The development of the English Realistic Novel

General background of the 18-th century English literature. The writers of the Enlightenment fought for freedom. The life of Jonathan Swift: short biography, youth, maturity, the collection of his prose works. Jonathan Swift and "Gulliver's Travels".

Рубрика Литература
Вид курсовая работа
Язык английский
Дата добавления 24.03.2015
Размер файла 43,1 K

Отправить свою хорошую работу в базу знаний просто. Используйте форму, расположенную ниже

Студенты, аспиранты, молодые ученые, использующие базу знаний в своей учебе и работе, будут вам очень благодарны.

Размещено на

[Введите текст]

Ministry of Higher and Secondary Special Education of the Republic of Uzbekistan

Bukhara State University

Faculty of Philology

English language department

Course paper

Theme: The development of the English Realistic Novel



The purpose of this course paper is to investigate Jonathan Swift as the greatest writer of the Enlightenment.

Gulliver's Travels was a controversial work when it was first published in 1726. In fact, it was not until almost ten years after its first printing that the book appeared with the entire text that Swift had originally intended it to have. Ever since, editors have excised many of the passages, particularly the more caustic ones dealing with bodily functions. Even without those passages, however, Gulliver's Travels serves as a biting satire, and Swift ensures that it is both humorous and critical, constantly attacking British and European society through its descriptions of imaginary countries. Gulliver's Travels is about a specific set of political conflicts, but if it were nothing more than that it would long ago have been forgotten. The staying power of the work comes from its depiction of the human condition and its often despairing, but occasionally hopeful, sketch of the possibilities for humanity to rein in its baser instincts.

“Originally, the novel was to be the story of an imaginary world voyage by a certain Martin Scriblerus, but in the interval between 1720-1726 Swift had changed the name of the hero to Lemuel Gulliver” CrecicovschiEcaterina”

In this course- paper we tried to review the following points: the presentation of the time when the novel “Gulliver's Travels” was written, the explanation of the literary term - the novel, also an important part in this course-paper takes the biography and the literary activity of such a great pamphleteer as Johnatan Swift.

The second part of the course-paper is composed of two parts: in the first one is presented the protagonist of the story- Lemuel Gulliver, his character and the main facts about his life; the second one is about the human metamorphoses happened with the protagonist of the novel. In this part are disclosed the main metamorphoses, which had changed the life and the internal world of the main character.

Chapter 1. General background of the 18th century English literature

1.1 The Age of Enlightenment

By 1714 the success, of British armies against France had made Britain a leading European power. Moreover, Britain had many new colonies. This led to self-confidence. London became far larger than any other town with more than 500.000 people.

A new class of rich aristocrats appeared in London. The power of the monarchy was brought under control.

The Age of Enlightenment was a period in Europe during the 18th century (1688-1789) when the writers wrote that science and the use of reason would help the society to develop. The Age of Enlightenment is often called "The Augustan Age”, because that title was chosen by the literary circles for the admiration of Rome under the Emperor Augustus. The form of polite literature was poetry. At the beginning of the 18th century verse was preferable to prose. By the end of the century prose and verse exchanged their places.

The history of England of the second half of the 17th century and during the 18th century was marked by British colonial expansion. London became a great trading metropolis as well as administrative, political and legal centre of England. Its commercial wealth helped the government become the ruling government all over the British Isles and develop contacts outside Britain. London was the centre of wealth and civilization. The City became the most important district in London; houses were not numbered, because common population couldn't read. Instead of the numbers pictures were used. Coffee-houses were very popular at that time. People met there to discuss the latest news, to drink tea or coffee, which became very popular as common drinks. Thus the coffee-houses eventually became centres of political life. Each social group had its own coffee-house. The poets and the literary men attended the coffee-houses to read their creations.

In 1688 the bourgeoisie managed to bring the royal power under the control of Parliament. The compromise was reached between the royal power and the bourgeois middle class in England. This agreement was called "The Glorious Revolution" which was relatively bloodless. It brought the Protestant William III (William of Orange) to the throne in place of his Catholic father-in-law King James II (1685-1688).

King William III and his wife Queen Mary reigned together (1689-1702). He accepted his role as a constitutional monarch.

Meanwhile, in Parliament the lines of the modern party system were already being drawn. The party of landowners was called "Tories", the party of merchants and nobles was called “Whigs". Both parties hated each other, that's why both words were of negative meaning. "Tory" was the name of certain Irish robbers, "Whigs" was an exclamation of the men driving horses. "Tories" wanted the peaceful domestic policy in England, "Whigs" wanted to force the king to rule through Parliament.

1.2 The writers of the Enlightenment fought for freedom

The Glorious Revolution was the political background of the development of the political literature. Literature met the interests of the bourgeoisie. The writers of the Enlightenment fought for freedom. Most of them wrote political pamphlets, but the best came from the pen of Daniel Defoe and Jonathan Swift. The greatest essayists were Richard Steele and Joseph Addison. Addison spoke more gently, Steele - a little bit warmly, Alexander Pope -- more sharply. But all of them used to flatter the upper-class readers who thought that those essays were written about their neighbours or somebody else. Those writers could create such an illusion. That illusion was comfortable for the contemporary society.

Periodical newspapers had been published since the Civil War, and in 1702 the first daily newspaper was established. Much of the drama was written not in poetry but in prose. The leading form of literature became the novel. The hero of the novel was a representative of the middle class. Earlier the common people were shown only as comical personages. The writers of the Age of Enlightenment wanted to improve the world. But some of them hoped to do this only by teaching. Others openly protested against the social order.

