BU Film School

Wednesday, June 28, 2006

FT 553 Reading: A Modest Proposal

Essay info
Written by: Jonathan Swift
Essay text

Synopsis/my notes
Satire of proposals to alleviate "Irish problem." Parodies tracts - provides numbers and expert opinions. Uses irony and sarcasm, reductio ab absurdum. Carries "logic" to conclusion.

Problem: Irish poor. Too many mouths to feed, don't earn own keep. Swift assured by American that a year-old baby is delicious when cooked, proposes selling children for food. Backs up proposals with numbers. Can also skin for gloves and boots. Another friend proposes refinement -- teens sold for venison. American says taste disagreeable. Swift lists advantages. Lots of sarcasm. "Whereby we can incur no danger in disobliging ENGLAND." Landlords take everything else, why not this too?

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