A Modest Proposal by Swift

In his article, Swift describes the best solutions to the burden of children born in poor families as a way of benefiting the society as a whole. According to Swift (1729), mothers with multiple children are always seen on the streets and roads begging for food for their young one instead of working hard to earn a living. Unfortunately, as these children grow up, they either flee their country or become thieves who do not benefit the society in any way. Although Swift feels that multiple children is the mains source of the problem, he completely disagrees with abortion as a way of reducing the number of children being taken care of by mothers (Swift, 1729). However, Swift later offers a completely hypocritical solution to the problem.

The surprise ending in the text is evident in paragraph nine where Swift introduces the concept of cannibalism. Swift’s proposal aims at assisting children born in poor families, helping the society to take care of them, and offering help for mothers with multiple children. According to Swift (1729), healthy children can be used as food to feed the whole society, whether stewed, roasted, baked, or boiled. In this manner, the society will be able to take care of the few children who will remain alive.

Swift has successfully convinced the reader to accept the validity of the surprise ending by explaining the major benefits associated with killing young children and using their flesh to feed the society. For instance, Swift states that, suppose thousands of families in the city would be constant customers for children’s flesh, the society will be able to get rid of excess children. This is different from my expectation that Swift would obey the rights of infants (Swift, 1729).

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