John Locke commented: « In any case, as Sir Robert says, it was common in ancient times for men to sell and castrate their children. That they have exposed them; Add, if you wish, because it is an even greater power, that they have spawned them so that their tables grow and eat them: if it proves a right to do so, we can use the same argument to justify adultery, incest and sodomy, because there are also examples of this, both ancient and modern; The sins of which I suppose have the aggravation of the principles because they pass through the main intention of nature, which will cross the growth of humanity and the continuation of the species in the highest perfection and the distinction of families with the security of the matrimonial bed, to the extent necessary. (First Treaty, § 59). James William Johnson argues that A Modest Proposal was largely influenced and inspired by Tertullian`s apology: a satirical attack on the early Roman persecution of Christianity. Johnson believes Swift saw great similarities between the two situations.  Johnson notes Swift`s obvious affinity for Tertullian and the bold stylistic and structural similarities between the works A Modest Proposal and Apology.  In the structure, Johnson emphasizes the same central theme, that of cannibalism and eating babies, as well as the same final argument that « human depravity is such that men will try to justify their own cruelty by making their victims inferior to humans. »  Stylistically, Swift and Tertullian share the same mastery of sarcasm and language.  Agreeing with Johnson, Donald C. Baker on the similarity between the tones of the two authors and the use of irony. Baker notes the strange way in which the two authors imply an ironic « justification by property » about child sacrifice – Tertullian, while attacking pagan parents, and Swift, while attacking the English mistreatment of the poor Irish.
 In the tradition of Roman satire, Swift introduced the reforms he actually proposed by paralipse: a modest proposal was included in many literature courses as an example of modern Western satire. It also serves as an introduction to the concept and use of argumentative language and is suitable for secondary and post-secondary dissertation courses. Outside the field of English studies, A Modest Proposal is included in many comparative and global literature and history courses, as well as in many other disciplines of the arts, humanities, and even social sciences. Critics disagree on Swift`s intentions in using this false mathematical philosophy. Edmund Wilson argues that statistically « the logic of the `modest proposition` can be compared to the defense of crime (aarrogate to Marx), in which he argues that crime cares about the superfluous population. »  Wittkowsky replies that Swift`s satirical use of statistical analysis is an attempt to reinforce her satire, which « springs from a bitter spirit of ridicule, not from the joy of calculations for itself. »  In English writing, the phrase « a modest proposition » is now conventionally an allusion to this style of direct satire. Swift`s essay is widely regarded as one of the greatest examples of enduring irony in the history of the English language. Much of its shock value comes from the fact that the first part of the essay describes the plight of hungry beggars in Ireland, so the reader is not prepared to the surprise of Swift`s solution when he says, « A healthy young child who is well cared for is a very delicious nutritious and healthy food at the age of one. whether steamed, roasted, baked or cooked; and I have no doubt that it will serve as well in a fricassée as in a stew.  Robert Phidddan`s article « Have you ever eaten? The Reader in A Modest Proposal » focuses on two aspects of A Modest Proposal: Swift`s voice and the candidate`s voice. .