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

Satire and colonialism in the eighteenth century: 'A Modest Proposal' and 'Gulliver's Travels'

Extracts from this document...


Satire and colonialism in the eighteenth century: 'A Modest Proposal' and 'Gulliver's Travels' Jonathan Swift was born in 1667 in Ireland, although he was a member of the English ruling class. When the Tories were in power he moved to London and became close associates of the two leading ministers Robert Harley and Henry St. John, however he hated Queen Anne and she hated him for writing the way he did about the monarchy. At the time that Swift was writing, Protestants were very much in power against the Catholics, 'penal laws' made it illegal for a Catholic person to buy land, obtain a mortgage on it and rent it at a reasonable profit. Therefore Swift and his writing was frowned upon by the Protestant population and criticised for his beliefs. Colonialism is defined as a system where one country rules over another country, at the time Britain was ruling over Ireland and was mostly responsible for the poverty and suffering in Ireland. ...read more.


I think that once Swift put forward the idea of using a babies skin to make woman's gloves I started to think that the text might be satirical, 'the skin of which artificially dressed will make admirable gloves for ladies'. I thought that the only reason Swift was suggesting this Modest Proposal was to solve poverty not to dress women in lavish clothing. In A Modest Proposal, Swift uses a number of different satirical techniques; the first is he introduced the object he is satirising in a believable way; he does this by using historical facts like mentioning the 'Pretender in Spain' or the fact that some people have to 'sell themselves in Barbados'. This makes the reader think that because he mentions true facts like this, they assume that the rest of the suggestions or things that are said in the article are also true. Another satirical technique which Swift uses is putting unexpected words into the text; some of these include 'savages', 'encumbrance' and 'prudent'. ...read more.


They thought this because the poverty was so bad at that time that they would have probably considered any solution, even if it was as morbid as that. A Modest Proposal was obviously written to satirise somebody, and in this case it satirises that certain class of person at that time. Also the government and monarchy that were in charge, try to bring it to their attention that their country was in such a bad state, that they would try anything even something as bad as this, to solve the problem. 'I grant this food will be somewhat dear, and therefore very proper landlords, who, as they have already devoured most of the parents...' is suggesting that the landlords have taken over all of the workers that work for him so they probably have rights over their offspring as well. Another way Swift satirises the protestants is by saying that the catholic mothers aren't able to work for an 'honest livelihood' and have to beg instead, unlike the protestants who own all land and have rights over everything. ...read more.

The above preview is unformatted text

This student written piece of work is one of many that can be found in our GCSE Miscellaneous 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 GCSE Miscellaneous essays

  1. original writing

    The space once occupied by the desk was now just another blank patch of humming, glowing white tiles. Strife's white face was muscled and yet chiselled, his eyes were dark, grey and yet seemed to give of an intensity that leaped out at you, calculated, accessed, accused and accumulated every detail and piece of knowledge around him.

  2. Who and what are the targets of Jane Austen(TM)s satire in Pride and Prejudice(TM) ...

    Austen does not agree with this opinion and shows this through the satire of Lady Catherine's instructions to people about how they can better themselves. This is explored further when Lady Catherine bestows these comments onto equally ridiculous characters, such as Mr.

  1. Original Writing - Why Me!

    I didn't think you would wake up in a good while, so from the few pennies I collected last night by playing to you, I got us a cup of tea. I just can't believe you thought I would..," once again trailing off into nothing.

  2. Gulliver's Travels Essay

    As he awoke he found he was bound to the floor by many miniature ropes that were tied to his hair, arms, legs and face. As he lay on his back, Gulliver could only see towards the sky and so could not distinguish what the noises, that he could hear, were.

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