The Rich And They Poor Essay

1133 words - 5 pages

Food is a basic necessity of life. Oftentimes , the poor don't have food due to the rich wasting valuable food. In A Modest Proposal, Jonathan Swift shows how the rich are the reason behind the state of the poor and how they treat them poorly. Swift used symbolism and allegory to portray these thoughts.
Allusion is used to show how the rich consume the poverty-stricken. Swift leaves us with statements from which we can infer how the rich are making the lives of the poor miserable. Swift explains how the rich have " already devoured most of the parents, [therefore, they] seem to have the best title to the children." (12) Swift metaphorically uses the word "devour" to imply how they have ...view middle of the document...

By using this technique, he keeps the reader aware and allows for the reader to perceive things on their own.
Jonathan Swift effectively uses allegory to represent human babies as food and commodities that can be used by the rich. By doing this, he adds to his argument of the rich consuming the poor. He also uses allegory to show how the poor are not living a much better life than animals; and furthermore, are not seen as much more than animals. Swift explains, " that a young healthy child well nursed is at a year old a most delicious, nourishing, and wholesome food, whether stewed, roasted, baked, or boiled"(9). Not only does Swift propose a child as food, he also suggests idea of cooking the food. Swift hesitates not once before openly referring to the children as food. His meaning however, is not the same as what is written. He does not actually intend on eating these babies, he is simply using them to represent the weaker side in the British-Irish feud. It is often the rich who eat their food stewed, roasted, or baked; therefore, he is implying that these babies will be eaten by the rich. He again uses animalistic terms when talking about children by stating, "of the hundred and twenty thousand children already computed, twenty thousand may be reserved for breed whereof only one-fourth part to be males; which is more than we allow to sheep, black cattle or swine" (10). To begin with, he uses the word "computed" when talking about these children. This word is a very emotionless word and is used when talking about facts, not human beings. This word is a very effective tool to adjust our minds to think that human can be used as commodities. But adjusting out mind sets is not Swift's only purpose. By showing humans as commodities, Swift is trying to send a message that the rich did use the poor as commodities and thought of them as nothing more. Swift then goes on to describe the breeding process for these children. The interesting thing is that he uses the word "breeding". Breeding is referred to as the re-production of animals, not humans. Swift is using the same...

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