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A Modest Proposal

A Modest Proposal


by Jonathan Swift

A Modest Proposal Greed Quotes

How we cite our quotes: (Paragraph)

Quote #1

I grant this food will be somewhat dear, and therefore very proper for landlords, who, as they have already devoured most of the parents, seem to have the best title to the children. (12)

Swift alludes to an all-encompassing greed that includes both people and resources. In fact, people are viewed as resources in this context.

Quote #2

Secondly, the poorer tenants will have something valuable of their own, which by law may be made liable to distress and help to pay their landlord's rent, their corn and cattle being already seized, and money a thing unknown. (21)

Irish tenants frequently had to find alternative methods of paying rent, since money was scarce.

Quote #3

Thirdly, […] the nation's stock will be thereby increased fifty thousand pounds per annum […] and money will circulate among ourselves, the goods being entirely of our own growth and manufacture. (22)

Swift raises an interesting point: are children the only "goods" entirely owned by Irish peasants, since they can't lay claim to their own land?

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