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Jonathan Swift (1667--1745)
Jonathan Swift (1667--1745)
Jonathan Swift (1667--1745)
Jonathan Swift (1667--1745)
Introduction to Gulliver’s Travels
Introduction to Gulliver’s Travels
Part 1
Part 1
Part 2
Part 2
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Jonathan Swift (1667--1745)

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1Jonathan Swift (1667--1745). 10Yahoos, whose relations remind him of
2Life Introduction. Jonathan Swift, a those existing in English society to such
posthumous child (???), was born in a degree that he shudders at the prospect
Dublin, Ireland, of an English family, of returning to his native.
which had important connections but little 11Swift’s Skill in Gulliver’s Travels.
wealth. Through the generosity of an In structure, the four parts make an
uncle, he was educated at Kilkenny Grammar organic whole, with each contrived upon an
School and then Trinity College in Dublin. independent structure, and yet
Between 1689 and 1699 he worked as a complementing the others and contributing
private secretary to a distant kinship Sir to the central concern of study of human
William Temple, a retired diplomat. And nature and life. The first two parts are
there he also received a first-rate generally considered the best paired-up
education in politics through contact with work. Here, man is observed from both ends
Temple and many other well-known of a telescope.
politicians, learning much about the vice, 12The exaggerated smallness in part 1
hypocrisy, intrigues, deception and works just as effectively as the
corruption in the political world. exaggerated largeness in part 2. The
3Swift’s Literary Position and Works. similarities between human beings and the
Literary Position Swift is one of the Lilliputians and the contrast between the
greatest masters of English prose. Swift Brobdingna giants and human beings both
is a master satirist. Even today, he is bear reference to the possibilities of
still regarded as a national hero in human state. Part 3 furthers the criticism
Ireland. Works: The Tale of Tub (1704) of the western civilization and deals with
Battle of the Books (written in 1679, false illusion about science, philosophy,
published in 1704) Gulliver’s Travels history and even immortality. The last
(1726), his greatest satiric work. part leads the reader to a fundamental
4Swift’s Concerns in his Works. Moral questions: What on earth is a human being?
attributes Swift was a man of great moral 13Previewing Work for A Modest Proposal.
integrity and social charm. He had a deep Qs: What is the narrator’s proposal? Do
hatred for all the rich oppressors and a you think that it is modest? How do you
deep sympathy for all the poor and understand the subtitle? What tone is used
oppressed. Human nature His understanding here? Illustrate your points with some
of human nature is profound. In his examples from the text.
opinion, human nature is seriously and 14Analysis of A Modest Proposal. Outline
permanently flawed. To better human life, (4 parts) Part 1: Para1-7 (the present
enlightenment is needed, but to redress it situation in Ireland expect a proposal to
is very hard. He intends not to condemn solve the problem of poor children
but to reform and improve man nature and beggars) Part 2: Para 8-19 (detailing his
human institutions, there is often an proposal) Part 3: Para 20-28 (illustrating
under or overtone of helplessness and the advantages of his proposal) Part 4:
indignation. Para 29-33 (supposing an objection to his
5Swift’s Artistic Features. Satire His proposal ).
satire is usually masked by an outward 15Part 1. What are the present
gravity and an apparent earnestness which situations in Ireland? (Ireland falls in
renders his satire all the more powerful. poverty and overpopulation. Poor female
Simplicity and Directness Swift is always beggars with their children, people in
most unsurpassed in the writing style of Ireland lack of national loyalty, the
simple, direct, precise prose. He defined English government is devouring Ireland)
a good style as “proper words in proper What is Swift's attitude toward the
places.” Clear, simple, concrete diction, beggars he describes in the opening
uncomplicated sentence structure, economic paragraph? Notice the narrator’s defense
and conciseness of language mark all his for his own proposal, and the statistical
writings—essays, poems and novels. data. (his computation and economic mind).
6Introduction to Gulliver’s Travels. 16Part 2. What is his proposal? (Para
Gulliver’s Travels, Jonathan’s best 10. 120,000 children, among which 20,000
fictional work, was published in 1726, reserved for breed, only ? to be males;
under the title of Travels into Several the remaining 100,000 be offered in sale)
Remote Nations of the World, by Samuel the plump and fat children will be good
Gulliver. The book contains four parts, for feeding and clothing Appreciate Para
each dealing with one particular voyage 9,10,12,14,15.
during which Gulliver meets with 17Part 3. The advantages of the proposal
extraordinary adventures on some remote a. it would greatly lessen the number of
island after he has met with shipwreck of Papists b. the poorer tenants will have
piracy of some other misfortune. something valuable of their own c. the
7Part 1. The first part tells about his money gained from transaction will
experience in Lilliput, where the circulate in the country d. their breeders
inhabitants are only six inches tall), will benefit from it directly e. this food
twelve times smaller than the normal human would bring great custom to taverns f.
beings. The emperor believed himself to be this would be a great inducement to
the delight and terror of the universe, marriage.
but it appeared quite absurd to Gulliver 18Part 4. Anticipating the objection of
who was twelve times as tall as he. In his the proposal Para 33 What is the
account of the two parties in the country, narrator’s attitude in saying that “I have
distinguished by the use of high and low no children by which I can propose to get
heels, Swift satirizes the Tories and the a single penny, the youngest being nine
Whigs in England. Religious disputes were years old, and my wife past childbearing”?
laughed at in an account of a problem With what social groups does he identify
which divided the Lilliputians: “ Should himself?
eggs be broken at the big end or the 19The speaker is a Protestant and a
little end?”. member of the Irish upper class. While he
8Part 2. In the second part, Gulliver professes sympathy for the plight of the
is left alone in Brobdingnag where people poor Catholic population, he also holds a
are not only ten times taller and larger fairly contemptuous opinion of them. He
than ordinary human beings, but also takes great pains to enumerate the
superior in wisdom. Gulliver now found advantages of his proposed project for the
himself a dwarf among men sixth feet in wealthy, who would presumably be called
height. The king, who regarded Europe as upon to implement it. Yet Swift's irony
if it were an anthill. implicates this moneyed class for their
9Part 3. The third part deals with monetary greed, their personal indulgence,
mainly with his accidental visit to the their unflagging attention to their own
flying Island, where the philosophers and self-interest, and their indifference to
projectors devote all their time and the state of the poor and the state of the
energy to the study of some absurd nation as a whole.
problems. Their scientists are engaged in 20Summary. With bitter irony, that the
projects for exacting sunbeams out of poverty of the Irish people should be
cucumbers, turning ice into gunpowder and relieved by the sale of their children,
making cloth from cobweb. It is a parody “at a year old”, as food for the rich, the
on scholastics and projectors. narrator put forward his so-called perfect
10Part 4. The last part is a most proposal . With the utmost gravity, he set
interesting account of his discoveries in out statistics to show the revenue that
the Houyhnhnm land, where horses are would come if this idea were adopted. The
endowed with reason and all good and remedy, Swift took care to point out, was
admirable qualities, and are the governing only for the kingdom of Ireland, not for
class. Contrary to the Houyhnhnms, the the whole England. The last proposal is a
Yahoos ??????possess every conceivable most heartbreaking piece of sarcasm that
evil. They are malicious, spiteful, fiery indignation has given birth to and a
envious, unclean and greedy. Gulliver most powerful blow at the English
admires the life and ways of the horses, government’s policy of exploitation and
as much as he is disgusted with the oppression in Ireland.
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Jonathan Swift (1667--1745)

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