Swift's dehumanizing satire strives to
shed light on the horrible situation of English/Irish tensions in Ireland. On a basic level Swift
indicts the English Protestants for their cruel and inhumane treatment of the papists, or poor Catholics,
through both political and economic oppression. This is seen most clearly when his projector muses
that England would be more than willing to eat the Irish even without such a proposal, saying, ".I could
name a country which would be glad to eat up our whole nation without it."
Yet perhaps even more criticism is heaped on the Irish
for not recognizing the horror of their own situation, and not taking constructive steps to remedy the
problem. The very fact that such an immodest proposal can be given and received with such seriousness
proves that all peoples involved have lost even the thinnest shred of human decency and respect.
On a larger lever, Swift successfully
indicts the brutality of man as a whole. A Modest Proposal goes well beyond the limits
of Europe, shedding a sickening light on all
humanity and the way in which we treat each other.