To pick out a single metaphor from Swift's
Modest Proposalwould be to undercut his message as a whole. The whole pamphlet, indeed,
in its entirety, is one giant, metaphorical irony. The horror of the narrator's irony serves as
a constant metaphor for the horror being experienced by the people of Ireland. His awful proposal
is a result, an echo of sorts, of the terrible suffering of the speaker's own fellow citizens.
Thus, Swift carefully uses his entire satire as a symbol for the atrocities already known in his country.