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A Modest Proposal

A Modest Proposal

by Jonathan Swift

Analysis: What's Up With the Title?

The full title is often shortened in student texts, but here's the whole enchilada: A Modest Proposal For Preventing the Children of Poor People in Ireland from Being a Burden to Their Parents or the Country, and for Making Them Beneficial to the Public. Seems like a mouthful, but the title served its purpose: drawing in readers who were interested in doing something about Ireland's overpopulation and famine. The title doesn't hint that the essay will be a satire, so readers were in for a big surprise.

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