• Join over 1.2 million students every month
  • Accelerate your learning by 29%
  • Unlimited access from just £6.99 per month

Write and essay on the methods and objectives of Swift's satire.

Extracts from this document...


'I have finished my travles..they are admirable things and will wonderfully change mend the world.' (Letter to Charles Ford about Gulliver's Travels). 'Satire is a sort of glass, wherein beholders do generally discover everybody's face but their own.' (A Tale of a Tub). Taking one or both of these statements by Swift as a starting point, write and essay on the methods and objectives of Swift's satire. This essay will look at the first quotation of Swift's and analyse his use of satire in Gulliver's Travels, A Modest Proposal and The Lady's Dressing Room. Along with Pope, Gay, and other literary lights, Swift was a member of The Martinus Scriblerus Club. The purpose of this club was to satirise the foolishness of modern man. The influence of the club can be seen in Gulliver's Travels as well as Pope's Dunciad. Swift had been a great traveller and he wanted to set down the most significant of his observations upon human life so that the world might be forced to read them. Gulliver's Travels can be recognised as that complete satire on human life. The novel is a condemnation of certain human traits. ...read more.


There are two ways of looking at this theme: either man is capable of improving himself, or he is not. Swift writes for any man, and every man. The quote to Charles Ford illustrates clearly that Swift uses the tool of satire to try and reform man. Also Swift could also be defending his wrath by claiming an eagerness to reform. From 1710 to 1714 Swift, who was now a Tory member, was one of the most influential members of the English government. While in London Swift worked passionately for his political ideals. He expected that in return for his efforts he'd be rewarded with a bishopric in England. That way he would remain close to London, the centre of activity. He was slighted, however, and given the Deanship of St. Patrick's in Dublin. This was a blow from which many say Swift never really recovered. Despite his disappointment Swift worked hard for his church in Ireland and for the cause of Irish freedom against the Whigs, many of whom considered Ireland more of a colony than a country. He wrote A Modest Proposal in answer to the Irish problem and the pamphlet was considered by many to be the best satire ever written in English. ...read more.


It turned poor Strephon's bowels' (43). Swift ridicules the conventional love poem and it is certainly shocking 'Beneath the arm-pits well besmeared' (12). The poem can be read as a plea that love should be built on firmer ground than just superficial romantic images. It is an anti-romantic poem that satires the conventional love poem. Swift places an emphasis on sights, sounds and sexual appetites, which represent the hard core realities of life. The poem is horrifying in its emphasis on dirt and bodily functions 'Sweat, dandruff, powder, lead and hair' (24). He is some argue 'forcing the reader to look at their Yahoo nature.'4 There is consequently a link between the poem and Gulliver's Travels as in both he is presenting pictures about debase human activities. In conclusion Swift is using the object of satire to try and reform people's attitudes. He is satirising human follies and asking his reader to look at their own activities and morals. The quote to Charles Ford explains Swift's objectives of satire well as he hopes his writing will produce a reforming zeal in his readers. 1 David Ward, Jonathon Swift-An Introductory Essay (London, 1973) 154 2 David Ward, Jonathan Swift-An Introductory Essay (London, 1973) 170 3 David Ward, Jonathon Swift-An Introductory Essay (London, 1973) 12 4 Edward Rosenheim, Swift and Satirist's Art (The University of Chicago, 1963) 89 ...read more.

The above preview is unformatted text

This student written piece of work is one of many that can be found in our AS and A Level Jonathan Swift section.

Found what you're looking for?

  • Start learning 29% faster today
  • 150,000+ documents available
  • Just £6.99 a month

Not the one? Search for your essay title...
  • Join over 1.2 million students every month
  • Accelerate your learning by 29%
  • Unlimited access from just £6.99 per month

See related essaysSee related essays

Related AS and A Level Jonathan Swift essays

  1. Jonathan Swift the master of satire deeply cared for society and people. His desire ...

    of terms and actions one is able to witness the separating factors of class separation and distinction. The power is mainly held in the hands of the emperor (Parliament) who is able to mandate decrees and create laws. An example would be when the "emperors father published an edict, commanding

  2. Satire and Colonialism in the eighteenth century: 'A Modest Proposal' and 'Gulliver's Travels'

    Swift is also saying that there will be many advantages for almost everyone. For example the baby meat is expensive, so the pubs that sell it will make a good profit. When I first read 'A Modest Proposal' I couldn't believe what was I actually reading.

  1. "The chief object of satire in 'Gulliver's Travels' is Gulliver himself." Discuss.

    Books one and two reverse the perspectives completely. Gulliver is a Brobdingnagian in Lilliput. Here among miniature men he witnesses their spite and envy. Contrary to this, Gulliver is a Lilliputian in Brobdingnag and witnesses, despite his fears, the generosity and benevolence of the giants.

  2. Human Nature in Gulliver's Travels

    It is precisely this about us that Swift is attacking. It is already established that constantly throughout GT, humans are being abhorred at as mentioned by James Beattie. But are there instances when we are portrayed in slightly better light?

  1. Consider Swift's presentation of two of the characters in 'Waterland' who you find most ...

    Swift tricks us into thinking that she is the typical scholarly "convent girl" however this view is quickly pushed aside as we hear of her sessions with Tom. We learn of her 'curious' side when she "explores holes" with Tom in the old windmill, Tom says: "this itch of Mary's was the itch of curiosity".

  2. A Feminist Approach on Jonathan Swift's "Gulliver Travels"

    We also never find out what they think about Gulliver's society. The reason for this is that women did not have figurative voices. The conversations that he had with the queen, the lady and the women in Laputa are not brought up because it doesn't matter.

  1. A Modest Proposal.

    The effect of A Modest Proposal on the public was that they criticised Swift and they said he was insane. In A Modest Proposal the title suggests that this proposal is an economic proposal, which will be inoffensive, but of course this is ironic.

  2. Compare the persuasive techniques and the development of the argument in 'Old Major's speech' ...

    To once again get on the crowds side, he brings up the subject of his dream. He begins to talk about his mother, and about being a piglet. This makes him seem ordinary, and on the same level as the other animals.

  • Over 160,000 pieces
    of student written work
  • Annotated by
    experienced teachers
  • Ideas and feedback to
    improve your own work