Reading Quiz on "A Modest Proposal" by Jonathan Swift

Jonathan Swift illustration
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Jonathan Swift's "A Modest Proposal" is one of the most savage and powerful works in the English language. Swift composed the satirical essay in the summer of 1729, after three years of drought and crop failure had forced more than 30,000 Irish citizens to abandon their homes in search of work, food, and shelter.

After reading the essay carefully, take this brief quiz, and then compare your responses with the answers at the end.

2. According to the narrator of “A Modest Proposal,” at what age is a child best suited to serve as the solution to the problem he identifies?

3. In paragraph five, before providing the details of his proposal, the narrator identifies “another great advantage” of the scheme. What is that advantage?

5. According to the narrator, a gentleman should be prepared to pay how much for "the carcass of a good fat child"?

6. Following a lengthy "digression" (involving testimony from an "American acquaintance"), the narrator enumerates several more advantages to his proposal. Which one of the following is not one of the advantages that he describes?

9. Because "the flesh [is] of too tender a consistence to admit a long continuance in salt," where will the meat of infants not be consumed?

Reading Quiz on "A Modest Proposal" by Jonathan Swift

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Reading Quiz on "A Modest Proposal" by Jonathan Swift

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