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A Modest Proposal

A Modest Proposal

by Jonathan Swift

Power Quotes

How we cite our quotes:

Quote #7

Fifthly, this food would likewise bring great customs to taverns, where the great vintners will […] consequently have their houses frequented by all the fine gentlemen who justly value themselves upon their knowledge in good eating. (24)

The tavern is an epicenter of power where wealthy people congregate. On the other hand, the poor don't seem to be centrally located in A Modest Proposal. They're scattered across the streets and roads. What does this say about the nature of power?

Quote #8

[…] a well-grown, fat yearling child […] will make a considerable figure at a Lord Mayor's feast or any other public entertainment. (26)

A poor child is only worthwhile as a spectacle of entertainment, the narrator suggests.

Quote #9

I profess in the sincerity of my heart that I have not the least personal interest in endeavoring to promote this necessary work, having no other motive than the public good of my country […] and giving some pleasure to the rich. (35)

The narrator equates the public good of the country with pleasing the rich. What is wrong with this picture?

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