Date of publication: 2017-07-09 01:58
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“A Modest Proposal” is accurately called one of the most effective satires in the English language. There are a few key moments of satirical success that should be mentioned. Swift’s decision to put off the actual suggestion of eating babies until several paragraphs into the piece makes his idea all the more arresting when it does come. Also, naming population decrease as the one potential objection to his proposal, Swift heightens the irony of an already ironic piece. The reader is expecting this objection to be that it is morally wrong to kill babies, but Swift subverts our expectations once again, suggesting that there are people so cold to reality that they could be swayed by merely practical economic arguments and cannot even see the outrage of cannibalism.
Swift’s aim, however, was not merely to expose England’s biased view of Ireland or to illuminate general English arrogance towards other peoples, although the latter aim is achieved. The narrator’s statement that an “American” told him that children are “delicious” parodies the idea that the Americans, like the Irish, were considered to be a barbaric people in need of instruction from the English. So, too, does the reference to the island of Formosa evoke a kind of English cultural arrogance. All people who could be classified as “other” are potentially dangerous to the English, needing to be tamed.
 I have been assured by a very knowing American of my acquaintance in London , that a healthy Child well Nursed is at a year Old, a most delicious, nourishing, and wholesome Food, whether Stewed , Roasted , Baked , or Boyled , and I make no doubt that it will equally serve in a Fricasie , or Ragoust. 67
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The writer treats the weight of an infant, what kind of dish it will make, and how many people it will serve. He surmises the times of year when the infants will be most plentiful, based on the purported sexual patterns of the Irish. There might also be uses for the discarded skin of the infants, such as for ladies’ gloves.
Good news in the UK is that the Guardian still accepts comments on articles and they are mostly by people who don t agree with them - should the Telegraph switch theirs back on - with volunteer moderators?
 I have already computed the Charge of nursing a Beggars Child (in which list I reckon all Cottagers , Labourers , and four fifths of the Farmers ) to be about two Shillings per Annum , Rags included and I believe no Gentleman would repine to give Ten Shillings for the Carcass of a good fat Child , which, as I have said will make four Dishes of excellent Nutritive Meat, when he hath only some particular friend, or his own Family to Dine with him. Thus the Squire will learn to be a good Landlord, and grow popular among his Tenants, the Mother will have Eight Shillings neat profit, and be fit for Work till she produceth another Child.
He returns to the chief proposal and lists six reasons why it should be adopted. First, it will decrease the number of dangerous Catholics. Second, it will give the poor some property. Third, it will increase the nation’s overall wealth, since people will not have to pay for the upkeep of the children. Fourth, the mothers will be free of the burden of bringing up children. Fifth, the new food will be welcomed in taverns and culinary circles. Sixth, it will enhance the institution of marriage as women take better care of their infants so that they may be sold, and men will take better care of their wives so that their wives can make more babies to sell.
 Many other advantages might be enumerated: For Instance, the addition of some thousand Carcases in our exportation of Barreled Beef. The Propagation of Swines Flesh , and Improvement in the Art of making good Bacon , so much wanted among us by the great destruction of Pigs , too frequent at our Tables, which are no way comparable in Taste, or Magnificence to a well grown, fat Yearling Child, which Roasted whole will make a considerable Figure at a Lord Mayor's Feast , or any other Publick Entertainment. But this, and many others I omit being studious of Brevity.
It would also be very useful if the search engine of this area allowed subject specific searches. For for example in my area of responsible innovation , things like GM, Fracking, synthetic biology, AI etc, opinions and even facts are often contradictory, so one really only has one s instinct and general beliefs to fall back on. However, policing the truth on a lot of this would be a terribly hard, if not impossible job that even £68m would struggle to support. I would love it if it could though.
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n the italicized passage toward the end of the essay, Swift lists a number of “other expedients” for dealing with Ireland’s woes. Why do you think he abruptly dismisses all these suggestions in favor of his “modest proposal”?
 It is a melancholly Object to those, who walk through this great Town, 6 or travel in the Country, when they see the Streets , the Roads , and Cabbin-Doors , crowded with Beggars of the female Sex, followed by three, four, or six Children, all in Rags , and importuning every Passenger for an Alms. These Mothers instead of being able to work for their honest livelyhood, are forced to employ all their time in Stroling, to beg Sustenance for their helpless Infants , who, as they grow up either turn Thieves for want of work, or leave their dear native Country to fight for the Pretender in Spain , 7 or sell themselves to the Barbadoes. 8