A Modest Proposal: Cannibalism

I feel that Jonathan Swift’s piece of work could be used and interpreted different with each and all audiences alike. There is a whole bunch of information to interpret. How Swift, looks at children not as individuals, but as animals used to be sold to the rich as food. Swift’s work is very dark in this piece, with regard to selling of children for food. And with regards to Ireland’s economic advancements actually depend on it. He urges all other people to think that children could be sold in different styles and makes mention of how they could be prepared as a fine food dish.
Swift’s states, “A young healthy child well nursed, is, at a year old, a most delicious nourishing and wholesome food, whether stewed, roasted, baked, or boiled; and I make no doubt that it will equally serve in a fricassee, or a ragoust. ” Now normally if I can’t pronounce it I don’t use it or order it to eat, but these last two ways of preparing the children as food sounds as if a dish the rich would order. To me it sounds like Swift has rather expensive taste for lavish habits and tendencies. I think we can almost compare life in Ireland back then to today.
All though there aren’t people selling their children to have the rich feast on their bones, or do I think it will come to that but it is close to our nation’s economic struggle. Our economy wouldn’t allow the selling of children of children to feed the rich. I do believe Ireland was in a lot worse shape than we currently are. They had no renewable resources such as fruits and vegetables to fall back on the way we do. They also didn’t have the amount of import and export trade that we have on our side.

Swift constantly throughout his story states that selling the children to the rich is the only solution to the countries hard economic times. He even talks that all the families should consider fattening up the smaller children. Also Swift also makes mention of overpopulation and well makes a suggested solution to this crisis. He proclaims that children at the age of one can be sold to meat markets, thus helping the crisis of over population and in turn saving the parents of the children the cost of raising and providing for that child. Parents, who participated in this crazy idea, would pull the nation out of its current economic struggle.
And that’s not all he then talks about how parents who helped out with his proposal how it would affect home life. Husbands would grow to respect wives better. What? I don’t know at all how this could possibly be something that could have a positive impact on a family what so ever. I think that Swift tries to persuade his readers that this is the only option for Ireland and its survival, in a dog eat dog world. He then starts stating statistics, he mentions of 120,000 some Irish children born in a year, that 20,000 should be kept for breeding and the continuance of the Irish legacy.
And what’s even better is that a quarter of these choosing few, are to be males, are you serious 5,000 boys and the rest girls. This brings a question to my mind, what was the deciding factor that kept the child to be raised or sold. What tops the cake once more is that he says one boy for a total of four girls. I believe this contradicts his husband respecting the whole wife thing early in the paper. Swift goes on later to explain the idea of cannibalism should not stop at children, but instead its countries enemies, or even political figures.
The idea of a nation such as Ireland cannibalizing its own population and natural resources sickens me. I would bat an eye at the thought of eating my son, or selling him off to the butcher to be slaughtered and sold. Swift goes on in this story to talk of common practices and courtesies. He talks that if Irish poor are to be married, and have a family, the family should refrain from domestic violence in and throughout the family, and love and cherish family. I serious think that this guy had dual personalities, he so many different stories to each situation.
Possibly he was bi-polar or maybe he used some opium or something of that nature. I don’t think Swift had financial problems what so ever. Swift goes on in his work and states that he admits that this will drastically reduce the Irish population, but other nations should not practice this idea in their cultures. He considers it a “healthy patriotism”, and goes on to say that the children that are to be butchered should stay domestically and not be exported. This would keep other nations from wanting to overtake the Irish population and decimate the whole society and Irish culture.
In Jonathan Swift’s work you can tell he is rather upset with Ireland’s politicians and the wealthy. You can also see that he is upset at the general population of the poor. He is angry at the poor population because they have made no plans or have no intentions to get out of the downward spiral their country is in. I wonder if he wrote this piece as a way of making the general population consider in participating in cannibalization, as an act to blow the whistle in a sense to make the politicians act on the current situation at hand in their times.

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