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An introduction to the life and literature by jonathan swift

Jonathan Swift, who also wrote verse of high quality throughout his career, like Gay favoured octosyllabic couplets and a close mimicry of the movement of colloquial speech. In 1664 he married Abigail Erick, who was the daughter of an English clergyman. In the spring of 1667 Jonathan the elder died suddenly, leaving his wife, baby daughter, and an unborn son to the care of his brothers.

The younger Jonathan Swift thus grew up fatherless and dependent on the generosity of his uncles. His education was not neglected, however, and at the age of six he was sent to Kilkenny School, then the best in Ireland. Swift continued in residence at Trinity College as a candidate for his master of arts degree until February 1689.

But the Roman Catholic disorders that had begun to spread through Dublin after the Glorious Revolution 1688—89 in Protestant England caused Swift to seek security in England, and he soon became a member of the household of a distant relative of his mother named Sir William Templeat Moor Park, Surrey.

Years at Moor Park Temple was engaged in writing his memoirs and preparing some of his essays for publication, and he had Swift act as a kind of secretary. During his residence at Moor Park, Swift twice returned to Ireland, and during the second of these visits, he took orders in the Anglican church, being ordained priest in January 1695.

At the end of the same month he was appointed vicar of Kilroot, near Belfast. Between 1691 and 1694 Swift wrote a number of poems, notably six odes. But his true genius did not find expression until he turned from verse to prose satire and composed, mostly at Moor Park between 1696 and 1699, A Tale of a Tubone of his major works.

Published anonymously in 1704, this work was made up of three associated pieces: But A Tale of a Tub is the most impressive of the three compositions. This work is outstanding for its exuberance of satiric wit and energy and is marked by an incomparable command of stylistic effects, largely in the nature of parody.

Swift saw the realm of culture and literature an introduction to the life and literature by jonathan swift by zealous pedantry, while religion—which for him meant rational Anglicanism—suffered attack from both Roman Catholicism and the Nonconformist Dissenting churches.

In the Tale he proceeded to trace all these dangers to a single source: During the ensuing years he was in England on some four occasions—in 1701, 1702, 1703, and 1707 to 1709—and won wide recognition in London for his intelligence and his wit as a writer. He had resigned his position as vicar of Kilroot, but early in 1700 he was preferred to several posts in the Irish church. His public writings of this period show that he kept in close touch with affairs in both Ireland and England.

In London he became increasingly well known through several works: A brilliant and still-perplexing example of this is Argument Against Abolishing Christianity 1708.

Years at Moor Park

A momentous period began for Swift when in 1710 he once again found himself in London. John later Viscount Bolingbroke was replacing that of the Whigs.

  • Directions To Servants Dublin;
  • He then began preparing a pamphlet in support of the Tory drive for peace with France;
  • Written for the Honour of the Fair Sex;
  • By 1720 he was also showing a renewed interest in public affairs.

The new administration, bent on bringing hostilities with France to a conclusion, was also assuming a more protective attitude toward the Church of England. The astute Harley made overtures to Swift and won him over to the Tories. But Swift did not thereby renounce his essentially Whiggish convictions regarding the nature of government. The old Tory theory of the divine right of kings had no claim upon him. The ultimate power, he insisted, derived from the people as a whole and, in the English constitution, had come to be exercised jointly by king, lords, and commons.

He then began preparing a pamphlet in support of the Tory drive for peace with France. This, The Conduct of the Alliesappeared on Nov. Swift was rewarded for his services in April 1713 with his appointment as dean of St.

  • But the Roman Catholic disorders that had begun to spread through Dublin after the Glorious Revolution 1688—89 in Protestant England caused Swift to seek security in England, and he soon became a member of the household of a distant relative of his mother named Sir William Temple , at Moor Park, Surrey;
  • But the Roman Catholic disorders that had begun to spread through Dublin after the Glorious Revolution 1688—89 in Protestant England caused Swift to seek security in England, and he soon became a member of the household of a distant relative of his mother named Sir William Temple , at Moor Park, Surrey;
  • He finds perfect happiness with the Houyhnhnms, but as he is only a more advanced Yahoo, he is rejected by them in general assembly and is returned to England, where he finds himself no longer able to tolerate the society of his fellow human beings;
  • During the ensuing years he was in England on some four occasions—in 1701, 1702, 1703, and 1707 to 1709—and won wide recognition in London for his intelligence and his wit as a writer;
  • A Poem Dublin, 1726.

He withdrew to Ireland, where he was to pass most of the remainder of his life. After a period of seclusion in his deanery, Swift gradually regained his energy. By 1720 he was also showing a renewed interest in public affairs. In his Irish pamphlets of this period he came to grips with many of the problems, social and economic, then confronting Ireland.

