A Modest Proposal
by Jonathan Swift
A Modest Proposal Questions
Bring on the tough stuff - there’s not just one right answer.
- Let's face it—it takes a while to figure out that Swift's pulling our leg. When does the proposal cross the line into ludicrous territory?
- How does Swift's stance on England's rule of Ireland impact your reading of the essay?
- Is Swift in full-on attack mode, or does he suggest any reasonable solutions to Ireland's famine?
- Based on your reading, what is Swift's impression of Ireland?
- Swift once commented that satire is "a sort of glass, wherein beholders do generally discover everybody's face but their own" (source). What does this quote mean in the context of A Modest Proposal?
- Can you distinguish Swift's satiric voice from that of the narrator? How are the two voices different?
- Would Swift's essay have had as much of an impact if he seriously advocated for the reform of conditions in Ireland?
- What is the purpose of the closing paragraph?
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