Circle discussion about “A Modest Proposal”.
“Food” for Thought-
* Consider the title of the piece. Why a “modest” proposal? Why didn’t Swift just use “A Proposal” for the title?
* Look at the tone Swift uses through his essay. Does it stay the same or change over the course of his discussion? Why does he use the first person? Is this voice identical with Swift’s own voice? Or is it How does his tone contribute to the persona he uses?
* Why would Swift choose to have it be an American who first introduced the speaker to baby-eating? What stereotypes might we be seeing here about eighteenth-century Americans?
* What makes this essay funny (or un-funny)? Does that change over the course of the essay?