His tone and manner varied from direct factual presentation to exhortation, humour, and bitter irony. The first is a series of letters attacking the English government for its scheme to supply Ireland with copper halfpence and farthings. Both were published anonymously. Stella Esther Johnson had continued to live with Rebecca Dingley after moving to Ireland in 1700 or 1701. It has sometimes been asserted that Stella and Swift were secretly married in 1716, but they did not live together, and there is no evidence to support this story.

It was friendship that Swift always expressed in speaking of Stella, not romantic love. The question may be asked, was this friendship strained as a result of the appearance in his life of another woman, Esther Vanhomrigh, whom he named Vanessa and who also appeared in his poetry? He had met Vanessa during his London visit of 1707—09, and in 1714 she had, despite all his admonitionsinsisted on following him to Ireland.

  1. Swift certainly seems to use the various races and societies Gulliver encounters in his travels to satirize many of the errors, follies, and frailties that human beings are prone to.
  2. The Works of Jonathan Swift... A Soldier And A Scholar.
  3. The Intelligencer, by Swift and others Dublin. In London he became increasingly well known through several works.
  4. The Works of Mr. The astute Harley made overtures to Swift and won him over to the Tories.

Her letters to Swift reveal her passion for him, though at the time of her death in 1723 she had apparently turned against him because he insisted on maintaining a distant attitude toward her.

Stella herself died in 1728.

Jonathan Swift

Scholars are still much in the dark concerning the precise relationships between these three people, and the various melodramatic theories that have been suggested rest upon no solid ground. It is uncertain when he began this work, but it appears from his correspondence that he was writing in earnest by 1721 and had finished the whole by August 1725.

Its success was immediate. It was completed at a time when he was close to the poet Alexander Pope and the poet and dramatist John Gay. He had been a fellow member of their Scriblerus Club since 1713, and through their correspondence, Pope continued to be one of his most important connections to England.

It has been suggested that he was insane. In the autumn of 1739 a great celebration was held in his honour. He had, however, begun to fail physically and later suffered a paralytic stroke, with subsequent aphasia. In 1742 he was declared incapable of caring for himself, and guardians were appointed.

After his death in 1745, he was buried in St. In each of its four books the hero, Lemuel Gulliver, embarks on a voyage; but shipwreck or some other hazard usually casts him up on a strange land. Book I takes him to Lilliput, where he wakes to find himself the giant prisoner of the six-inch-high Lilliputians. Learning of a plot to charge him with treason, he escapes from the island.

  1. At the end of the same month he was appointed vicar of Kilroot, near Belfast. Letters Letters Between Dr.
  2. Bathurst, 1784 ; corrected and revised by Nichols, 24 volumes London. His public writings of this period show that he kept in close touch with affairs in both Ireland and England.
  3. A Soldier And A Scholar. The warlike, disputatious, but essentially trivial Lilliputians in Book I and the deranged, impractical pedants and intellectuals in Book III are shown as imbalanced beings lacking common sense and even decency.
  4. The Works Of Jonathan Swift...

Book II takes Gulliver to Brobdingnag, where the inhabitants are giants. Picked up by an eagle and dropped into the sea, he manages to return home. In Book III Gulliver visits the floating island of Laputa, whose absent-minded inhabitants are so preoccupied with higher speculations that they are in constant danger of accidental collisions.

In Luggnagg he meets the Struldbruggs, a race of immortals, whose eternal senility is brutally described. There is also another race on the island, uneasily tolerated and used for menial services by the Houyhnhnms.

Description

These are the vicious and physically disgusting Yahoos. Although Gulliver pretends at first not to recognize them, he is forced at last to admit the Yahoos are human beings. He finds perfect happiness with the Houyhnhnms, but as he is only a more advanced Yahoo, he is rejected by them in general assembly and is returned to England, where he finds himself no longer able to tolerate the society of his fellow human beings.

Is it essentially comic, or is it a misanthropic depreciation of mankind? Swift certainly seems to use the various races and societies Gulliver encounters in his travels to satirize many of the errors, follies, and frailties that human beings are prone to.

The warlike, disputatious, but essentially trivial Lilliputians in Book I and the deranged, impractical pedants and intellectuals in Book III are shown as imbalanced beings lacking common sense and even decency. This rationalism, with its strong moral sense, its emphasis on common sense, and its distrust of emotionalism, gave him the standards by which he appraised human conduct.

His moral principles are scarcely original; his originality lies rather in the quality of his satiric imagination and his literary art. His command of a great variety of prose styles is unfailing, as is his power of inventing imaginary episodes and all their accompanying details.