Thus two groups of the Enlighteners could be distinguished:

I. Daniel Defoe (1661-1731)

Joseph Addison (1672-1719)

Richard Steele (1672-1729)

Alexander Pope (1688-1744)

Samuel Richardson (1689-1761)

Laurence Sterne (1713-1768)

II. Jonathan Swift (1667-1745)

Henry Fielding (1707-1754)

Tobias Smollett (1721-1771)

Oliver Goldsmith (1728-1774)

Richard Sheridan (1751-1816)

Daniel Defoe (1661-1731)

Daniel Defoe (Foe, he added "De" 40 years later) called himself fortunate in his education as well as in his family. He was the eldest son of an intelligent London chandler James Foe. His father expected him to become a Minister, but as Defoe later said of his desire to write about economics rather than politics, "trade was the thing I really desired to have taken up with". In 1680 when he was 21 he became a commission merchant, dealing manufacture and acting a jobber for wine, tobacco, woollens and other goods. He travelled a lot and knew several languages. Defoe wrote several comparative notes on manners and customs of different nations in the countries of Europe.

By 1684 Defoe was a well-to-do businessman, and he could marry an attractive young girl of 20 brought up in a rather more important commercial family than his own. Defoe was too energetic. That's why when his business began to bore him he looked for more thrilling speculations. As a result, in 1692 Defoe was forced into bankruptcy. But he wasn't upset. He was an optimist. He decided to publish his first real book "An Essay upon Projects" in 1698. He wrote down the suggestions how to improve roads.

Twenty years later in 1719, his masterpiece "Robinson Crusoe” appeared. Then he retired to the comfortable country house that he shared with his wife and two unmarried daughters.

In 1722 Defoe published his novel "The Adventure of Colonel Jack”, in 1724 his well-known book “Roxana” appeared.

Despite his several bankruptcies, Defoe wrote with enthusiasm about trade. In 1726 his "History of the History" was published, in 1727 his "Essay on the History" and in 1728 his "Plan of the English Commerce” appeared.

Defoe died in 1731 in London.

1.3 Jonathan Swift was one of the famous English writers of the Age of Enlightenment

Moreover, he was a bitter satirist of the beginning of the 18th century.

In his "Battle of the Books" (1704) he supported the ancients. In the "Tale of a Tub" (1704) he attacked the religious ideas. Swift is known to students of literature as the writer of most bitter and utterly damning satire ever written in England -- "A Modest Proposal" (1729). Jonathan is still loved and valued in Ireland as one of the first and greatest of the fighters for Irish freedom.

Swift was born in Dublin. The city's name comes from Irish dubh lin, the dark pool where the peaty waters of the Liffey flow into the bow of the great horseshoe of Dublin Bay. For 300 years it was the core of the Pale, the area fortified by dyke, bank and palisade, from which the Norman English attempted to rule Ireland. Later it was the centre from which Tudor, Stuart and Cromwellian governments sought to plant and colonize the land. In the 17th and 18th centuries Dublin grew to be the second city of the British Isles. Much of the beautiful architecture which its citizens cherish dates from this period.

Although Swift was born in Dublin, his parents were both English connected with several important families, but themselves possessed little property. His father was unfortunate, he died at 25 with his son still unborn. Swift was born on 30 November, 1667, six months alter his father's death. His uncle Godwin Swift undertook to pay for his upbringing and education, but Swift hated his uncle.

Swift was educated at Trinity College with little satisfaction to either himself or the teachers. This is a fragment of Swift s autobiography: "... he (Swift wrote in a third person) too much neglected his academic studies, for some parts of which he had no relish by nature, and turned himself to reading history and poetry,"

Swift was graduated without honours in 1688. In those times Sir William Temple was an important statesman and diplomat in England. In 1688 he had already retired and met with leading writers and politicians at Moon Park. Jonathan Swift became his secretary. This was an interesting position for a young man of 21, because it gave him wonderful chances of meeting the important people of that time. On the other hand, Swift learned much of the dishonesty of successful politicians.

Jonathan Swift remained at Moon Park until he was 32. During his work at Temple's Swift taught the housekeeper's daughter Stella who became his intimate friend and close companion up to the end. In 1699 Sir Temple died, and Swift had to search for a new job.

He was given the position of chaplain to the Earl of Berkeley who soon gave him a small living, the vicarage of Laracour in Ireland. Swift visited different political clubs wrote his important pamphlets and got acquainted with famous people.

In 1710 Swift joined the Tory party.

In 1720 he published his powerful pamphlet "A Proposal for the Universal Use of Irish Manufacture" which proclaimed an economic independence for Ireland. Swift became the hero of Dublin, but the police were searching for the author of the rebellious pamphlet. The police didn't know who the author was, but the population knew the author quite well.

Jonathan's masterpiece, "Gulliver's Travels", appeared in 1726. It is divided into four books, but the young people prefer to read only two of them; about Gulliver's voyages to Lilliput (where the people are six inches high) and Brobdingnag (where the people are giants). The Lilliputians fight wars which seem foolish. The King of Brobdingnag thinks that people are the most terrible creatures on the Earth.

Stella, Swift's close friend, died in 1728. Swift suffered a lot, his mind was breaking. Ten years (1730-1740) he spent in loneliness... In 1742 at the age 74 Swift was declared insane. In 1745 he died and was buried with simplicity. It is interesting to know that he composed the Latin epitaph for himself. He made it in 1735 when he wrote his will. Translated it sounds like this:

Here Lies the Body of

Jonathan Swift

Once Dean of the Cathedral

Where Savage Indignation

Can No Longer Tear His Heart

Go, Passerby,

And do, if you can, as he did

A Man's Part in Defence

of Human Freedom.

