The use of detailed satire through A Modest Proposal The use of detailed satire is very evident in A Modest Proposal. A writer's hand that brings the reader's eye to the effect of sociopolitical policies on the Irish by the English landlords and politicians in the early 1700 s, could have only belonged to Jonathon Swift. Swift skillfully addresses " the suffering caused by English policies in Ireland " as well as holding the Irish accountable for their "passivity." Swift begins by using a gradual egression, setting the tone of the current situation in Dublin, only to shock the reader at his proposal of cannibalism, specifically of young children, to help alleviate the economic burdens imposed by the English and accepted by the Irish. In laying the foundation for his proposal, Swift suggests the benefits for all: But my intention is very far from being confined to provide only for the children of professed beggars; it is of a much greater extent, and shall take in the whole number of infants at a certain age, who are born of parents in effect as little able to support them as those who demand our charity in the streets. Swift continues on, using excruciating detail, suggesting preparation for dining, the appropriate number of dinner guests the young child will feed, and the price of such a feast. All the while this morbid suggestion is detailed rationally.
Swift brilliantly targets the English landlords when he addresses the price of the food, and how it is appropriate since "as they have already devoured most of the parents, seem to have the best title to the children." Swift's use of detail purposely takes the reader away from the proposal to show the examples of how cannibalism has worked elsewhere, only in a satiric effort to show the reader this is not the way to improve the city of Dublin. The build-up of this proposal continues to its conclusion where Swift has taken the reader to the actual expedients, although rejecting them for no hope of them ever being implemented. Throughout the work, Swift addresses, through satire, the poor and their lack of motivation to change and the rich as they exploit them. Swift's use of detailed satire in A Modest Proposal brings one so close to his absurd and horrific plan that it allows you to see injustice on the poor and the follies of the rich all the while encouraging all to see the true remedy of the public good.