A modest proposal critical essay

Belliveau Patrick A00156136 ANGL 1042 November 7, 2011 As much the same as different ” A Modest Proposal” is an unrealistically conceived attempt to find an easy, cheap and fair way to convert the starving children of Ireland into ” Sound and useful members of the common wealth. ” Swift explains how children across the country are impoverished because their families are too poor to keep them clothed and fed. A modest proposal pre-sents arguments for the many advantages on raising the children to be sold for a great deal ofmoneyasfood.

He expresses himself with such confidence when telling his fel-low compatriots an easy way to reducepovertyandoverpopulation. The most ironic thing about ” A modest proposal” is that it is not modest at all. It is a scary and insane thought to raise children to be eaten. ” A Mild Suggestion” sarcastically proposes that Caucasians choose a night to lure in a few black people into their homes and poison or kill them by any means necessary. DuBois chose to ironically write about the problems that black people were having that was too often ignored, such asracism.

One of the most satirist parts of the essay is when the speaker says: ” The next morning there would be ten million funerals, and therefore no Negro problem. Think how quietly the thing would be settled! ” It is an ironic notion be-cause it should be the other way around, the white people should be the ones coming up with ways to rid the world of black people and not the black people themselves. It is un-conceivable that this black man is suggesting these ideas and making them sound so sim-ple, when all of their lives, black people have been fighting to be respected.

The essay ends with everybody shocked and disgusted at what the colored man said they should do with all black people, which is also an ironic idea, considering most of these people had racist attitudes to begin with. The one similarity between ” A Modest Proposal” and ” A Mild Suggestion” that sticks out most is the fact that both propositions are savage and frightening, but at the same time, obviously not serious. They both sound insane, which has the reader in shock throughout each essay. While reading both papers, people found themselves saying: ” this man cannot be serious. The writers are trying to make the people from that time realize that some of their problems might not be so terrible. For example, the little old lady in ” A mild suggestion” who at the start of the essay was being racist, went back to her room horrified and not saying a word after hearing what the colored man thought we should do with black people. As for ” A modest proposal” people back in that time might have wor-ried about the poor and the problem with overpopulation. Once hearing about cannibal-ism and selling children as food for a profit, they may have started thinking twice about how serious this problem really was at the time.

Another common thread in both these essays is the fact that they talk about human beings as numbers, no matter what their color. Swift writes about how to cut down poverty and overpopulation by raising children as food, and DuBois writes about how to get rid of the numbered black people around the world. Both writers show their disgust; DuBois at racism and Swift to the Irish peoples not being able to mobilize on their own behalf. One of the differences between these two essays are the people in which their mes-sages are aimed for. A mild suggestion” for example was aimed to help white readers take the issue of race more seriously, and for black people to have a greater sense of ra-cial pride. As for ” A modest proposal,” this essay was mostly aimed at the compatriots of the time. These essays warn the population that instead of allowing what is most humane, natural and common, people who conceive theoretically and speculatively to solve a problem may end up thinking of the unthinkable. Also in Swift’s essay it is mostly a speech through first person, while DuBois makes use of the characters.