Swift remains one of the very few who have made satire an effective weapon with which he attacks the enemy.

Chapter 2. The life of Jonathan Swift

2.1 Biography. Youth. Writer. Maturity


Jonathan Swift (30 November 1667 - 19 October 1745) was an Anglo-Irish[1] satirist, essayist, political pamphleteer, poet and cleric who becameDean of St Patrick's Cathedral, Dublin.[2] He is remembered for works such as Gulliver's Travels, A Modest Proposal, A Journal to Stella, Drapier's Letters, The Battle of the Books, An Argument Against Abolishing Christianity, and A Tale of a Tub. Swift is regarded by the Encyclopedia Britannica as the foremost prose satirist in the English language,[1] and is less well known for his poetry. Swift originally published all of his works under pseudonyms - such as Lemuel Gulliver, Isaac Bickerstaff, MB Drapier - or anonymously. He is also known for being a master of two styles of satire: the Horatian and Juvenalian styles.


Jonathan Swift was born in Dublin, Ireland. He was the second child and only son of Jonathan Swift (1640-1667) and his wife Abigail Erick (or Herrick), of Frisby on the Wreake.[3] His father, a native of Goodrich, Herefordshire, accompanied his brothers to Ireland to seek their fortunes in law after their Royalist father's estate was brought to ruin during the English Civil War. Swift's father died in Dublin before he was born, and his mother returned to England. He was left in the care of his influential uncle, Godwin, a close friend and confidant of Sir John Temple, whose son later employed Swift as his secretary.[4]

Swift's family had several interesting literary connections: His grandmother, Elizabeth (Dryden) Swift, was the niece of Sir Erasmus Dryden, grandfather of the poet John Dryden. The same grandmother's aunt, Katherine (Throckmorton) Dryden, was a first cousin of Elizabeth, wife of Sir Walter Raleigh. His great-great grandmother, Margaret (Godwin) Swift, was the sister of Francis Godwin, author of The Man in the Moone which influenced parts of Swift's Gulliver's Travels. His uncle, Thomas Swift, married a daughter of the poet and playwright Sir William Davenant, a godson of William Shakespeare.

His uncle Godwin Swift (1628-1695) a benefactor, took primary responsibility for the young Jonathan, sending him with one of his cousins to Kilkenny College (also attended by the philosopher George Berkeley).[4] In 1682, financed by Godwin's son, Willoughby, he attended Dublin University (Trinity College, Dublin), from where he received his BA in 1686, and developed his friendship with William Congreve. Swift was studying for his Master's degree when political troubles in Ireland surrounding the Glorious Revolution forced him to leave for England in 1688, where his mother helped him get a position as secretary and personal assistant of Sir William Temple at Moor Park, Farnham.[5] Temple was an English diplomat who, having arranged the Triple Alliance of 1668, retired from public service to his country estate to tend his gardens and write his memoirs. Gaining the confidence of his employer, Swift "was often trusted with matters of great importance."[6] Within three years of their acquaintance, Temple had introduced his secretary to William III, and sent him to London to urge the King to consent to a bill for triennial Parliaments.

When Swift took up his residence at Moor Park, he met Esther Johnson, then eight years old, the daughter of an impoverished widow who acted as companion to Temple's sister, Lady Giffard. Swift acted as her tutor and mentor, giving her the nickname "Stella", and the two maintained a close but ambiguous relationship for the rest of Esther's life.[7]

In 1690, Swift left Temple for Ireland because of his health, but returned to Moor Park the following year. The illness, fits of vertigo or giddiness - now known to be Mйniиre's disease--would continue to plague Swift throughout his life. During this second stay with Temple, Swift received his M.A. from Hart Hall, Oxford in 1692. Then, apparently despairing of gaining a better position through Temple's patronage, Swift left Moor Park to become an ordained priest in the Established Church of Ireland and in 1694 he was appointed to the prebend of Kilroot in the Diocese of Connor, with his parish located at Kilroot, near Carrickfergus in County Antrim.

Swift appears to have been miserable in his new position, being isolated in a small, remote community far from the centres of power and influence. While at Kilroot, however, Swift may well have become romantically involved with Jane Waring, whom he called "Varina", the sister of an old college friend.[6] A letter from him survives, offering to remain if she would marry him and promising to leave and never return to Ireland if she refused. She presumably refused, because Swift left his post and returned to England and Temple's service at Moor Park in 1696, and he remained there until Temple's death. There he was employed in helping to prepare Temple's memoirs and correspondence for publication. During this time Swift wrote The Battle of the Books, a satire responding to critics of Temple's Essay upon Ancient and Modern Learning (1690), though Battle was not published until 1704.

