Jonathan Swift's Influence On The Age Of Reason

1722 words - 7 pages

Jonathan Swift, author of Gulliver’s Travels, opened the door for satire. He was one of the most well known satirist of The Age of Reason, which gained him much respect as a writer. Swift’s works and lifestyle reflect the Humanities of The Age of Reason, thus giving the reader a glimpse of the common man’s life during this time. In order to understand the life of Jonathan Swift, one must explore his works and The Age of Reason.
The Age of Reason was a new beginning for many man kind during the eighteenth century, therefore opening the door for people to pursue happiness and liberty. “The Age of Reason represented a genesis in the way man viewed himself, the pursuit of knowledge, and the universe. In this time period, man’s previously held concepts of conduct and thought could now be challenged verbally and in written form; fears of being labeled a heretic or being burned at the stake were done away with” ( 1). New ideas emerged leading man to explore new areas of life. Christianity was attacked which led many people to reject God, causing an uprising in the Christian society. “In an attempt to divorce himself from the mysticism of the Middle Ages, man during the Age of Reason, applauded intellect and disdained spirit” ( 2). Many people were oblivious to the world of Christianity, yet those who were not stood strong in their beliefs and knew that God existed due to the fact that nature was so beautiful and that chemicals and gases could not have created such beautiful things. Man was now free to pursue his own theories and existence about the ideas of earth. Although during this time, man sought to believe himself, he missed the basic truths that would have been clear to him if he would have not hindered his heart in denunciation ( 2). God can be found through man’s heart. He created the whole world and gave man the ability to think, discover, and reason. Along with Christianity, Science was also a big ordeal during this time. During this time, Newtonian Science became very popular and was most known for European cultural expression. “This was most evident in philosophy, which sought to find in human affairs natural laws similar to those science had discovered in the physical universe” (Hackett 1). The main approach was optimistic utopianism which was found in all the humanities of The Age of Reason.
One of the main parts of the humanities that were touched was the arts. The arts were very diverse, having many different styles. The baroque styles were still popular at the beginning of The Age of Reason. Later the rococo style overtook the baroque style as it died down. “In painting rococo emphasized the airy grace and refined pleasures of the salon and the boudoir, of delicate jewelry and porcelains, of wooded scenes, artful dances, and women, particularly women in the nude” (Hackett 1). Painters also were experts in portraits which was very popular during this time. Neoclassicism is...

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