Study Guide

A Modest Proposal Tough-o-Meter

By Jonathan Swift

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(5) Tree Line

There's a lot of lofty language in A Modest Proposal, like when Swift "maturely weigh[s] the several schemes of other projectors" and finds them "grossly mistaken in their projections" (4.1, 4). It might take you midway through the essay to get the hang of Swift's serious-but-joking tone, but it's worth it. Once he starts listing the best recipes for preparing children, it's all downhill.

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