Take the Jonathan Swift Challenge: How Else Can We Utilize the Corpses of Babies?

In 1729, Irish writer Jonathan Swift published a straight-faced satire called A Modest Proposal for Preventing the Children of Poor People From Being a Burden to Their Parents or Country, and for Making Them Beneficial to the Publick.More commonly known by its abbreviated title, A Modest Proposal made the case that the poor in Ireland could kill two birds with one stone, as it were--reducing the number of mouths to feed, and enjoying a hearty repast--by eating their children.  Swift wrote, … [Read more...]

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Swift’s Modest Proposal, Revisited: Eating Our Children (UPDATED)

“I have been assured by a very knowing American of my acquaintance in London, 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 ...” Sometime in about my sophomore year in high school, our literature class studied Satire, that literary genre in which vices and shortcomings are exaggerated and held up to ridicule, with the goal of shaming individuals and society into improvement.  Satire is so prep … [Read more...]

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Jonathan Swift’s New Year’s Resolutions

DAY TWO:  How are those New Year’s Resolutions coming?You remember Jonathan Swift from your high school English class:  He penned Gulliver’s Travels and that classic satirical essay “A Modest Proposal,” in which he suggested that the poor should sell their children as food for the rich—thereby at once eliminating two social problems:  hunger, and children living in economic hardship.The Anglo-Irish satirist, essayist, poet and cleric who served as Dean of Dublin’s St. Patrick’s Cathedral, … [Read more...]

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