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AS and A Level: Jonathan Swift

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  1. Satire of Gullivers Travels. In Gulliver's Travels, Swift satirizes the corruption of the English government, society, science, religion, and man in general.

    In this section, the royal palace is accidentally set on fire, containing the empress inside. Gulliver makes use of his urine to save the palace. While this vulgar episode was a display of bravery, it infuriated the emperor, causing revenge to be vowed on Gulliver. Rather then be happy that both the emperor and the palace are not in ruin, the littleness of the government and the people in general is satirized in this act. The political parties of the English government are insinuated by the conservative High Heels who depict the Tories, and the progressive Low Heels, or Whigs.

    • Word count: 832
  2. Jonathan Swift the master of satire deeply cared for society and people. His desire to improve society and humanity inspired him to write Gullivers Travels and A Modest Proposal.

    To many people take Gulliver's Travels, at first glance, to be simply a fantastic narrative of a common man and his encounters with unusual locations and people through several journeys, however further inspection reveals Swift's true purpose of creativity-satire. Using the contemporary style of the Travel Narrative, Swift is able to insert his own personal criticisms of modern life into the experience of Gulliver. Throughout the novel Gulliver comes across many characters one of them being the Lilliputians. "The small people" or Lilliputians are used to bring about state control and religious minimization.

    • Word count: 917
  3. Human Nature in Gulliver's Travels

    Yet, the allegory is satirical, with Swift trying to point out how human disputes can be so groundless and trivial. He mocks the countries by saying that "eleven thousand Persons have, at several times, suffered Death, rather than submit to break their Eggs at the smaller End" and that "we [Lilliput] have lost forty Capital Ships...together with thirty thousand of our best Seamen and Soldiers" because of the disagreement. So ridiculous it is to make such a fuss about which end of the egg to break!

    • Word count: 2182
  4. Satire and Colonialism in the eighteenth century: 'A Modest Proposal' and 'Gulliver's Travels'

    In his books and novels Swift was attacking ruthlessly the Whigs. In the eighteenth century when Swift was writing English and Irish Protestants were controlling the Irish Catholics. Catholics were not allowed in a position of authority and power. The harder a Catholic worked the more likely he or she would be punished. A law was designed to keep people poor. By 1750 the Catholics owned only seven percent of the land in Ireland, but ninety-five percent of the population were Catholic.

    • Word count: 2144
  5. A Feminist Approach on Jonathan Swift's "Gulliver Travels"

    Some critics like Lord Orrery, Middleton Murry and Norman O. Brown have suggested that Swift was a misogynist, because of the way in which he is attacking women's physical aspect. Jonathan Swift often mentions the female body with repugnance. He very often dwells with exaggerated horror at the sight of a woman's body performing its normal bodily functions. Many have concluded from this that he hated women and considered them inferior to men. Gulliver hates humanity through women. Swift portrays women as inferior creatures, comparing them to lusty, dirty, and ignorant animals, ultimately leading to Gulliver's disgust in women in general at the end of the novel.

    • Word count: 1731
  6. Gulliver's Travels Essay

    Other good examples are Snow White And The 7 Dwarfs, Jack And The Beanstalk and 101 Dalmatians. The Little Beings Are Hurtful - Lilliput In Lilliput, there are creatures that are like humans, but they are just smaller in size. In this voyage to Lilliput, Gulliver is the giant who is very virtuous but he acquaints with evil little creatures. You would expect the Lilliputians to be kind and loving because of their size and Gulliver to be mean and aggressive, but being a change from the norm, the characteristics have been swapped.

    • Word count: 2413
  7. Based On Your Reading Of Gulliver's Travels, To What Extent Do You Agree That Jonathan Swift Is Misanthropic In His Presentation Of Human Society

    This is one of the stupid laws in Lilliput. This is like politics in the 18th century and even now, in that the rich were the only ones in parliament in the 18th century, and now it is mostly the rich in parliament because they are the only ones who can finance a campaign. Another law is no urinating in the palace. When a fire breaks out in the palace Gulliver does not want it to burn down, "This magnificent palace would have infallibly been burned to the ground," so he urinates on it to put it out.

    • Word count: 1795
  8. Satire in Gulliver's Travels

    This section will look at the satirical aspects of the first book, where in Gulliver visits the land of Lilliput. Gulliver is a normal human being visiting a recognizably European society, but he is twelve times bigger than the lands inhabitants. The Lilliputians are as small morally as they are physically. They are petty and have arguments over aspects of life such as upon which end to break an egg: ?the king seemed to think nothing ... of destroying the Big-Endian exiles, and compelling that people to break the smaller end of their eggs; by which he would remain sole monarch of the world.