On 27 January 1699 Temple died.[6] Swift, normally a harsh judge of human nature, said that all that was good and amiable in humankind died with him.[6] He stayed on briefly in England to complete the editing of Temple's memoirs, and perhaps in the hope that recognition of his work might earn him a suitable position in England. However, Swift's work made enemies of some of Temple's family and friends, in particular Temple's formidable sister, Lady Giffard, who objected to indiscretions included in the memoirs.[7] Swift's next move was to approach King William directly, based on his imagined connection through Temple and a belief that he had been promised a position. This failed so miserably that he accepted the lesser post of secretary and chaplain to the Earl of Berkeley, one of the Lords Justice of Ireland. However, when he reached Ireland he found that the secretary ship had already been given to another. However, he soon obtained the living of Laracor, Agher, and Rathbeggan, and the prebend of Dunlavin in St Patrick's Cathedral, Dublin.[8]

At Laracor, a mile or two from Trim, County Meath, and twenty miles (32 km) from Dublin, Swift ministered to a congregation of about fifteen, and had abundant leisure for cultivating his garden, making a canal (after the Dutch fashion of Moor Park), planting willows, and rebuilding the vicarage. As chaplain to Lord Berkeley, he spent much of his time in Dublin and travelled to London frequently over the next ten years. In 1701, Swift published, anonymously, a political pamphlet, A Discourse on the Contests and Dissentions in Athens and Rome.


In February 1702, Swift received his Doctor of Divinity degree from Trinity College, Dublin. That spring he travelled to England and returned to Ireland in October, accompanied by Esther Johnson--now 20--and his friend Rebecca Dingley, another member of William Temple's household. There is a great mystery and controversy over Swift's relationship with Esther Johnson nicknamed "Stella". Many, notably his close friend Thomas Sheridan believed that they were secretly married in 1716; others, like Swift's housekeeper Mrs. Brent, and Rebecca Dingley (who lived with Stella all through her years in Ireland) dismissed the story as absurd.[9]

During his visits to England in these years, Swift published A Tale of a Tub and The Battle of the Books (1704) and began to gain a reputation as a writer. This led to close, lifelong friendships with Alexander Pope, John Gay, and John Arbuthnot, forming the core of the Martinus Scriblerus Club (founded in 1713).

Swift became increasingly active politically in these years.[10] From 1707 to 1709 and again in 1710, Swift was in London, unsuccessfully urging upon the Whig administration of Lord Godolphin the claims of the Irish clergy to the First-Fruits and Twentieths ("Queen Anne's Bounty"), which brought in about Ј2,500 a year, already granted to their brethren in England. He found the opposition Tory leadership more sympathetic to his cause and Swift was recruited to support their cause as editor of The Examiner when they came to power in 1710. In 1711, Swift published the political pamphlet "The Conduct of the Allies," attacking the Whig government for its inability to end the prolonged war with France. The incoming Tory government conducted secret (and illegal) negotiations with France, resulting in the Treaty of Utrecht (1713) ending the War of the Spanish Succession.

Swift was part of the inner circle of the Tory government,[11] and often acted as mediator between Henry St John (Viscount Bolingbroke) the secretary of state for foreign affairs (1710-15) and Robert Harley (Earl of Oxford) lord treasurer and prime minister (1711-1714). Swift recorded his experiences and thoughts during this difficult time in a long series of letters to Esther Johnson, collected and published after his death as A Journal to Stella. The animosity between the two Tory leaders eventually led to the dismissal of Harley in 1714. With the death of Queen Anne and accession of George I that year, the Whigs returned to power and the Tory leaders were tried for treason for conducting secret negotiations with France.

Also during these years in London, Swift became acquainted with the Vanhomrigh family (Dutch merchants who had settled in Ireland, then moved to London) and became involved with one of the daughters, Esther, yet another fatherless young woman and another ambiguous relationship to confuse Swift's biographers. Swift furnished Esther with the nickname "Vanessa" and she features as one of the main characters in his poem Cadenus and Vanessa. The poem and their correspondence suggests that Esther was infatuated with Swift, and that he may have reciprocated her affections, only to regret this and then try to break off the relationship.[12] Esther followed Swift to Ireland in 1714, and settled at her old family home, Celbridge Abbey. Their uneasy relationship continued for some years; then there appears to have been a confrontation, possibly involving Esther Johnson. Esther Vanhomrigh died in 1723 at the age of 35, having destroyed the will she had made in Swift's favour.[13] Another lady with whom he had a close but less intense relationship was Anne Long, a toast of the Kit-Cat Club.


Before the fall of the Tory government, Swift hoped that his services would be rewarded with a church appointment in England. However, Queen Anne appeared to have taken a dislike to Swift and thwarted these efforts. Her dislike has been attributed to The Tale of a Tub, which she thought blasphemous, compounded by The Windsor Prophecy, where Swift, with a surprising lack of tact, advised the Queen on which of her bedchamber ladies she should and which she should not trust.[14] The best position his friends could secure for him was the Deanery of St Patrick's: this was not in the Queen's gift and Anne, who could be a bitter enemy, made it clear that Swift would not have received the preferment if she could have prevented it.[15] With the return of the Whigs, Swift's best move was to leave England and he returned to Ireland in disappointment, a virtual exile, to live "like a rat in a hole".[16]

Once in Ireland, however, Swift began to turn his pamphleteering skills in support of Irish causes, producing some of his most memorable works: Proposal for Universal Use of Irish Manufacture (1720),Drapier's Letters (1724), and A Modest Proposal (1729), earning him the status of an Irish patriot.[17] This new role was unwelcome to the Government, which made clumsy attempts to silence him. His printer, Edward Waters, was convicted of seditious libel in 1720, but four years later a grand jury refused to find that the Drapier Letters (which, though written under a pseudonym, were universally known to be Swift's work) were seditious.[18] Swift responded with an attack on the Irish judiciary almost unparalleled in its ferocity, his principal target being the "vile and profligate villain" William Whitshed, Lord Chief Justice of Ireland.[19]

Also during these years, he began writing his masterpiece, Travels into Several Remote Nations of the World, in Four Parts, by Lemuel Gulliver, first a surgeon, and then a captain of several ships, better known as Gulliver's Travels. Much of the material reflects his political experiences of the preceding decade. For instance, the episode in which the giant Gulliver puts out the Lilliputian palace fire by urinating on it can be seen as a metaphor for the Tories' illegal peace treaty; having done a good thing in an unfortunate manner. In 1726 he paid a long-deferred visit to London,[20] taking with him the manuscript of Gulliver's Travels. During his visit he stayed with his old friends Alexander Pope, John Arbuthnot and John Gay, who helped him arrange for the anonymous publication of his book. First published in November 1726, it was an immediate hit, with a total of three printings that year and another in early 1727. French, German, and Dutch translations appeared in 1727, and pirated copies were printed in Ireland.

