Dr. Jonathan Swift's A Modest Proposal

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In Dr. Jonathan Swift’s, “A Modest Proposal”, the Anglo­Irish satirist proposes a seemingly cruel method to limit the burden of unexpected or unwanted children of lower class families of Ireland. He claims that his method will prevent these children from becoming society’s burden and instead, make them beneficial to the public. Swift’s ideas are arguably an accurate representation of the benevolent power banning, censoring, and exiling society, however; in this specific case, it is a benevolent power censoring society for the greater good and benefit. Swift begins his argument by using a powerful method of pathos in which he describes the sadness caused by seeing beggars on the street with young children following
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Families with high rates of pregnancy would then become of greater value as each child born could potentially be sold for ten shillings. Since on average, each child born costs approximately two shillings to be cared for the first year of life, low­income families would then make an eight shilling profit off their child. Boettcher 3 This would then create a stronger economy, as there would be more money in circulation and the gap between the lower classes and middle classes would narrow. Swift’s proposal, although obscure, shows the benevolent power censoring society. His proposal shows the care given toward citizens in aiding to improve the overall standard of living and the thought given to improving the society’s economy. Swift clarifies with his reader that his proposal is not the only option available to reduce the burden of the overwhelming child population and that he is open to other options. Conveniently, however; his strange idea to sell year­old children for a profit does not apply to him, as his wife is past childbearing, and his youngest child is nine years old. No matter the hypocrisy of it all, Swift’s proposal keeps society’s overall well­being in mind and provides a benevolent solution