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AS and A Level: Jonathan Swift

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  1. 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
  2. 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
  3. 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
  4. 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
  5. 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
  6. 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
  7. 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
  8. 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
  9. 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
  10. 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
  11. "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
  12. "Swift has a very bleak view of human nature." Discuss the ways in which Swift uses various satirical techniques in Gulliver's Travels to expose ills of human nature and failings of Englandand Europe's societies and institutions.

    His ship crashes and he is finally cast upon the land of Lilliput. He falls to sleep due to sheer exhaustion and wakes up later, tied up. As he opens his eyes he see's the inhabitants of Lilliput, the Lilliputians. With their six inch stature he is shocked and confused to whom these species could be. A short while later he is released and talks to the king of Lilliput. Sadly the tiny size of the inhabitants makes everything about them, such as concerns, and beliefs seem so irrelevant and pathetic.

    • Word count: 1095
  13. The Satirical Methods of Swift in Gulliver's Travels.

    In spite of his predicament, Gulliver is at first impressed by the intelligence and organizational abilities of the Lilliputians. On his first voyage, Swift places Gulliver in a land of miniature people where his giant size is meant as a metaphor for his superiority over the Lilliputians, thus representing English society's belief in superiority over all other cultures. Yet, despite his belief in superiority, Swift shows that Gulliver is not as great as he imagines when the forces of nature call upon him to relieve himself. Gulliver comments to the reader that before hand he, "was under great difficulties between urgency and shame", and after the deed says that he felt, "guilty of so unclean an action".

    • Word count: 1424
  14. Sick Swift - Analysing an article from the Irish herald that discussed Jonathan Swift's viel suggestion of human child digestion.

    He wouldn't know what the conditions are like for workers in the countryside let alone know how fairly the landlords treat their tenants. Most outraged of all people seem to be the landlords who have been accused at the highest in this false allegation by Swift. We read some of the passage to some members of the public, this is the part we read out taken from A Modest Proposal "As to my own part, having turned my Thoughts for many Years, upon this important Subject, and maturely weighed the several Schemes of other Projectors, I have always found them grosly mistaken in their Computation.

    • Word count: 1300
  15. Gulliver's Travels: Ideal Standards of Conduct

    As a result of their ideal ways of living, their environment is free of war, famine, laziness and diseases among many other pathologies. Gulliver learns that human beings, no matter how civilized they have become over many generations still retain those savage-like instincts which makes them act in disgusting ways. The yahoos are therefore a symbol of human beings in their worst forms and it is through observing the yahoos that Gulliver learns human beings are a far departure from what is considered 'ideal'.

    • Word count: 1059
  16. Gulliver's Travels - How Does Jonathon Swift use satire to show up the time in which he lived and the way people behaved?

    Swift says, "You see few great persons about the court who are not adorned with one of these girdles." They're each full of their own importance. I say this because every individual shows off his or her medal. Swift also has the feeling that you don't need ability anymore to get on in life. He ridicules this as well. You just need to 'kowtow' to the leader. He's using circus imagery. Jumping through hoops being put through paces. They're picked because of their allegiance to the Emperor, not on political intellectual merit. He also uses ridicule in the last part of Book 1 when Gulliver urinates on the Palace and in doing so gets the Queen wet.

    • Word count: 1931
  17. Which phrase better describes 'Gulliver's Travels',

    Characters such as the people in the Court at Lilliput and their antics to procure promotion, and the people in the Academy at Lagado and their time consuming and worthless research are examples of this criticism. In book one in Lilliput the reader is presented with some amusement during the descriptions given of the court proceedings, and how meaningless they are. The ceremonies are over the top and unnecessary, the awarding of honours is ridiculed, and the political differences and mocked when Gulliver informs the reader about the disputes over how an egg should be eaten.

    • Word count: 1522
  18. "The chief object of satire in 'Gulliver's Travels' is Gulliver himself." Discuss.

    Often, Swift gives the reader direct comparisons. Two good examples of these are the people in the Court at Lilliput and their antics to procure promotion, and the people in the Academy at Lagado and their time consuming and worthless research. As the reader travels through each book the humanity becomes more degenerate and despicable and the reader is left to face himself or herself in the Yahoo, whereas the well-bred horse portrays the superior, sensitive, intelligent and virtuous characteristics.

    • Word count: 1862

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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