Swift: English People and Basic Mercantilist Idea Essays

Submitted By kateuri
Words: 683
Pages: 3

"politicians who dislike [his] overture" that the poor people of Ireland, if given the option, would rather give up their life than experience the "perpetual scene of misfortunes as they have since gone through. Swift's use of satire here serves to expose the English rulers to the reality of the conditions to which they are subjecting the citizens of Ireland. Nonetheless, despite Swift's noticeable contempt for the English, he at no moment ceases to also partially blame the Irish for the circumstances being confronted.

he is attacking the Irish Catholics for their lack of effort to take back their country from them.

Throughout the proposal, Swift, when describing the Irish newborns he recommends be consumed, uses terminology as if he were applying the description to farm animals. Words and phrases such as "stock," "pigs," "cattle," "flesh," "carcass," "fatten them up," and "tough and lean flesh" all allude to Swift's analogy between people and livestock. This is not only implies that the Irish stand around idly and submit to the authority of some higher power, but also that the English treat the Irish as worthless workers. In turn, this implies that the Irish are only valuable through their function as laborers to make the English money, similar to livestock whose only purpose is the financial well-being of their owners.

By the end of the essay, notice how the narrator subs out the word "children" for "mortals"—as in, ask the parents of these mortals how they feel about their kids being eaten (34). No one says "Aw, cute. Look at that mortal." It's a word that strips away any sympathetic portrayal and leaves you with the sense that humans are becoming the animals.

One of Swift's techniques is to let abstract ideas resonate in multiple ways. The word "profit," for example, refers at various points to economics, morality, and personal indulgence. When Swift looks at who stands to profit from the sale of infant flesh, he includes not only the family that earns the eight shillings, but also the landowner who will earn a certain social status by serving such a delicacy, and the nation that will obtain relief from some of its most pressing problems. In this way, Swift keeps reminding his reader of the different value systems that bear on Ireland's social and political problems.

Swift's contempt for the irresponsibility, greed, and moral indifference of the wealthy is matched only by his disgust at the utter failure of Ireland's political leaders. Swift begins moving away from the faux-economics of child-breeding in order to hone in on the realities of Ireland's economic crisis. Many of the arguments the proposer advances here have to do with the very real problem of building a viable…