Swift returned to England one more time in 1727 and stayed with Alexander Pope once again. The visit was cut short when Swift received word that Esther Johnson was dying, and rushed back home to be with her.[20] On 28 January 1728, Esther Johnson died; Swift had prayed at her bedside, even composing prayers for her comfort. Swift could not bear to be present at the end, but on the night of her death he began to write his The Death of Mrs. Johnson. He was too ill to attend the funeral at St Patrick's.[20] Many years later, a lock of hair, assumed to be Esther Johnson's, was found in his desk, wrapped in a paper bearing the words, "Only a woman's hair".

Death became a frequent feature of Swift's life from this point. In 1731 he wrote Verses on the Death of Dr. Swift, his own obituary published in 1739. In 1732, his good friend and collaborator John Gay died. In 1735, John Arbuthnot, another friend from his days in London, died. In 1738 Swift began to show signs of illness, and in 1742 he may have suffered a stroke, losing the ability to speak and realising his worst fears of becoming mentally disabled. ("I shall be like that tree," he once said, "I shall die at the top.")[21] He became increasingly quarrelsome, and long-standing friendships, like that with Thomas Sheridan, ended without sufficient cause. To protect him from unscrupulous hangers on, who had begun to prey on the great man, his closest companions had him declared of "unsound mind and memory". However, it was long believed by many that Swift was actually insane at this point. In his book Literature and Western Man, author J. B. Priestley even cites the final chapters of Gulliver's Travels as proof of Swift's approaching "insanity".

In part VIII of his series, The Story of Civilization, Will Durant describes the final years of Swift's life as such: "Definite symptoms of madness appeared in 1738. In 1741 guardians were appointed to take care of his affairs and watch lest in his outbursts of violence he should do himself harm. In 1742 he suffered great pain from the inflammation of his left eye, which swelled to the size of an egg; five attendants had to restrain him from tearing out his eye. He went a whole year without uttering a word."[22]

In 1744, Alexander Pope died. On 19 October 1745, Swift also died.[23] After being laid out in public view for the people of Dublin to pay their last respects, he was buried in his own cathedral by Esther Johnson's side, in accordance with his wishes. The bulk of his fortune (Ј12,000) was left to found a hospital for the mentally ill, originally known as St Patrick's Hospital for Imbeciles, which opened in 1757, and which still exists as a psychiatric hospital.[23]

literature swift freedom prose

2.2 Swift was a prolific writer

Jonathan Swift was a prolific writer, notable for his satires. The most recent collection of his prose works (Herbert Davis, ed. Basil Blackwell, 1965-) comprises fourteen volumes. A recent edition of his complete poetry (Pat Rodges, ed. Penguin, 1983) is 953 pages long. One edition of his correspondence (David Woolley, ed. P. Lang, 1999) fills three volumes.

Swift's first major prose work, A Tale of a Tub, demonstrates many of the themes and stylistic techniques he would employ in his later work. It is at once wildly playful and funny while being pointed and harshly critical of its targets. In its main thread, the Tale recounts the exploits of three sons, representing the main threads of Christianity, who receive a bequest from their father of a coat each, with the added instructions to make no alterations whatsoever. However, the sons soon find that their coats have fallen out of current fashion, and begin to look for loopholes in their father's will that will let them make the needed alterations. As each finds his own means of getting around their father's admonition, they struggle with each other for power and dominance. Inserted into this story, in alternating chapters, the narrator includes a series of whimsical "digressions" on various subjects.

In 1690, Sir William Temple, Swift's patron, published An Essay upon Ancient and Modern Learning a defence of classical writing (see Quarrel of the Ancients and the Moderns) holding up the Epistles of Phalaris as an example. William Wotton responded to Temple with Reflections upon Ancient and Modern Learning(1694) showing that the Epistles were a later forgery. A response by the supporters of the Ancients was then made by Charles Boyle (later the 4th Earl of Orrery and father of Swift's first biographer). A further retort on the Modern side came from Richard Bentley, one of the pre-eminent scholars of the day, in his essay Dissertation upon the Epistles of Phalaris (1699). However, the final words on the topic belong to Swift in his Battle of the Books (1697, published 1704) in which he makes a humorous defence on behalf of Temple and the cause of the Ancients.

In 1708, a cobbler named John Partridge published a popular almanac of astrological predictions. Because Partridge falsely determined the deaths of several church officials, Swift attacked Partridge in Predictions for the Ensuing Year by Isaac Bickerstaff, a parody predicting that Partridge would die on 29 March. Swift followed up with a pamphlet issued on 30 March claiming that Partridge had in fact died, which was widely believed despite Partridge's statements to the contrary. According to other sources,[citation needed] Richard Steele uses the personae of Isaac Bickerstaff and was the one who wrote about the "death" of John Partridge and published it in The Spectator, not Jonathan Swift.

