One Blond Baby with a Side Salad, please.

     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. 


3 thoughts on “One Blond Baby with a Side Salad, please.

  1. Yea, I found it strange that he detested abortion so much. It seemed like the whole point of this essay was to suggest ways to rid the population of poor Irish children, and abortion would have the same effects as eating them. The key word that I took from the title was “Bentfitial”. Other than their termination, abortion would not provide many benefits to the general population. But if they are instead turned into a food source then everyone wins.

  2. You said that the argument in “A Modest Proposal” was logical and inarguable. Do you think that logic adds anything to this piece as a satire? I mean he uses logic to support the combination of the two most barbaric acts humans could undertake. What does that say about logic?

  3. While I wouldn’t agree that the arguent is logical, I would say its valid. He states his claim with perfectly sound evidence as to why its a feasible proposal. I think the validity of the argument has a huge impact on its effectiveness

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