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Swift's "A Modeste Proposal"

In: English and Literature

Submitted By struf5
Words 1962
Pages 8
Jonathan Swift’s “A Modest Proposal”


English 301

December 3, 20xx

In “A Modest Proposal” (1729), Jonathan Swift used satire for a double purpose: to attack those that he considered responsible for the financial situation of Ireland, and in the same time, to push those who were in a position of power to take rational measures against poverty in Ireland. In his poem, Swift made use of the image of the Projector; a character whose role is that o designing plans that would lead to some improvements being made in the society. Swift’s narrator in “A Modest Proposal” is an Economic Projector who imagines the entire plan from the point of view of a cold and objective individual. The impersonation’s result is that most often, critics see the Projector as a person who sounds just like Swift when in fact, the truth is that Jonathan Swift was brilliant in making himself sound like a projector(Lockwood 1974). The present paper examines the role of the Economic Projector in the paper, arguing that he does not represent a projection of Swift’s own persona but rather, he is a character through which the author realizes his satirical purpose. The paper further holds that the projector has a central role in creating the meaning of the work.

Literary critics and commenters of Swift’s work placed great emphasis on the role of Swift’s economic projector, the narrator who imagines the entire cannibalistic plan described in the poem. The projector’s source of inspiration may have been one of the speculative economists who lived in Swift’s time John Richardson explained (2001). The author stated that:

“As for the proposer himself, George Wittowsky’s early identification in him of the kind of thinking by which ‘the labourer had come to be regarded as a commodity’ has been generally accepted, and modern commentaries…...

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