Drapier's Letters (1724) was a series of pamphlets against the monopoly granted by the English government to William Wood to provide the Irish with copper coinage. It was widely believed that Wood would need to flood Ireland with debased coinage in order make a profit. In these "letters" Swift posed as a shop-keeper--a draper--to criticise the plan. Swift's writing was so effective in undermining opinion in the project that a reward was offered by the government to anyone disclosing the true identity of the author. Though hardly a secret (on returning to Dublin after one of his trips to England, Swift was greeted with a banner, "Welcome Home, Drapier") no-one turned Swift in, although there was an unsuccessful attempt to prosecute the publisher Harding.[24] The government eventually resorted to hiring none other than Sir Isaac Newton to certify the soundness of Wood's coinage to counter Swift's accusations. In "Verses on the Death of Dr. Swift" (1739) Swift recalled this as one of his best achievements.

Gulliver's Travels, a large portion of which Swift wrote at Woodbrook House in County Laois, was published in 1726. It is regarded as his masterpiece. As with his other writings, the Travels was published under a pseudonym, the fictional Lemuel Gulliver, a ship's surgeon and later a sea captain. Some of the correspondence between printer Benj. Motte and Gulliver's also-fictional cousin negotiating the book's publication has survived. Though it has often been mistakenly thought of and published in bowdlerised form as a children's book, it is a great and sophisticated satire of human nature based on Swift's experience of his times. Gulliver's Travels is an anatomy of human nature, a sardonic looking-glass, often criticised for its apparent misanthropy. It asks its readers to refute it, to deny that it has adequately characterised human nature and society. Each of the four books--recounting four voyages to mostly-fictional exotic lands--has a different theme, but all are attempts to deflate human pride. Critics hail the work as a satiric reflection on the shortcomings of Enlightenment thought.

In 1729, Swift published A Modest Proposal for Preventing the Children of Poor People in Ireland Being a Burden on Their Parents or Country, and for Making Them Beneficial to the Public, a satire in which the narrator, with intentionally grotesque arguments, recommends that Ireland's poor escape their poverty by selling their children as food to the rich: "I have been assured by a very knowing American of my acquaintance in London, that a young healthy child well nursed is at a year old a most delicious nourishing and wholesome food..." Following the satirical form, he introduces the reforms he is actually suggesting by deriding them:

Therefore let no man talk to me of other expedients...taxing our absentees...using [nothing] except what is of our own growth and manufacture...rejecting...foreign luxury...introducing a vein of parsimony, prudence and temperance...learning to love our country...quitting our animosities and factions...teaching landlords to have at least one degree of mercy towards their tenants....Therefore I repeat, let no man talk to me of these and the like expedients, 'till he hath at least some glympse of hope, that there will ever be some hearty and sincere attempt to put them into practice.

2.3 Jonathan Swift and "Gulliver's Travels"

Jonathan Swift was the greatest of English satirists. His bitter satire was aimed at the contemporary social order in general and the policy of the English bourgeoisie towards the Irish in particular. That is why the Irish people considered Swift their champion in the struggle for the welfare and freedom of their country. Jonathan Swift was born in Dublin, but he came from an English family. The writer's father, supervisor at the court buildings of Dublin, died at the age of twenty-five, leaving his wife and daughter penniless. His son was born seven months after his death, on November 30, 1667. He was named Jonathan after his late father.

The boy knew little of his mother's care: she had to go back to her native town of Leicester and Jonathan hardly ever saw her during his childhood. He was supported by his uncle Godwin. At the age of six he was sent to Kilkenny School, which he left at fourteen. Then he entered Trinity College in Dublin and got his bachelor' The Revolution of 1688 was followed by an uprising in Ireland, and Swift, being English, narrowly ^aped the vengeance of the Irish supporters of James n. He sailed over to England, and after many years, once again saw his mother in Leicester. With her help he became private secretary and account keeper to Sir William Temple at his estate not far from London. Sir William was a retired diplomat and also a writer.

At that time he made friends with Hester Johnson, the daughter of the housekeeper. He taught the little girl English spelling and gave her advice on reading. This friendship lasted all his life. Hester became the prototype of Stella in Swift's famous work "Journal to Stella". Having improved his education by taking advantage of Sir William's library, Swift went to Oxford and took his Master of Arts degree in 1692. After that he got the place of vicar at a little parish church in Ireland, where he remained for a year and a half. He wrote much and burnt most of what he wrote. Soon he got tired of his lonely life and returned to Sir William Temple's estate, where he continued to live and work until his patron's death in 1699. After the death of Sir William, Swift became vicar again and went to live in a little place called Lracor, in Ireland. He invited Hester Johnson to come to his place. She had by then grown up into a beautiful young woman. It is believed that Swift secretly married Hester, but much of his private life is unknown to us. In 1702 Swift came to London, where he was involved into contemporary events, which became the passion of his life. Swift often went to coffee-houses where he talked with the journalists and with common people. His contributions to "The Tatler", "The Spectator" and other magazines show how well he understood the spirit of the time. He described his conversations with the leaders of the English political parties in his "Letters to Stella". In 1713 Swift was made Dean of St. Patrick's Cathedral in Dublin. At that time he came into contact with the common people and saw the miserable conditions in which the population lived. Swift wrote a number of pamphlets criticizing the colonial policy of England, intending thus to help the common people. He became very popular with the Irish people. In 1726 Swift's masterpiece "Gulliver's Travels" appeared. His inventive genius and biting satire were at their best in this work, which made a great sensation. In 1728 Stella (Hester) died after a long illness. This loss affected Swift so deeply that he was never the same man again.

