“A Modest Proposal” is a satirical essay by Anglo-Irish writer, poet, and satirist Jonathan Swift that was published in 1729. It was intended by Swift to ridicule the largely uncaring attitude of the English aristocracy regarding the increasingly precarious conditions in impoverished Ireland, which was then controlled by the English. Swift makes his point negatively, stringing together an appalling set of morally untenable positions in order to cast blame and aspersions far and wide. The essay progresses through a series of surprises that first shocks the readers and then causes them to think critically not only about policies, but also about motivations and values.


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