Jonathan Swift Essay
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Compare and contrast the ways in which the problem of homelessness and the solution to it are presented in the two texts: ‘A Modest Proposal’ by Jonathan Swift and ‘Stone Cold’ by Robert Swindells. In this assignment I am going to compare the two texts, which talk about their anger of homelessness. Although the two texts are written 250 years apart where the problem of homelessness was first outlined by Jonathan Swift it is still a big problem today as Robert Swindells outlines in his text.
The text written by Robert Swindells, ‘Stone Cold’, shows the cruelty of the DSS, who brush aside the homeless like Link because he hasn’t got a permanent address. This particular problem was outlined by the Robert Swindells, as they made no attempt to help the young homeless people in London. Link says that he may as well be speaking to one of the stone lions in Trafalgar Square, suggesting to the reader it was a complete waste of time.
This is linked with ‘A Modest Proposal’, which was written by Jonathan Swift 250 years ago as it states about how uncaring the rich landlords of Ireland are. For example, Who, as they have already devoured most of the Parents, seem to have the best title to the children, which means the landlords have already eaten most of the parents and seem to have the best right to the children, which I feel means the landlords don’t really care about the poor. I also think this is a savage comment.
Another problem outlined in the two texts is that of unemployment. In ‘Stone Cold’ Swindells shows the problem of unemployment when Link goes to find a job and is turned down because he doesn’t have a fixed address. So this means anybody without a fixed address cannot get a job. This problem leads to a whole string of problems like: no money, no accommodation, which leads to people begging on the streets to get as much money as they can.
In ‘A Modest Proposal’ the problem of unemployment was around 250 years ago as well. How ever the problem 250 years ago was very different as it was mainly the women who were unemployed as they had 3-6 children each as there was no control over getting pregnant. This meant the women had to support the children whatever way she could this usually meant begging. So in the two texts the problem of unemployment in the end the result seemed to be begging on the streets to survive. So putting that together I can see that in 250 years when the problem was first outlined by Swift, it is still a major problem today, and there are still uncaring people towards them.
In the next section of my assignment I am going to write about the language of the two texts. If you compare the two texts, you can notice the way in which the two writers spell words and also the punctuation is very different. If you look at the text for ‘A Modest Proposal’ words are spelt very differently from today, as they did not have a dictionary the writer spelt words, as he wanted to. For example the way Jonathan Swift spelt publick is not the way we would write today. We would spell it public. The spelling in ‘Stone Cold’ is, however, standardized as we now get our words from a dictionary, so to us it makes perfect sense. Also in ‘Stone Cold’ there is great use of 20th century slang words like, Doggie bag, which is slang for someone’s name I would think.
The way the two writers use punctuation is very different. In ‘A Modest Proposal’ the punctuation is very different to how we use punctuation now. The writer seems to put commas wherever he feels like and also puts capital letters in the middle of a sentence. For example, when they see the Streets, the Roads, and Cabbin-Doors, crowded with beggars of the female Sex. You can see that there is a lot of use of commas where some of them should be full stops. Also if you look towards the end of the sentence you can see that Sex is spelt with a capital at the end of a sentence. In contrast if you look at the text for ‘Stone Cold’ the writers use of punctuation is very different to that of Jonathan Swift’s ‘A Modest Proposal’, as in ‘Stone Cold’ the writer’s punctuation is standardized into 20th century language.