food to the rich. He wanted to convey that his proposal would solve not only the problems of poverty, hunger by shortage of food but also control the population, prevent the voluntary abortions and murder of illegitimate children. He felt that his proposal is for the public good as the poor will be relieved from their miserable life and therefore will “contribute to the feeding, and partly to the cloathing of many thousands”(Victoreanweb.org). Swift even concludes by saying first that he would welcome any other suggestions anyone may have on this question, then assuring the reader that he has no personal economic stake in this idea because he has no children and therefore could not profit by selling them to be eaten. This is the surprise ending to the much-hyped writing of Swift.
The author was very much successful in convincing me to accept the validity of the “surprise ending” that was not clearly suggested at the beginning. The first sentence gives a...