For example, he writes, “Secondly, The poorer tenants will have something valuable of their own…
Thirdly, the maintenance of an hundred thousand children, from two years old, and upwards, cannot be computed at less than ten shillings a piece per annum, the nation’s stock will be thereby encreased fifty thousand pounds per annum…” (Par 22 and 23).
He continues in this way, ironically building a “logical” argument for his proposal, mentioning “This food would likewise bring great custom to taverns,” (Par 25).
He finishes his disturbing list, by once again sounding “modest,” casual and non-controversial, even though his proposal is anything but those, “After all, I not so violently bent upon my own opinion, as to reject any offer, proposed by wise men, which shall be found equally innocent, cheap, easy, and effectual” (Par 32).
He states, “Prodigious number of children in the arms, or on the backs, or at the heels of their mothers…is in the present deplorable state of the kingdom, a very great additional grievance” (Par 2).
Through this quote Swift emphasizes that the multitude of Irish children is a terrible problem aggravating an already “deplorable state of the kingdom.” Later on, Swift itemizes the “benefits” of his proposal.Each benefit is a clear use of verbal irony, meaning that within his “logical” framework and argument, they seem to make sense, but in fact, they are outright cruel or insulting.” After Swift briefly describes the terrible economic and social situation in the Ireland, he then turns to his consideration and development of his “modest” proposal.Although the reader still takes him seriously at this point in the essay, it becomes clear he is using verbal irony as soon as he actually gives his proposal.the number of Popish infants, is at least three to one in this kingdom, and therefore it will have one other collateral advantage, by lessening the number of Papists among us” (Par 13).The Protestants of Britain stood in contrast of faith to the Catholics of Ireland in both political rule and population.He writes, “…having turned my thoughts for many years, upon this important subject, and maturely weighed the several schemes of our projectors, I have always found them grossly mistaken in their computation” (Par 4).Swift is clever in mixing and using irony along with biting criticism.In “A Modest Proposal,” Swift does exactly that through clever social commentary on the issue of poverty among the poor in Ireland through the various forms of satire.Swift differentiates the social classes in his writing through imagery, detailing the differences between the rich and the poor.