The Life And Time Of Jonathan Swift

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The Life And Time Of Jonathan Swift Essay, Research Paper When a writer develops a novel, he/she often incorporates events, people, and places from his/her own life into the story he/she creates. Gulliver?s Travels, written by Jonathan Swift, is a prime example of this theory. In every book, chapter, page, and even word, Swift can be seen. His moral, scientific, philosophical, and political views made for a story of awesome potential. A story that touched upon every aspect of human nature. Jonathan Swift was born in Dublin on November 30, 1667. He had a rather warped childhood being that he was brought up by his uncle Godwin and without a mother or father. His father died before he was born and his mother just couldn?t afford to take care of him. Though emotionally

impoverished, he was still well provided for and attended only the best schools in Ireland. After graduating from Trinity College, Swift became secretary of the statesman Sir William Temple. He wished to enter politics but settled for the church, in which he was ordained in 1694. In 1702 he moved to England in hope of political appointment. There, in 1704, he published his first works, the Tale of a Tub, a satire on corruption in religion and learning. In 1710 the government passed from Whig to Tory control. The Tories, recognising Swift?s abilities, quickly made him the editor of their journal, the Examiner . Thus, he became an unofficial power in English politics as well as a leading writer. Swift wrote in support of the Peace of Utrecht, which ended the War of the Spanish

Succession with France and Spain. This war is recounted in Book I as the war between Lilliput and Blefuscu. He managed to turn the stream of popularity against the Whigs. And in fact, dictated the political opinions of the English nation. He delivered Ireland from plunder and oppression with such force as an author he could in fact persuade the people(Johnson 430). Because of this he became a largely respected man, but a largely hated man as well. Swift?s political power ended with another change in government in 1714. He became the deanery of St. Patrick?s Cathedral in Dublin, a post that carried prestige but also limited him to Ireland,where he would have to remain the rest of his life. Ireland in the 18th Century was a colony of England, denied self government and held back by

English landlords. He devoted the rest of his life criticising British rule in yet more satiric pamphlets such as ?A Modest Proposal,? and his most famous satire Gulliver?s Travels. In this work, he used Gulliver, as a tool in which he could anonymously speak(Hunting 92). Each of the four voyages releases a fantasy or dream situation to reflect the thoughts of Swift through the use of satire. In Book I of Gulliver?s Travels, Gulliver?s ship is destroyed in a great storm, and he wakes up in a land of little people, less than six inches tall, who call themselves Lilliputians. Gulliver is gradually accepted by the Lilliputians, and granted more and more freedoms over time. He eventually learns that the present emperor?s grandfather had issued an edict ordering all subjects to break

their eggs at the small end only. Soon a civil war broke out between those who broke their eggs at the big end and those who broke their eggs at the small end. Many of the Big-Endians sought exile on a nearby island known as Blefuscu. When the Emperor demands that Gulliver seize the Blefuscu fleet he does so, but when the emperor demands he destroy their empire he refuses. In no time at all, Gulliver goes from ahero to a criminal accused of treason. His punishment would be loss of sight but Gulliver manages to escape and take shelter on Blefuscu. There, he found a small boat and left for England. He was picked up by an English merchant ship and brought back to England. All of Part I of the travels is an allegorical account of British politics during the turbulent early 18th