Exploring The Ways Jonathan Swift Satirises England Of The 1720's

1309 words - 5 pages

Exploring the Ways Jonathan Swift Satirises England of the 1720's

In this essay, I will be considering some of the ways Jonathan Swift
satirises the English society. I will be focusing on the effect of his
book 'Gullivers Travels' both when it was written and on a modern day
audience.

Gullivers Travels was published in 1726. Jonathan Swift caused a huge
riot because of the way he wrote the book. Satire is making a mockery
of people or a group of people in a sarcastic way. Satire uses a
variety of techniques used in satire, including a lot of toilet
humour.

In Gullivers Travels, the aspects of English Society that are
satirised are the monarchy, upper classes, the suspicious nature of
the English, and lastly the government. Swift was already angry with
the Queen, so what better way to take out his anger than criticising
the English society in a sarcastic and amusing way.

Travel wirintg was very popular back in the 1700'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.

In 1700, Queen Anne was on the throne. The Lillipution Empress is
supposed to represent her. In the chapter where Gulliver saves the
Empress and her burning palace, it is another example of satire. When
the place is burning, Gulliver urinates on the palace to put out the
fire. The Empress reacted to it by moving herself o the most distant
side of the court and said that she did not want the buildings that
Gulliver had urinated on repaired for her use. The satire is that
despite saving her, Gulliver is to be punished.

The Lillipution is a tyrant. An example to show how cruel he is, is
when he uses Guliver to capture all the fleets of Belfescu. This is
cruel because he is only using Gulliver to his advantage. Another
example of his cruelty is when he demand that Gulliver's eyes are to
be poked out to make him blind. When he does this, he expects Gulliver
to be thankful that this is the only punishment he is getting. To any
normal person, this punishment would seem very hard, but to the
Emperor, he feels that he is being lenient. Swift satirises George I
through the Lillipution Emperor. It portrays George I to be a very
cruel and horrible person.

An example to show how the Emperor was obsessed with...

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