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A Modest Proposal

A Modest Proposal


by Jonathan Swift

A Modest Proposal Foreignness and "The Other" Quotes

How we cite our quotes: (Paragraph)

Quote #1

I think it is agreed by all parties that this prodigious number of children in the arms, or on the backs, or at the heels of their mothers, and frequently of their fathers, is, in the present deplorable state of the kingdom, a very great additional grievance. (2)

Children should bring joy, right? Not these kids. By suggesting that poor children are little more than a grievance, the narrator distinguishes them from wealthier and more accepted children.

Quote #2

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. (3)

The narrator implies that poor parents don't deserve children, even suggesting that there should be a wealth cutoff. We're getting into dangerous territory, and we haven't even gotten to the proposal yet.

Quote #3

'Tis true, a child just dropped from its dam may be supported by her milk for a solar year (4)

The narrator doesn't want kids to mooch off of wealthier folks. Note the degrading language used to equate a child to an animal.

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