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

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.

Extracts from this document...


Reformer Swift An Anglo-Irishman who desperately desired to be English but destined with the Irish, Jonathan Swift was a man of mystery. His writings were often published anonymously. Gulliver's Travels, first published in 1726, printed with the name Lemuel Gulliver. Only a few knew that the real author was Dr. Swift, the distinguished Dean of the Anglican St. Patrick's Cathedral in Dublin, Ireland. In the famous pamphlet, "A Modest Proposal for Preventing the Children of Poor People in Ireland from Being a Burden to their Parents or Country, and for Making them Beneficial to the Public," or, now simply known as "A Modest Proposal," Swift became the Irish patriot defending them against the English oppressive policies. Both works of literature illustrate Swift's aim of improving human conduct-enabling the people to be more decent and humane. Swift uses "A Modest Proposal and Gulliver's Travels to influence government policies on poverty and social repression to reform the vices, follies, and foibles through satire and metaphors. ...read more.


(40) Swift satirizes the Lilliputian law to demonstrate the ridiculous laws Parliament creates; laws that were often unbeneficial to society instead of constructing regulations that improve society. In "A Modest Proposal" the assurance of "a young healthy child well nursed is at a year old a most delicious, nourishing, and wholesome food, whether stewed, roasted, baked, or boiled ..." (507) depicts children as delicious items of food. The use of satire enables audiences to recognize Swift's sarcasm and clearly understand the attack Swift is making on the English government. Ireland was suffering from great poverty and Swift blames the British who evidently are held responsible due to the fact that Ireland, at the time, was a colony, many of the people were servants to the British landlords who demanded large amounts of rent or payment. The sarcasm pokes fun at the heartless English governments attitude and action toward the greedy British landlords and the starving children. The description of the children as pieces of meat was an adamant signal to catch the attention of the English Parliament. ...read more.


(505) The metaphor depicts children as an item for sale similar to meat being sold at a meat market with "helpful" tips for the sellers. Through the metaphor Swift plays on the emotional appeal of the audience, arousing the tender and passionate feelings. The proposal of offering children as sources of food is introduced to enhance the real impact of poverty. Swift takes the poverty in Ireland to an extreme and recommends the distribution of the younger ones to bring to light the true devastation and extent of poverty for which the lack of ruling and help from the English government is blamed for. Jonathan Swift the "master of satire" deeply cared for society and people. His desire to improve society and humanity inspired him to write Gulliver's Travels and "A Modest Proposal." Both are brilliant works of literature used to reform the government's policy on issues like poverty and social oppression through the techniques of satire and metaphor. Swifts ultimate goal in writing both literary works was the eventual happiness or equilibrium of society. ...read more.

The above preview is unformatted text

This student written piece of work is one of many that can be found in our AS and A Level Jonathan Swift 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 AS and A Level Jonathan Swift essays

  1. Swift's main purpose in Gulliver's Travels.

    a meager countenance, and sallow complexion are the true Marks of noble Blood" and the "Imperfections of his Mind run parallel with those of his Body," which include "Spleen, Dullness, Ignorance, Caprice, Sensuality, and Pride" (Swift 193). On top of the fact that there is a class structure, wherein a

  2. A Modest Proposal.

    Jonathan Swift has created a narrator with a definite personality. He is a typical person from upper ruling class. Although the conditions were bad for the poor Irish Catholics, what Swift wanted to expose was the ruling classes reluctant to do anything serious to solve the economic crisis.

  1. Satire of Gullivers Travels. In Gulliver's Travels, Swift satirizes the corruption of the English ...

    As per their names, the distinguishing mark of the parties is the height of their heels. Within these two parties, Swift satirizes the English political parties, and the Prince of Wales. Swift also insinuates the religion war that was going on in England through the use of the war between Lilliput and Blefuscu.

  2. Jonathan Swift's Gulliver's travels has a very pessimistic view of human kind.

    He also uses Gulliver to gain more power. In my opinion, he is not only small in size but morally small. In the character of the Emperor, Swift satirizes political power. I think that the ongoing war between Lilliput and Blefuscu is about wounded vanity. It isn't over anything considerable like land but over how you are supposed to eat an egg.

  1. Gulliver's Travels - How Does Jonathon Swift use satire to show up the time ...

    Bitter satire creates the biggest reaction. He uses the King as a respective listener. Somebody who had heard all the crimes and is not impressed. The King himself says, 'the bulk of your natives to be the most pernicious race of little odious vermin that nature ever suffered to crawl upon the surface of the earth.'

  2. Human Nature in Gulliver's Travels

    Indeed, Swift is attacking the England and France of his time for their tendencies to be uncompromising over small matters and to start a fight over them, which are so fundamental to humans at all levels and spheres in all societies.

  1. Satire and Colonialism in the eighteenth century: 'A Modest Proposal' and 'Gulliver's Travels'

    This shows that a small group people can be the result of mass poverty and pain. This is a perfect example of colonialism. A group of people go into a country that it's not their own, and they try to convert their way of life with religion, language and conventions.

  2. Guillivers Travels. In this essay I will discuss all 4 voyages in which ...

    Although lying is seen as terrible offence Flimnap gets away with lying that Gulliver slept with his wife. Besides the physical implications of this it is problematic to enforce its norms against lying for the law to matter. (Grade saver)

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