We have changed our privacy policy. In addition, we use cookies on our website for various purposes. By continuing on our website, you consent to our use of cookies. You can learn about our practices by reading our privacy policy.
© 2016 Shmoop University, Inc. All rights reserved.
A Modest Proposal

A Modest Proposal

  

by Jonathan Swift

A Modest Proposal Foreignness and "The Other" Quotes

How we cite our quotes: (Paragraph)

Quote #4

The number of souls in this kingdom being usually reckoned one million and half, of these I calculate there may be about two hundred thousand couple whose wives are breeders (6)

Referring to someone as a "breeder" might not get you past a first date. Used in this context, the word is meant to be dehumanizing.

Quote #5

They can very seldom pick up a livelihood by stealing […], although I confess they learn the rudiments much earlier, during which time they can however be properly looked upon only as probationers […] as I have been informed by a principal gentleman in the country of Cavan (7)

The narrator draws a distinct boundary between "a gentleman" and the rapscallions who learn to steal from birth.

Quote #6

I have been assured by a very knowing American of my acquaintance in London that a young healthy child well nursed is at a year a most delicious, nourishing, and wholesome food (10)

The "knowing American" has been read as a Native American with knowledge of exotic foods. Why does Swift include this reference?

People who Shmooped this also Shmooped...

Advertisement