Jonathan Swift’s “A Modest Proposal” is a satirical essay that critiques the societal issues in Ireland during the 18th century. The essay presents a mock proposal to solve the problems of overpopulation and poverty in Ireland, which Swift attributes to the lack of morality and greed of the wealthy class. He uses irony and sarcasm to ridicule the government and the wealthy class, exposing their indifference to the suffering of the poor. Swift’s portrayal of the government and the wealthy class as callous and indifferent to the plight of the poor is a way of criticizing society. He mocks their solution of shipping off the poor to foreign lands and highlights the absurdity of their lack of concern for their own people. Swift also criticizes the lack of morality and compassion in Irish society, exposing the moral decay and the way people have become desensitized to the suffering of others. He highlights the hypocrisy of the wealthy class who exploit and oppress the poor despite their wealth and power. In conclusion, Swift’s “A Modest Proposal” is a powerful critique of 18th century Irish society that continues to be relevant today as a warning against the dangers of apathy and greed.
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