"A Modest Proposal" Considering the fact that about 99.9 percent of the population today would not ever contemplate eating a child, Jonathon Swift's A Modest Proposal is quite inventive and ironic in his own wit and humor. Swift invents an approach on how to take a relatively harsh standpoint on an already harsh system. The English society created a type of economical and political plague in treating the Irish. The relationship of the English and Irish metaphorically represents back to that of the Egyptians and Israelites. Moreover, the relationship relates well to how the African minority of America is treated by the majority of the population. Swift satirically proposes that since the English government is already treating the Irish so badly, that an easy method to all the pain would be to eat the poor, Irish children. Since the Irish children at this point are ending up dying at young ages out of starvation and prostitution, the Irish might as well profit from their loss, and make the fall a fortunate fall.
Obviously enough, the Irish people's lives were not exactly optimal. ""ÃÂ¦they have since gone through by the oppression of landlords, the impossibility of paying rent without money or trade, the want of common sustenance, with neither house nor clothes to cover them"ÃÂ¦"(1053) At the time, the political plague of the Irish society consisted of the English government overtaxing, inducing poverty, and cheating the Irish people. Economically, the children were a burden on their parents, "These mothers, instead of being able to work for their honest livelihood, are forced to employ all their time in strolling to beg sustenance for their helpless infants"ÃÂ¦"(1048) Swift solves for this problem by simply killing the "burden" at the age of 1, for money. This way, the parents earn money for the child they have bared, and do not have to worry about the future of their child. The setback being that in his attempt to solve for the political and economical plagues in England, Swift merely proposes yet another plague.
England's plague can metaphorically tie into the history of the Egyptians and Israelites. Swift, representing Moses in his efforts to let the Israelites free, is a type of false messiah, and sarcastically strives to free the Irish from their political and economic decline. Moreover, Swift has undoubtedly taken a role in our society today. The African American society was stereotyped to be indolent and unintelligent. Because they lived in poverty, the majority decided to discriminate against them. While Swift argues that Irish children should be killed because of their small chance of surviving and leading a prosperous life, many people feel the same of the black children in America. The black children that live in today's poverty stricken areas are forced to deal with drugs, gangs, and violence on an everyday basis. Therefore, it is simple to see why it would be difficult for a young black child to stay focused, also giving him little to no chance of having a quality life. Swift parallels with this idea. He explains that the Irish children are being subjected to such harsh conditions for living, that living, all of a sudden, becomes more than trivial. Each case, in its own way, is an example of prejudice against the unalike, and how it seems to eat away at our equality. In England, the government and society as a whole victimized the Irish just as the Egyptians did to the Israelites, and as the American society did to the Africans.
"Having been wearied out for many years with offering vain, idle, visionary thoughts, and at length utterly despairing of success, I fortunately fell upon this proposal"ÃÂ¦"(1053) the proposal that since children are already dying of starvation, prostitution, and extreme living conditions, and since the parents are in debt of money for taxes, food, and clothing, they might as well profit out of their loss. The first advantage is that it is obviously harder to watch an eight-year-old child die than a one year old that hasn't spent enough time in the world to actually understand. The second advantage is prevalent of all others. This is that of the fortunate fall. The fall is the death of the child. The fortune is the money made by the parents out of the death of the child. If it is known that the child cannot survive, then the comprehensible alternative would be to kill the child before he gets a chance to endure the hardships of the life to come. Another advantage is the fact that the death of the child brings the lunch of another Irish. They are not only making money from the death of the child, but also avoiding starvation. Although the fall may not be a favorable one, if it is bound to happen, a fortune is the most advantageous option.
Swift succeeds in completing his objective of proving his proposal to be the optimal of all others by making bitter and hostile references towards the treatment of the Irish. Swift has established a type of plague, above all others, that solves for all the pain that has been endured by the Irish. Although Swift's idea seems compassionless at face value, he is ""ÃÂ¦having no other motive than the public good of my country, by advancing our trade, providing for infants, relieving the poor, and giving some pleasure to the rich."(1054)