Rhetorical Analysis of a Modest Proposal

1221 words 5 pages
All the Wrong Things

Swift’s “A Modest Proposal” written in 1729 was his proposal “for preventing the children of poor people in Ireland, from being a burden on their parents or country, and for making them beneficial to he publick” (Swift, Title). This proposal included the selling, skinning and buying of babies at the age of one. This proposal that he has come up with is a very inhuman and controversial one when it comes to being socially acceptable. Swift begins his essay by describing walking down a street in Ireland. He describes how you would see, “beggars of the female sex, followed by three, four, or six children, all in rags, and importuning every passenger for an alms” (Swift, Para. 1). This gives the reader a mental
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This would cause more jobless people and after so long the supply of the babies would surpass the demand. There then would be poor children hanging on their mothers again in the street defeating the purpose of the plan in the beginning. Fifthly Dr. Swift says, “This food would likewise bring great custom to taverns, where the vintners will certainly be so prudent as to procure the best receipts for dressing it to perfection; and consequently have their houses frequented by all the fine gentlemen, who justly value themselves upon their knowledge in good eating; and a skilful cook, who understands how to oblige his guests, will contrive to make it as expensive as they please,” (Swift, Para. 25). Again, I refer back to how people would not be able to eat the carcass of an one year old child, but also I think that if you were to find a cook to make this and a person to eat it that it would be at such an outrageous price that the people could not afford to try the meal of the baby. Finally, the last reason I do not think that this plan would work is what is in the final paragraph of the essay-“I profess, in the sincerity of my heart, that I have not the least personal interest in endeavouring to promote this necessary work, having no other motive than the publick good of my country, by advancing our trade, providing for infants, relieving the poor,