    • Word count: 1151
  9. Gulliver's Travels - review

    From this island Gulliver visits the country of Balnibarbi, which as mentioned before is situated underneath Laputa; on this island Gulliver was quite surprised to see all of the weird and wonderful scientific experiments that were going on. We are then taken to Luggnagg where the people, Struldburggs, are domed to ever lasting senility, a horrible sight of physical and mental decay. Through out the opening pages of Gulliver's Travels, Gulliver tries to make himself out as a reliable and respectful character, which, is actually a contradiction to his own name, as the name Gulliver is a parody of the word 'Gullible' meaning easy to fool.

    • Word count: 1732
  10. Consider some of the ways Jonathan Swift satirises England of the 1720's.

    There was countless books being published about men and their adventures around the world. Other than Swift, two trael writers who wrote in the 1700's were Laurence Sterne and Tobias Smollet. However, they managed to write in such a way that the English society was not satirised at all. Swift found these books boring. He felt that the lists were too long and that much of the writing was written in too much detail. He thought that all that detail wasn't needed. He satirises this in Gullivers Travels by copying it. However, when he did copy it, he added so much detail that it was obvious that he was mocking the way which travel writers back then wrote.

    • Word count: 1133
  11. Swift's A Modest Proposal is famous as an example of Satire. In what ways, and with what effects do you think he achieves his satirical aims?

    This is true in fact for his proposal as the people who this proposal is aimed for don't realise that Swift is talking about them until later on, and that's when they see their own reflection in Swift's Modest Proposal. This is also described as 'The iron fist in a velvet glove'. The iron fist is the reality hidden inside the 'velvet glove', the glove being the tone in which the proposal is written which is pleasant and subdued. The title alone for the proposal is described as 'Modest', which in a way is ironic as there is nothing modest about the 'devouring of the children of the poor'.

    • Word count: 833
  12. Swift's main purpose in Gulliver's Travels.

    In an effort to reform the social structure of England, Swift shows the reader the ridiculousness of a few people managing the lives of an entire nation and collecting the profits put forth by the majority's work. "Without the Consent of this illustrious Body [the Nobility]," Swift declares, "no Law can be enacted repealed, or altered: And these Nobles have likewise the Decision of all our Possessions without Appeal" (193). Thus, Swift opens the door showing the corruption of the class system and the undue power of the Nobility over the lives of the population.

    • Word count: 4302
  13. Jonathan Swift was a great fan of using sarcasm, exaggerations and caricatures. All of these words can be summarised into one satire. Swift uses satire in most of his work and Gulliver's Travels is no exception.

    The size of the inhabitants and the events that happen on the island make the people seem very insignificant, but after a while you realise that Swift is actually mocking Europe. Swift mocks the way that leaders are acquired by them having to jump over a stick to become of any importance. On this island there is a very ridiculous war about the way that an egg should be cracked open. Gulliver left this island believing that the inhabitants were insignificant to him and continued thinking about the greatness of Europe.

    • Word count: 968
  14. A Modest Proposal.

    For many years these Penal laws excluded Catholics from all public life and much normal private social activity. They made it illegal for Catholics to buy land, obtain a mortgage on it, rent it at a reasonable profit or even inherit it. While a Catholic was legally allowed to rent land on a lease not exceeding thirty-one years, if he made a profit of more than one-third of this rent he might lose the lease to the first Protestant who could inform against him. In this way not only did the Penal Laws prevent Catholics from acquiring land by purchase of lease, they also saw to it that such land as was still left in the hands of the Catholic majority after all the confiscations dwindled with the years.

    • Word count: 1715
  15. The Travels of Lemuel Gulliver.

    It also puts the period of Enlightenment in perspective for the reader. The main purpose of Book IV of Gulliver's Travels is to provide the two extremes of human nature, as well as show what position on that spectrum we as humans should strive to achieve. The "positive" extreme Gulliver encounters on his arrival to the island is the Houyhnhnm, a horse ruled by reason. Gulliver almost immediately admires these creatures as well as everything about them, especially their speech: "Their language approaches nearest to the High Dutch or German, of any I know in Europe, but is much more graceful and significant."

    • Word count: 1265
  16. Jonathan Swift's Gulliver's Travel is probably the most widely read political satire ever.

    My analysis throws light on the relevance and reference of his story in the time that it was written. Swift wrote Gulliver's Travels at a time when Europe was the world's dominant power, and when England, despite its small size, was a rising power with its formidable navy. England's imperialism brought it into contact with a wide variety of new animals, plants, places, and things, but the most significantly, encounter with previously unknown people-like the inhabitants of the Americas-with radically different modes of existence. The miniature stature of the Lilliputians and the gigantic inhabitants of Brobdingnag can be interpreted as a physical incarnation of exactly these kinds of cultural differences.

