Bastard Out of Carolina

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Power and Oppression
By
Marsha Griggs

Jonathan Swift and Mary Wollstonecraft were both consummate social commentators on the duality of power and oppression. Through the analysis of two of their works, namely, Swift’s A Modest Proposal and Wollstonecraft’s A Vindication of the Right of Women one can see an easy assimilation of the challenges that such minds made to the disproportionate balance between the powerful and the oppressed. In fact each offers a differing view of the powerful as the greatest evil in the world. Swift through sarcasm, indicting the wealthy and powerful as mock heartless and capable of almost anything to retain control, and Wollstonecraft by directly annihilating the wealthy and powerful for openly subjugating fifty percent of the human population (women) as a measure of fashion and power over those that he sees as lesser than himself. Wollstonecraft is not only talking about women’s oppression but about the extreme and hurtful traditions of the duality of power and oppression as it appears repeatedly and oppresses all of man, by not allowing the full expression of knowledge to build the culture. Secondly, Swift is horrifying his readers to attempt to make them understand that addressing a problem of humanity, as an economist in power is essentially flawed and reinforcing the duality of power and oppression is not effective in solving any problem.

Swift’s work has been analyzed from countless angles with some even assassinating him, in the assumption that he really meant for the rich to eat the poor’s children, even though such a stand is completely divergent from all his other progress building proposals. (Swift 377) Swift really just meant to garner attention, for the social conditions that plagues Ireland at the time. He was also making fun of the fact that so many proposals that are secondary to the humanitarian are put forward by those in power and even implemented without thought of the consequences that they will...
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