A Modest Proposal characters

The Proposer

The unknown narrator in ‘A Modest Proposal’ is not Jonathan Swift himself, though he can look like him. Rather, he is prone to exaggeration man, who represents a class of people whom Swift especially neglected. The Proposer looks like well-educated, rich, English  Protestant who...

George Psalmanazar

George Psalmanazar was a historical person. He was born in 1679 and claimed that he was the first inhabitant of the island of Formosa, who visited Europe. It appeared in Northern Europe around 1700. Although Psalmanazar was dressed in European clothes and looked like a European, he claimed that he...

The Pretender

This personage is mentioned twice in this satirical essay. His real name is James Francis Edward Stuart, and he was the son of King James II. During the Glorious Revolution in 1688 King James II was dethroned and replaced by William III and Mary II. James Francis Edward Stuart was a Roman Catholic...

The American

This mysterious character is mentioned only briefly. The Proposer met this character in London and mentioned that he is deeply educated. From his words we get one of the most famous quotes of ‘A Modest Proposal’: ‘a young healthy child, well nursed, is, at a year old, a most...

A Very Worthy Person

This is one more friend of the Proposers. It is just a regular man, who loves his Motherland, with his own thoughts. He expresses them with reference to George Psalmanazar’s story about an obese fifteen-year-old girl from the island of Formosa. He mentions that a lot of gentlemen of the...

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