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University Degree: Jonathan Swift
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'A modest proposal could be read by an insensitive reader as a cruel, inhuman, and perfectly sincere proposal. Where and how does Swift indicate that it must not be taken at face value? Where and how does he indicate his own true feelings and opinions?
In the opening, Swift adopts the language of finance and exchange. The language offers early indication on the way the author's proposal reduces human beings to statistical entities, animals, or economical commodities. However, at times, this argument sounds almost reasonable. The depersonalising vocabulary is used to illustrate the way the British treated the Irish." I have found them grossly mistaken in their computation.' An economic proposal is put forth to solve the problem of the poor in Ireland. 'Computation' infers a depersonalising of the subject matter of the poor people. Swift's use of language highlights the emotional detachment felt by the colonising British towards the Irish.
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He despises his wife and cannot deal with the idea that he fathered children on the yahoo race. This is not the type of behaviour one would expect from such a newly enlightened man. Gulliver is a simple man; Swift created him in such a way that the people of England could identify with him easily. He has become a "familiar metaphor, the loyal native who travels to a remote nation and is soon or late obliged to make a[n]... evaluation of what he sees."ivSwift takes a few pages to establish the character Gulliver of because the reputation of the protagonist in the reader's eyes is important to his evaluation of the book.
- Word count: 1959
'The two basic modes of satire are good-humoured teasing and savage attack.' Discuss The Rape of the Lock and A Modest Proposal in the light of this statement.
The form provides a means for two ideas or situations to be compared or contrasted against one another. It is therefore perfect for the evaluative, moralising foundation of the poem, but does not attack the subject matter too viciously. This also complements the mock-epic style in which the poem is written, by building up something in one line to have it swiftly put down in the next. This approach to satire is expressed extremely well in an excellent example in what is largely known as the 'toilet scene', near the end of canto 1.
- Word count: 1463
Discuss how satire uses aspects of other genres. Use Rape of the Lock and Gulliver's Travels as the models to support your argument.
Any work whose satirical tendencies are immediately and dominantly obvious runs the risk of becoming wearying and uninteresting to read, after the events and characters become secondary to the author's political or social viewpoints. A satire must hold the interest of the reader so that the serious points behind the work can be given time to unravel gracefully and effectively. For this reason, a satirical work will often disguise itself as a product of an entirely different genre. If done well, there is no reason why the work cannot also be an entirely enjoyable example of this genre - after
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was totally foreign to the Houyhnhnms. Lying undermines the very purpose of speech-to make us understand one another. In his effort to explain European mankind to these noble creatures Gulliver is made by Swift to satirize his own society. Must men lie and twist the truth to get what they want? Another way Gulliver shows the flaws of society is by explaining the need for government and laws. Men cannot come to an agreement if there are no laws and government to rule them. Gulliver manages to rid himself of the "habit of lying, shuffling, deceiving, and equivocating, so deeply rooted in the very souls of all my species; especially the Europeans" (Swift 234)
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Chelezki: (talking to Elma Swift) So Ms. Swift, were you at the Johnsons' residence when the murders took place? Elma Swift: (looking over at Amber and crying) Yes!! I saw this evil girl taking after she had killed off her own parents and brother. (She starts screaming with rage) Judge: Order! Order! Order! Please control your emotions and answer only the question which is asked Defense: Your Honor, I object! Mr. Prosecutor is suggesting the answer to the questions he is asking Judge: Objection overruled. Mr. Chelezki, please get to your point quickly Mr. Chelezki: Yes, your Honor! (Turning his attention towards Elma Swift again) So, Ms. Swift, what exactly did you see the night of February 22nd, 01?
- Word count: 1134
The first epistle begins with the metaphor of the universe as "a mighty maze." Pope suggests that man is capable of navigating through this maze because he is endowed with the God-given faculty of Reason: Say first, of God above, or Man below, What can we reason, but from what we know? Of Man what see we, but his station here, From which to reason, or to which refer? (l. 17-20) Pope addresses the issue of man's folly as a question of fundamental evil.
- Word count: 1434
Discuss The Similarities And Differences In Themes And Ideas As Shown In 'Stone Cold' And 'A Modest Proposal'.
Link is slowly driven out his home in Bradford. Not thrown out, but through emotional hardship that his new 'dad' figure is a moron, as he says, "If you happen to know anybody who's looking for a hundred percent out-and-out bastard, I can let him have Vince's address." He movies in with his sister who lives with her boyfriend, but soon falls homeless in Bradford as staying at her sisters is awkward and her boyfriend makes it clear he doesn't want Link there. After being homeless in Bradford and all the bad memories fresh in his mind, he decides to move to London for a clean start, a job and a home.
- Word count: 1831
The Houyhnhnms have typically been viewed as a 'perfect' society - demonstrating a standard for conduct by which humanity should follow. Ward argues that the Houyhnhnms are "... intelligent in the way in which they organize their lives. They are an expression of something which we would all ... wish to be; an expression of a human ideal, an ideal which [is] very much prized" (168). This may be the case if one's ideological perspectives focus on slavery and female subordination.
- Word count: 1969