    • Word count: 1167
  17. Analysing a passage of part II, Gulliver's travels.

    a very offensive smell came from their skins?...?but I conceive that my sense was more acute in proportion to my littleness, and that those illustrious persons were no more disagreeable to their lovers, or to each other, than people of the same quality are with us in England." Because these women are so much bigger than him, not only do they smell unpleasant to him but they also look fairly unpleasant. "Their skins appeared so coarse and uneven, so variously coloured when I saw them near, with a mole here and there as broad as a trencher, and hairs hanging from it thicker than packthreads; to say nothing further concerning the rest of their persons."

    • Word count: 696
  18. Jonathan Swift's Gulliver's travels has a very pessimistic view of human kind.

    In the same way, Lilliputians see themselves and show themselves as extremely important and superior which is absurd and not very realistic given their size. They represent other flaws like selfishness and hipocrisy when they are so generous and hospitable toward Gulliver only to use him later on. Of all the places where Gulliver goes, the place with the most conspiracy and backstabbing is Lilliput.

    • Word count: 705
  19. Write and essay on the methods and objectives of Swift's satire.

    The novel is a condemnation of certain human traits. Gulliver's experiences with various flawed societies foreshadow his ultimate rejection of human society in the fourth voyage. Swift's style is composed chiefly of satire, allegory, and irony. Satire can be defined as a mocking attack against vices, stupidities, and follies of man with an aim to educate and improve. Gulliver's Travels is the product of a mind deeply concerned with political matters. In the book many figures which seem to be imaginary are meant to depict real personages. There are many political allusions abound in the Travels.

    • Word count: 2131
  20. Consider Swift's presentation of two of the characters in 'Waterland' who you find most effectively portrayed.

    This permits him to build up formidably complex minds in very short periods of time as he only describes what is striking and always brings new dimensions to old characters thus he shows what Mary was like when she was a "little Madonna" and abruptly changes our whole perspective of her when we learn of her adventures thus shedding the first layer of mystery and giving the reader something new to reflect on. Swift also for some of the characters gives us information at the very the beginning of "Waterland" and it takes the whole novel for us to learn how that person died (in the case of d**k)

    • Word count: 3806
  21. Gulliver’sTravels Essay.

    The idea that many wars are started for foolish reasons is humorously conveyed to the reader in book one. In book four, Swift takes another look at the same issue with much more serious intentions in mind. While describing the Yahoos (who represent humanity's basic instincts), the author points out that humans have a natural inclination toward violence. Though humans have the gift of reason just like the morally judicious Houyhnhnms, they always seem to be fighting each other as a method of resolving disputes.

    • Word count: 1609
  22. The exploration of the human nature, of the mind and of experience, forms the basis for the works of writers like John Donne or Jonathan Swift.

    Thus, in their works, both Donne and Swift trace the path of conciousness and the work of the mind and ultimately provide commentary on broad matters such as religion (Donne) or society and politics(Swift). John Donne's sonnet 5, reflects the mode of dramtic realism in its exposition of the speaker's thought process and change. The speaker confronts a strong fear of sin and punishment with a plea to be forgiven or "cleansed", either by water or by fire. He recognizes himself as a microcosam but also perhaps fears that these "elements" or substances that we are built of and which are combined with spirituality or soul-"angelic sprite" will die and be condemned, as expressed in "both parts must die."

    • Word count: 1276
  23. "A Modest Proposal" - Swift.

    By making the text so believable it highlights how serious the plight of the Irish was. Swift uses the following reasons to advance his plan; firstly, eating the poor children will solve the problem of over-population among the Catholics. Secondly, it will make the remaining Catholics richer, since they will have such valuable commodities to sell in exchange for rent credit, etc. Thirdly, it will help the economy since less money will have to be spent on the upbringing of so many poor children.

    • Word count: 1172
  24. In 'A Modest Proposal', Swift proposes that eating the children of the poor is the answer to Ireland's economic problems.

    Throughout the essay Swift says that he has thoroughly researched this idea. He even goes so far as to give calculations about how many children Ireland could support a year. In this essay we will observe three passages where Swift uses satire to point out the problems facing Ireland and how to resolve these problems. The first situation that Swift creates where moral order is confused is when he describes what delicious meals the children would make. He says that his American friend has told him that a year old child makes a delicious dish, whether stewed, roasted, baked, or boiled.

    • Word count: 625
  25. How effective is Swift's

    Swift has written in considerable detail over the degree of poverty in Ireland, he draws attention to the causes of it obliquely and proves in great detail that his "Proposal" will work and in which ways it does work. Ireland was a colony of England; it was economically, politically and militarily dependent on England. This was profitable for England because a weak, poor Ireland could not challenge them and by not financially aiding the Irish they built up their own economy.

    • Word count: 2447

Conclusion analysis

Good conclusions usually refer back to the question or title and address it directly - for example by using key words from the title.
How well do you think these conclusions address the title or question? Answering these questions should help you find out.

  1. Do they use key words from the title or question?
  2. Do they answer the question directly?
  3. Can you work out the question or title just by reading the conclusion?

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