Swift’s “A Modest Proposal” is an entertaining, wildly horrific, inhumane, and perfectly argued essay. With well over six supporting reasons why consuming children can benefit the masses, Swift has successfully constructed a satirical essay that jabs at Irish policies. The casual simplicity in his explanation and the only-helpful tone throughout this argument not only lays out a convincing case but also addresses the reader in a way that makes Swift seem part of the suffering parent population, or at the very least, fully sympathetic to it. Swift’s colorful and carefully selected word choices also aid his argument. For example, in one supporting clause of his essay, Swift smoothly switches from the word “mother” to “breeders.” This quick and subtle change takes away the connotations that come with the word “mother,” mainly those of a caring, protecting parent, making his argument one of logic instead of emotion. Swift uses his language to his advantage again in the fifth clause when he addresses “that horrid practice” of abortion where “poor innocent Babes” are sacrificed. This clause is important in the essay because here, he is expressing emotions that are typical when thinking of a baby. These added sentiments on “Women murdering their Bastard Children” give him a relatable trait, being one of compassion for innocent babies, which gains the reader’s trust before he launches into more supporting facts for his argument.
While Swift’s essay is obviously poking fun at a larger problem, the structure and precise word choice makes “A Modest Proposal” inarguable and, though not humane, very logical.