Conditions in Ireland between 1700 and 1750 were so awful, that it worked like poison in Swift's blood He wrote a number of pamphlets in which he satirized those who caused the poverty of the Irish people. Hard work and continuous disappointments undermined Swift's health. By the end of 1731 his mind was failing rapidly. In 1740 his memory and reason were gone and he became completely deaf.

Gulliver's Travels

In "Gulliver's Travels" Jonathan Swift satirized the evils of the existing society in the form of imaginary travels. The scenes and nations described in the book are so extraordinary and amusing, that the novel is a great favorite both with children and grown-ups. It tells of the adventures of a ship's surgeon, as related by him, and is divided into four parts, or four voyages.


After being shipwrecked, Gulliver gets safely ashore and finds himself in a strange' country inhabited by a race of people about six inches high. By making them so small Swift stresses their insignificance and makes the reader despise them as petty creatures and feel contempt for their ideas, customs and' institutions Swift mocks at their Emperor, who boasts that he is the delight of the universe while in fact he is no taller than a nail.

It is easy to understand that Swift meant this small country with its shallow interests corrupt laws and evil customs to symbolize England of the 18th century, the government ("a great office"),the court with its atmosphere of hostility, hypocrisy and flattery where the author felt as lonely as his hero among the Lilliputians, and religious controversy.

Swift compares the courtiers with rope dancers: those who can jump the highest get the highest office. Tramecksan and Slamecksan, the two political parties which differed only in the size of their heels, were invented by Swift to ridicule the Whigs and the Tories, who were always hostile to each other, though their political aims were almost the same. In describing the war between Lilliput and Blefuscu, which was caused by disagreement concerning the manner of breaking eggs the author satirizes the religious controversy between Catholics and Protestants, their contradictions were as insignificant as those between Big-endians and Small-endians


The ship meets with a terrible storm and anchors near Brobdingnag, the land of the giants, to take in a supply of water. While on shore, Gulliver is captured by the giants. On the whole, they are good-natured creatures and treat Gulliver kindly, though they are amused by his small size and look upon him as a toy Brobdingnag is an expression of Swift's desire to escape from the disgusting world of the Lilliputians and to find the ideal: an agricultural country ruled by an ideal monarch. The author creates such a monarch in the king of Brobdingnag. He is clever, honest, and kind to his people. He hates wars and wants to make his people happy. However, the king's character is not true to life. In this part we don't find the sharp and vivid satirical descriptions so typical of the story of the first voyage.


Describing Gulliver's voyage to Laputa, a flying island, Swift attacks monarchs whose policy brings nothing but suffering to their subjects. The king of Laputa has no consideration for his people, and does not think of them at all, except when he has to collect taxes from them. The flying or floating Wand helps the king to make the people of his dominions pay taxes and it also helps him to suppress rebellions.

Swift's indignation and the bitterness of his satire reach their climax when he shows the academy of sciences in Lagado, the city of the continent of Balnibarbi. The author touches upon all the existing sciences. Swift ridicules the scientists of his time, who shut themselves up in their chamber's, isolated from the world The members of the academy are busy inventing such projects as, for example, extracting sunbeams out of cucumbers, building houses beginning with the roof and working downwards to the foundation; converting ice into gunpowder; softening marble for pillows and pincushions, etc.


The fourth voyage brings Gulliver to the ideal country of the Houyhnhnms, where there is neither sickness, dishonesty, nor any of the frivolities of human society The human race occupies a position of servility there and a noble race of horses rules the country with reason and justice. Swift made horses the embodiment of wisdom, because the expression "horse sense" is a synonym for "common sense" The horses possess virtues which are superior to those of men Unlike the Houyhnhnms, the Yahoos are ugly, deceitful, greedy and vicious creatures. Having much in common with human beings in appearance, they possess all the evil qualities one can think of.

Like all the writers of the period. Swift wanted to enlighten people, trying to share with them his opinion and judgment concerning men and things. In his works he addressed himself to the common people, whom he supported with all his heart. The great writer saw oppression, vice and misery all around, but did not know how to eliminate them. Swift did not see any sure way to make people happy, - hence his pessimism, - which led to bitterness and biting satire in the allegorical portrayal of contemporary life in "Gulliver's Travels".

Swift's ideas, as expressed in the novel had a great influence on the writers who came after him. The work has become popular in all languages. Like Defoe's "Robinson Crusoe", it has the merit both of amusing children and making grown-ups think.


After the researching of the novel “Gulliver's Travels” by Jonathan Swift we can assert that the changing hypostases really took place in the behavior and morality of the protagonist. We were interested to see how the protagonist has changed both spiritually and physically. The physical changes lie on surface, we know that the main character changed his size, but to track the spiritual changes was more difficult. We can draw a conclusion that the travels of the main character have changed his inner world completely.

While some enjoy Gulliver's Travels as a diversionary story, it is clear that it was not written primarily for this purpose. There are many concepts and ideas within the novel that were clearly written to challenge and trouble. Swift accomplishes his aim very well through his use of humor and comments on society.

Swift vexed people with Gulliver's Travels by designing his imaginary societies to parallel his own. He thus created conflict between those with more power and those with less, the latter wanting change and the former wanting to prevent change. This may have troubled those who did not question the status quo, who may agree with the powerful people because they are happy with their life. However, Gulliver's Travels is a sincere comment on Swifts society that would garner both respect and ridicule. This novel is a very interesting political analysis and satire of various governments and societies. The author compares each land to the government and society of his native England.

