Jonathan Swift, the author of “A Modest Proposal,” analyzes the extent of suffering as a significant subject. In his fiction, the author employs humor to highlight some of the facets of Ireland’s low living standards. In doing so, he employs the instrument to condemn the country’s parents’ naive approach to upbringing. Despite the vague aftertaste, Swift’s suggestion painstakingly depicted the horrors of how the poor people educated their children in the community. As a result, satire can be described as the use of comedy, irony, or mockery to condemn a characteristic of the community’s ignorance.
The children in the country of Ireland were used by their parents as a means providing for the household. The author portrays how the parents would send their young ones away to the streets to beg so that the family could afford their living. “These mothers, instead of being able to work for their honest livelihood, are forced to employ all their time in strolling to beg sustenance for their helpless infants” (Swift 5). In this case, the children are used because of their innocent nature, which is an example of the author’s satire application, since the course of income generation is predominantly the responsibility of the parents, not the kids. By avoiding their roles as earners and making their offsprings “work,” the mothers and fathers did not recognize the dangers that they were exposing their children to. The effects of the street life and related activities impacted the growth and development of these children, thereby, making some of them become thieves and sex workers. Swift ridicules the parents’ idea of sending their children to beg for money without considering the adverse consequences of their actions in the future lives of their kids. Therefore, the act itself is a type of satire that is used by the author to portray how the impoverished Irishmen raised their children.
The parents of the children in Ireland also sent their young ones to support the presidents of other states. According to Swift (5), “the children would leave their native country to fight for the Pretender in Spain and end up selling themselves in Barbados.” The primary reason behind such an act was to make them essential members of the community. Evidently, sending children to war is another example of how the author successfully utilizes satire to ridicule the actions of the parents. Fighting in battles is the role of the military of a country, whereas children are the future of the community and thus should be protected from the war zones and given the chance to access education that would enable them to become useful members of the society in the future.
In summary, the poor state of lifestyle led in Ireland that was demonstrated in Jonathan Swift’s “Modest Proposal” had adversely impacted the growth and development of the children during the era portrayed in the publication. The young population was negatively affected by the misguided upbringing approaches that their parents opted to use. The author has vividly demonstrated the atrocities that were facing the Irish children by applying the literary device of satire when describing the kids begging for money instead of their parents’ making a living and being sent to fight wars rather than receiving education and establishing their own personalities.
Swift, Jonathan. A Modest Proposal and Other Satirical Works. Courier Corporation, 1996.