Reason vs. Emotion: Swift presents his argument in an extremely logical way. Every word seems to be there for a reason. He adds statistical data to his argument, making it feel very modern. Yet, I cannot help but feeling that he does this to show us that being completely logical is not a good thing--in fact, it leads to eating babies...or in the case of Nazi Germany to the disposal of and experimentation of thousands of Jews.
In 1984, at the reopening of Dublin's Abbey Theater, Peter O'Toole read Swift's Modest Proposal. This resulted in a MASS walk out of dignitaries...he caused a bit of a riot! O'Toole said of the incident that he wanted to recite a piece that had "a little something to offend everyone"!
Despite everyone in Ireland knowing that Swift was the one publishing pamphlets that went against the English governments beliefs, no one ever turned him in for the 300 pound reward!