A Modest Proposal
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In his 1729 essay A Modest Proposal, Jonathan Swift offers a scintillating parody of eternally popular cut-and-dry economic theory. To start, he describes, in heart-rending detail, the painful struggles of the poor in Ireland. The unsuspecting reader may be moved to great sympathy for these unfortunate souls and prepare him or herself for the solution to follow in Swift's "proposal." Much is promised, indeed. And yet, what follows is perhaps one of the greatest tricks ever played in literature. What does Swift propose? To reveal his "modest" notion would be unfair. Prepare yourself for intense feeling and shock. Swift's work is in the greatest tradition of satire, yet in the end so unexpectedly stunning that you must simply find out for yourself.
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Opening Lines (Experimental)
A Modest Proposal for preventing the children of poor people in Ireland, from being a burden on their parents or country, and for making them beneficial to the publick.
It is a melancholy object to those, who walk through this great town, or travel in the country, when they see the streets, the ...
Reviewed by dreamdust on Jan 9, 2012
Advancing our trade and giving some pleasure to the rich-oh yes-some things don't change, as much as we think. Although this is tongue-in-cheek there is a lot of truth to it. Good writing is timeless!
Reviewed by earhornjones on Jan 5, 2012
This short book is filled with biting wit and sarcasm that still strikes home these many years after it was written. I loved it!
Reviewed by Ciss on Dec 29, 2010
A great classic
This is a very convincing rhetorically masterful text. Who wouldn't agree with Mr. Swift after having read this Modest Proposal?
Reviewed by cybedu on Jun 28, 2010
Sickening satire. May help you end many futile arguments when 'the poverty issue' arises.
Reviewed by Christiana on Apr 23, 2009
I had read this many years ago, so it did not shock me. However, it surely must have gotten through to readers when it was first published. Very clever and appropritate to critique with blatant satire. This must have rubbed some consciences raw, as it was designed to do.
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Ratings for 'A Modest Proposal' by Swift, Jonathan