📕Title: A Modest Proposal by Jonathan Swift

📌Summary info

Jonathan Swift's 'A Modest Proposal' is a satirical essay that suggests solving Ireland's poverty by selling the poor's children as food to the rich. This darkly ironic piece criticizes the inhumane treatment of the poor and the flawed economic and political policies of the 18th century.


  • Swift's essay is a classic example of satirical writing, using extreme suggestions to highlight societal issues.
  • The proposal of selling children as food is a hyperbolic critique of the dehumanization of the poor.
  • Swift uses irony to expose the indifference of the ruling classes to the plight of the poor.
  • The essay is a commentary on the economic and political policies of 18th-century Ireland.
  • Swift's work remains relevant as a critique of the way society treats its most vulnerable members.


  • It is a melancholy object to those, who walk through this great town, to see the streets, the roads, and cabin doors crowded with beggars of the female sex, followed by three, four, or six children, all in rags.
  • I have been assured by a very knowing American of my acquaintance in London, that a young healthy child well nursed is, at a year old, a most delicious, nourishing, and wholesome food.
  • I profess, in the sincerity of my heart, that I have not the least personal interest in endeavoring to promote this necessary work.
  • The number of souls in this kingdom being usually reckoned one million and a half, of these I calculate there may be about two hundred thousand couple whose wives are breeders.
  • I have already computed the charge of nursing a beggar's child (in which list I reckon all cottagers, laborers, and four-fifths of the farmers) to be about two shillings per annum.

🎁 Enlightening Parts

  • The shocking nature of Swift's proposal serves as a powerful tool to draw attention to real social issues.
  • Swift's essay illustrates the danger of devaluing human life in economic terms.
  • The essay encourages readers to consider the morality of societal and governmental policies.
  • It highlights the ineffectiveness of conventional approaches to solving poverty.
  • Swift's work challenges readers to think critically about the ethical implications of political and economic decisions.

✍️Author Information

Jonathan Swift


source book in:
A Modest Proposal's GPTs

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📚Book category

  • Classics
  • Essays
  • Satire