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Through Jonathan Swift’s mastery of satire, his pen continually stings the wealthy class of Ireland and England. The idea of the wealthier oppressing the poor is shown by the following passage from “A Modest Proposal.” “I grant this food will be somewhat dear, and therefore very proper for landlords, who, as they have already devoured most of the parents, seem to have the best title to the children.” In this passage, Swift satirically implies that the children should be quite useful since the landlords have already “devoured”, or used up the parents. This excerpt further addresses the frivolous habits of the wealthy. “He said that many gentlemen of this kingdom, having of late destroyed their deer, he conceived that the want of venison might be well supplied by the bodies of young lads and maidens….” This brings to light the whimsical manner in which the wealthy use up their resources with no regard to the future. The third passage from “A Modest Proposal” sheds light on the plight of poor tenants to their landlords. “…The poor tenants will have something valuable of their own, which by law may be made liable to distress, and help to pay their landlord’s rent, their corn and cattle being already seized and money a thing unknown.” This passage shows that even the sold children could be taxed. The wealthy would use that against the poor, since they have already taken anything else of value. Jonathan Swift screams satire in a very loud voice. The three passages referred to from “A Modern Proposal” are just an example of his vocal volume against the wealthy of Ireland and England.


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