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A Modest Proposal

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Samuel S. Smarmy

2769 Dumberville Lane

Jebediah, Idaho 94532

Dear Mr. Samuel S. Smarmy,

Thank you for bringing up your concerns about Jonathan Swift's "A Modest Proposal" to my attention. I find it essential that every parent is in agreement to the works that are exposed to their children while attending school. I do apologize that it came a shock to you that part of the curriculum in our school district does include the teaching of "A Modest Proposal" by the satirical Jonathan Swift. I am however going to try and comfort your worries about the story by explaining the deeper message and irony that is actually a beneficial lesson to the students here at Martin's Groves Junior High School.

To start, it is very important for you to understand what the conditions in Ireland were in 1729 and the years prior. The Irish harvests had been so poor that very little remained for the farmers and families after they sold the necessary amount of crops to get money to pay the large amounts of rent the English landlords were charging. The beggars were everywhere and most were accompanied by their poor starving children. Swift takes on the role by introducing a logical solution to pull the country out of its economic strife, much like today's politicians. Swift was only using this completely absurd "anti-human" proposal to show the extreme conflicts occurring in Ireland.

Swift begonia his essay by talking about how muchof an inconvieniece it must befor the richto have to look upon these "beggars of the female sex, followed by three, four, or six children, all in rags" (408). There is irony in the first sentence of the essay. Swift addresses the pains od having to look at the poor, but not the pains od actually being poor. There is an even greater example of irony before the first line of theessay, the title. Swift calls his essay "A Modest Proposal". His proposal is to, in a nutshell, breed children for consumption and clothing. This proposal is not modest at all, it is disturbing to all, incluing the school bpard, and obviously to you as well Mr. Sammy.



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