Swift Is Not a Misinthrope

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ambreen tariq
period 6

In 1726, the Anglo-Irish satirist Jonathan Swift wrote Gulliver's Travels. Gulliver's Travels was originally intended as an attack on the hypocrisy of the establishment, including the government, the courts, and the clergy, but it was so well written that it immediately became a children's favorite. Swift wrote Gulliver's Travels at a time of political change and scientific invention, and many of the events he describes in the book can easily be linked to contemporary events in Europe. One of the reasons that the stories are deeply amusing is that, by combining real issues with entirely fantastic situations and characters, they suggest that the realities of 18th-century England were as fantastic as the situations in which Gulliver finds himself. Through basic analysis of history one learns that anybody who has made a substantial difference in society was originally misunderstood and unappreciated. For example, Galleleo Galilee was charged with heresy and imprisoned in his home for his ludicrous theory of the earth revolving around the sun. Emily Dickinson was considered insane and grossly unappreciated for her time. also, Edgar Alan Poe, discarded as an eccentric, was painfully understated as a writer. Society, in many cases, becomes so enthralled in being judgmental towards a person's work that sometimes the truth of the situation is distorted. This is exactly the case for Jonathan Swift. Because of his renowned satire, Gulliver's Travels, Swift was labeled as a misanthrope. This, however, is far from the truth. Jonathan Swift was a satirist. A satirist cannot be a misanthrope. Thus, deductive reasoning prevails; Jonathan Swift is a not a misanthrope. A satire is a piece of writing that exposes fault, may it be society or human nature, exposes fault none the less. Next, the satire mocks the fault. Lastly, it suggests a better way of doing something. a satirist, one who writes a satire, cannot be a misanthrope....
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