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

Oral Presentation: Swift and Larkin

Extracts from this document...

Introduction

Ladies and Gentlemen: I will be comparing the way Swift and Larkin present their pessimism of human nature in "Gulliver's Travels" and "The Whitsun Weddings" collection. By the end of this presentation you will understand how and why these two authors present their pessimism of human nature in these two texts. The definition of human nature is "the basic character or disposition of mankind including ways of thinking, feeling and acting that all human beings have in common" I believe this nature includes the capacity for both good and evil and therefore can be viewed optimistically or pessimistically. Swift's purpose in Gulliver's Travels was to stir his readers to view themselves as he viewed humankind, as creatures that were not fulfilling their potential, but were simply wallowing in selfishness and ignorance. I will be exploring the way Swift presents his pessimism of: * Basic human nature * Excessive Pride * Contemptuous intellectualism Satire is the main tone that Swift uses in Gulliver's Travels. I believe the reason for this tone was attributed to his frustration with mankind's vile nature life. He believed that by revealing our true nature through satire, we would change our shameful ways. Swift admitted himself that he wanted "vex" the world with his satire, and it is certainly in his tone, more than anything else, that you can feels his intentions. The Yahoos in Book four act as one of Swifts main symbols conveying his pessimism of basic human nature. Swift presents their behaviour as identical to that of human at their worst. They are greedy, lazy, envious and violent. ...read more.

Middle

Swift may be satirizing himself as his attitude towards the changes going on around him during the period of enlightenment was one of distain. Below the city of Laputa, in Balnibarbi where seemingly normal people are oppressed by floating island above, theoretical knowledge has proven positively disastrous. It is explained to Gulliver that some Laputans came down to create vast collages to perfect their already functioning society. However, these academies result in the ruin of agriculture and architecture and stem the impoverishment of the population. A perfect example is the quote where Gulliver observes that: "In these Colleges, the Professors contrive new Rules and Methods of Agriculture and Building, whereby, one Man shall do the Work of Ten; a Palace may be built in a Week, with Materials so durable as to last forever without repairing. The only Inconvenience is, that none of these Projects are yet brought to Perfection; and in the mean time, the whole Country lies by miserably in waste" Overall, Swift presents his pessimism of contemptuous intellectualism through the Laputans as showing how change is not necessarily a good thing and highlighting all the dangers and limitations that abstract and theoretical knowledge have. That concludes my analysis of Swifts pessimism of human nature through using the Yahoos, Lilliputians and Laputans to expose those proud contemptuous figures of the state and to expose the true nature of mankind's: * Basic Human nature * Excessive Pride * Contemptuous intellectualism I will now present Larkin's pessimism of Human nature, mainly that of Human Failure and Basic Human nature drawing comparisons with Swifts presentation of pessimism. ...read more.

Conclusion

The second specific technique used throughout the Whitsun weddings collection is the use of Ambiguous language. It allows the reader to interpret what the meaning of the poem in many different ways. In Sunny Prestatyn; "Slapped up one day in March" acts as dark humour as it is ambiguous whether it is the poster being slapped onto a wall or the real girl being physically hit. The second example of ambiguous language is present in the last line: "Now Fight Cancer is there." Larkin leaves it up to the reader whether the cancer is the attitude of men who see women as objects, or whether it is this behaviour which is the cancer of humanity, or more likely; is the cancer a metaphor for the cancer in society such as the advertising industry? Larkin as always brings the harsh reality back to the reader at the end. Swift also believes in this cancer of society, evident in his description of the twisted society of each of the places he visited. In conclusion, I believe that Swift and Larkin were two people perturbed by to human condition, however, what they believe is so pessimistic about the human condition is its capacity to lie. Swift satirises contemptible figures who are oblivious to their own shortcomings and Larkin shows through his poetry how he detests humans ideals (pause), such as the unobtainable ideals of Prestatyn promoted in the poster or the ideals of Faith Healing that is merely American quackery or that lie that we lead when we dismiss failure to luck or chance as seen in "As bad as a mile". They wanted to show that we are Human and we are bound by our nature. And we must accept that human nature is never and will never be perfect. ...read more.

The above preview is unformatted text

This student written piece of work is one of many that can be found in our International Baccalaureate Misc 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 International Baccalaureate Misc essays

  1. Comparing and Contrasting Envy and Deception in Shakespeares Much Ado About Nothing and Othello

    This type of self-deception contrasts with the one seen in Much Ado About Nothing as it does not lead to the downfall of the characters. Beatrice and Benedick are examples of this self-deception in the sense that they both love each other, but hide behind this fact through a war of wits.

  2. The Role of Sin in The Crucible

    Another figure worth noting with greed is Thomas Putnam. Miller writes, "Land-lust which had been expressed before by constant bickering over boundaries and deeds, could now be elevated to the arena of morality; one could cry witch against one's neighbor and feel perfectly justified Peterson 4 in the bargain" (Miller 1237), as Thomas Putnam illustrates.

  1. The History & Development of Reflexology

    So how would reflexology be of benefit to an Alzheimer's patient? First and foremost it is relaxing. The Daily Mail produced an article on the benefits of reflexology and stated in it that 'Alzheimer's patients saw a reduction in body stiffness and arthritis as well as alleviation of the illness's

  2. According to the standards within the Ln Yu, has the Confucian gentleman survived to ...

    at a great sacrifice; not to do to others as you would not wish done to yourself; to have no murmuring against you in the country and none in the family." Chung-kung said, "Though I am deficient in intelligence and vigor, I will make it my business to practice this lesson."

  1. What is a human?

    but they quickly realize that they made a mistake and correct it, making sure never to do it again. This shows that they understand right and wrong once someone explains it to them. A similarity between this argument and the first one is the fact that both disregard animals as people.

  2. A comparison and analysis of the speed and efficiency between Microsofts Windows XP and ...

    Tiger is a lot faster than its competent when it comes to startup and shutdown. 2.3: What can the users conclude from the results? Time plays a critical part in the everyday processes and operations of the business world. All financial and other business transactions, communications, and business records are ultimately time based and time dependent.

  1. Effect of Light intensity on the Anaerobic Respiration of Pygmy Chain Sword

    rely on it for energy, or feed off other organisms which photosynthesize. "It is the basis for most terrestrial food chains, is the ultimate source of the fuel energy in oil and coal, and is responsible for the origin and maintenance of oxygen in the atmosphere."

  2. Can the work of architect Le Corbusier be explored in the context of the ...

    and ?basic materials?, these include in the following strict order of importance: 1. Sun, 2. Sky, 3. Trees, 4. Steel, 5. Cement (Le Corbusier 1967, p. 86). Le Corbusier believed that they were the most important aspects, along with space, in the modernisation of architecture and within the context of town planning.

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