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A Modest Proposal

A Modest Proposal

by Jonathan Swift

Morality and Ethics Quotes

How we cite our quotes:

Quote #1

There is likewise another great advantage in my scheme, that it will prevent those abortions, and that horrid practice of women murdering their bastard children, alas, too frequent among us, sacrificing the poor innocent babes, I doubt, more to avoid the expense than the shame. (5)

This is the only line in which the narrator sympathizes with Irish children, calling them "poor innocent babes." Of course, he goes on to make his proposal only half a page later.

Quote #2

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 old a most delicious, nourishing, and wholesome food. (10)

What kind of reaction do you think this would provoke in a reader?

Quote #3

[…] although I rather recommend buying the children alive and dressing them hot from the knife, as we do roasting pigs. (16)

The narrator's lack of empathy is chilling. Why does he provide so many gory details?

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