- Acceptable Targets: The Irish. By a side-effect, eating the Irish will mean reducing the number of Catholics. Everyone wins! And the idiotic youth of the upper class who contribute in no way to society — they can be grilled, too.
- Although the Proposal was more of a jab at the English. It was a parody of the attitude of the day: let's strip them of their rights, steal their land, burn what they have left, then whine about how poor and lazy they are.
- Portraying the Proposal as a combination of ideas from an American and the cannibalistic practices of Formosa (modern-day Taiwan) is backhanded criticism of how both groups were dismissed as barbaric by European society.
- Alternative Character Interpretation: The number of people who thought that Swift may have been serious...
- And there are a few who claim that Swift did mean it, saying he wrote most of the thing in a syphilis-induced haze.
- The fact that he begins with a very wordy insistence that he really means what he's about to say may have lead to such confusion.
- Crosses the Line Twice
- Nightmare Fuel: Let's eat Irish babies! Then again, this is the whole point.
- "Weird Al" Effect: Many modern kids probably wouldn't know of it, if not for the Sealab 2021 episode "Chickmate".
Sparks: Like veal....only babies.