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Jonathan Swift Essay Topics & Paper Examples

Commentary on Jonathan Swift’s Essay “A Modest Proposal”

Jonathan Swift cleverly illustrates a very “humble” solution to the crisis in Ireland in his personal essay, “A Modest Proposal. ” His voice urges annoyance and frustration, evoking a tone of sarcasm. Through the use of cynical language, he creates an intense and informative response. He uses language to create imagery which he intends to elicit a response of shock and moral responsibility. His intention is to mock Ireland and the economic crisis they have got themselves in. Swift appropriately chooses strong imagery and describes a “melancholy object” that comes from walking through Irish streets and seeing “beggars of the female sex” and “three, four, or six children, all in rags. ” Swift wants this image to convey the severe…

Notes on “The Adventures of Huckleberry Finn

“Though the novel is entitled The Adventures of Huckleberry Finn and the story is told by Huck, the key character in the novel is Jim” The Adventures of Huckleberry Finn has two key characters, one is the slave Jim, the other; the protagonist Huck. Jim and Huck could each be considered the key characters for different reasons, Jim as he is the main representative of the typical slave (slavery being the most important theme of this novel) and Huck for he is the main storyteller. Jim is an important character in The Adventures of Huckleberry Finn, and without him the novel would be ineffectual. However The Adventures of Huckleberry Finn is a novel about the adventures of the protagonist Huck,…

Masters of Satire: John Dryden and Jonathan Swift

“Both Swift and Dryden are masters of satire. Usually the satire is directed against an opponent/enemy or a political process. Using references from one poem from each writer, discuss how and why each uses satire and wit as a cutting sword.” John Dryden and Jonathan Swift became remarkable satirists through their ability to cleverly entwine political innuendos into their writings. There were mountains of governmental and religious issues occurring in the era of Dryden and Swift and these two witty men penned their standings into poetry and tales of adventure. Dryden’s “Absalom and Achitophel” is laced with his outlooks on England’s situations. He uses numerous moments of humor to make fun of the religious situation between the Catholics and the…

What makes satire an effective form of criticism?

Gulliver’s travels satireFrom the late seventeenth century to the end of the eighteenth century European thought was dominated by the idea of rationality. No longer did men accept supernatural or religious explanations for the way things were as they had previously. In the Age of Reason everything was to be explained rationally, according to natural causes. But if reason helped philosophers and scientists to penetrate some of the mysteries of nature, it proved less effective in solving problems within human society. The contradictions between man’s rational, intellectual accomplishments and the irrational way he conducted his life led some writers to question the Age of Reason’s assumption that man is a rational creature. Satire becomes the dominant form in literature, as…

Jonathan Swift’s style of writing

Many critics like William Deans Howells; T.S. Eliot etc. have called Jonathan Swift the greatest writer of prose like T.S. Eliot says that “Swift, the greatest writer of English prose, and the greatest man who has ever written great English prose.” But there are reasons for this greatness. One of the main reasons is that Swift wrote in a very plain and downright style. He didn’t use any embellishments. At times, when Swift was writing serious stuff this same plain style appears dry but when writing humorously, this same plainness gives his wit a singular edge. Swift didn’t use ornate or rhetorical language; he said what he had to in simply without any affectation as Hugh Blair says “His style…

Rhetorical Analysis of “A Modest Proposal”

Since the first British colonization attempts of Ireland the island had been a place of tyrannical oppression and prejudicial mistreatment. This went on for centuries, with constant rebellion and resistance. In 1729 Jonathan Swift, an Irish clergyman living in England, denounced the cruel policies of England in a backwards manner. His use of verisimilitude in “A Modest Proposal exposes the corruption of British foreign policy towards the impoverished Irish people. He captures the minds and hearts of his audience, the British people, by posing a solution to apparent human issues of society, only to use ridiculously horrid ideas to show the true state of Irish treatment. To earn the audience of the British people, Swift had to play their heartstrings,…