Jonathan Swift's "A Modest Proposal".
In a literature textbook entitled The Informed Argument edited by Robert K. Miller there is an essay written by Jonathan Swift called "A Modest Proposal," in which Swift states that he has come up with a revolutionary proposal to make the poor children of Ireland beneficial to the community. Although it looks like Swift writes this paper in a serious manner, upon closer analysis it is easy to see that the language used is very satirical. The main point that Swift makes in his essay is that young infants would be a welcome addition to the tables of wealthy gentlemen, and also decrease the number of poor children begging throughout the streets. Many people believe that his essay is nothing more than an essay to entertain the rich and prestigious, and also to give himself more fame and recognition among the prosperous people in Ireland.
Swift starts out his paper by describing the scene of Ireland, "The streets crowded with beggars of the female sex, followed by three children . . . in rags and harassing every person for money." Swift, being the bright fellow he is, decides to come up with his own solution to make these begging children useful to the society. His proposal is to butcher infants at the age of one to make a great meal, and also many other benefits. Swift says that a young healthy child is a most delicious, nourishing, and wholesome food. He believes that by butchering the young it will prevent abortions, spare deprived parents of spending money on raising useless children, and also provide a source of income for poor parents. Other advantages to Swift's proposal are that it will greatly lessen the number of Papists throughout the country, the poor will have something valuable of their own and spend their earnings amongst the nation, the nations stock will be increased, and also it would also be an incentive to marriage. Swift continues to go into detail of his proposal by informing people that children will be more plentiful in March, because it is nine months after Lent.