We could notice that the author, through his descriptions, contemplates different types of governments. Many of the governments he describes are depictions of governments in existence at the time in which the author lived. The authors own discontent with the English government and European society is the focus of this novel. Through fanciful imaginings, the author depicts chaotic and ridiculous lands that closely resemble the European countries of his time. Many of the conflicts in the novel correspond to actual events. Numerous characters actually represent members of European society.

So its a well-known fact that the author uses this novel as a satire and criticism of English and European governments and societies. It is through this novel that the Author expresses his own political beliefs by favorable or disparaging descriptions of the different lands. Towards the conclusion of the novel, the Author describes his total rejection of European Government and society. He longs for an ideal country to exist like the one he had seen in the land of the Houyhnhnms. Swift was just one of the many Europeans who was unhappy with the political and social environment in Europe. This discontent was what caused many Europeans to leave and come to the New World, to America. This dissatisfaction is what founded our country today. The Land of the Houyhnhnms is what many of the unhappy Europeans hoped the New World to be.

The novel “Gulliver's Travels” has made a profound impression on readers as well as on whole cultures. From its earliest days till nowadays, “Gulliver's Travels” has received universal acclaim as a masterpiece of satirical prose.

List of used literature

1. Bullitt, John M. Jonathan Swift and the Anatomy of Satire: A Study of Satiric Technique. Cambridge: Harvard U P, 1953.

2. Crecicovschi Ecaterina” The Anthology of English Literature 17th-18th centuries” Chisinau, 2004/

3. Dennis Nigel. Swift and Defoe // Swift J. Gulliver's Travels. An Authoritative Text. - N.Y., 1970.

4. Forster, John. The Life of Jonathan Swift. London: J. Murray, 1875.

5. Johnson, Samuel "Swift." The Lives of the English Poets: and a criticism on their works. Dublin

6. Notes, David. Jonathan Swift, a Hypocrite Reversed: A Critical Biography. New York: Oxford, 1985.

7. Encyclopaedia Britannica, "Anglo-Irish author, who was the foremost prose satirist in the English language".

8. "Swift", Online literature.

9. Stephen, Leslie (1898). "Swift, Jonathan". In Lee, Sidney. Dictionary of National Biography 55. London: Smith, Elder & Co. p. 204.

10. Johnson, Samuel "Swift." The Lives of the English Poets: and a criticism on their works. Dublin, 1779-81.

Подобные документы

  • Description of the life and work of American writers: Dreiser, Jack London, F. Fitzgerald, E. Hemingway, Mark Twain, O. Henry. Contents of the main works of the representatives of English literature: Agatha Christie, Galsworthy, Wells, Kipling, Bronte.

    презентация [687,6 K], добавлен 09.12.2014

  • William Shakespeare as the father of English literature and the great author of America. His place in drama of 16th century and influence on American English. Literary devices in works and development style. Basic his works: classification and chronology.

    курсовая работа [32,8 K], добавлен 24.03.2014

  • Short characteristic of creativity and literary activity of the most outstanding representatives of English literature of the twentieth century: H.G. Wells, G.B. Shaw, W.S. Maugham, J.R.R. Tolkien, A. Baron, A.A. Milne, P. Hamilton, Agatha Christie.

    реферат [31,4 K], добавлен 06.01.2013

  • Historical background of english literature, the making of England. Beowulf: the oldest english epic. Old english poetry: the seafarer and the wanderer. Early christian literature: Bible story in old english verse. Caedmon, Bede, Cynewulf and King Alfred.

    лекция [18,2 K], добавлен 12.01.2015

  • Familiarity with the peculiarities of the influence of Chartism, social change and political instability in the novel Great Expectations by Charles Dickens. General characteristics of the universal themes of good versus evil in English literature.

    курсовая работа [96,1 K], добавлен 15.12.2013

  • The biography of English writer Mary Evans. A study of the best pastoral novels in English literature of the nineteenth century. Writing a writer of popular novels, social-critical stories and poems. The success of well-known novels of George Eliot.

    статья [9,0 K], добавлен 29.10.2015

  • Biography of William Somerset Maugham and Joseph Conrad is English playwrights, novelists and short story writers. The stages of their creative development, achievements. The moral sense in Joseph Conrad’s Lord Jim. Some problems in "Of Human Bondage".

    курсовая работа [52,7 K], добавлен 08.07.2016

  • A returning twenty year old veteran is not young; his youth was mutilated by the war. Youth is the best part of our life. Our youth are a future of our nation. War is a cancer that threatens to eat this future up. It should not be allowed.

    сочинение [6,8 K], добавлен 21.05.2006

  • Mark Twain - a great American writer - made an enormous contribution to literature of his country. Backgrounds and themes of short stories. Humor and satire in Mark Twain‘s works. Analysis of story "The Celebrated Jumping Frog of Calaveras Country".

    курсовая работа [260,9 K], добавлен 25.05.2014

  • Daniel Defoe as the most successful writer and journalist in Cripplegate in England. Short essay of life and creation of this author. General description and stages of writing of book "The Life and Strange Surprising Adventures of Robinson Crusoe".

    анализ книги [7,8 K], добавлен 20.05.2011

Работы в архивах красиво оформлены согласно требованиям ВУЗов и содержат рисунки, диаграммы, формулы и т.д.
PPT, PPTX и PDF-файлы представлены только в архивах.
Рекомендуем скачать работу.