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A Modest Proposal
A Modest Proposal
by Jonathan Swift
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A Modest Proposal Greed Quotes Page 3

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Quote #7

For this kind of commodity will not bear exportation, the flesh being of too tender a consistence to admit a long continuance in salt, although perhaps I could name a country which would be glad to eat up our whole nation without it. (30)

The narrator alludes to the fact that children would have to be consumed rapidly, since they don't keep well. Spoiled children, anyone?

Quote #8

First, as things now stand, how they will be able to find food and raiment for one hundred thousand useless mouths and backs. (32)

A Modest Proposal is written almost entirely in two voices: Swift's and the anonymous narrator's. In this passage, the narrator imagines how his readers might react to his proposal. Can this be interpreted as a third narrative voice?

Quote #9

I desire those politicians who dislike my overture […] that they will first ask the parents of these mortals whether they would not at this day think it a great happiness to have been sold for food at a year old in the manner I prescribe, and thereby have avoided […] the oppression of the landlords, the impossibility of paying rent without money or trade (34)

In the final paragraphs, Swift reminds us of specific examples of greed. How does this impact your final impression of A Modest Proposal?

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