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					Jonathan Swift
            Lecture outline

 1. Jonathan Swift‟s life
 2. Swift‟s main works

 3. Gulliver‟s Travels

 4.Prose appreciation: A Modest Proposal

 5.Summary of Swift‟s style

 6.Appendix: development of prose-writing in
  the 18th century
             Jonathan Swift
 One of the greatest wits of the 18th century
 Dream: wanted to cure society‟s ills with
 Dual identities: born 1667 in Ireland to
  English parents, died 1745 in Ireland
 Spent most of his life in Ireland, devoted to
  Irish affairs, but always considered himself
  English and a Tory
      Swift‟s reputation in Ireland
   Swift as depicted on the Irish £10 banknote,
    issued 1976–1993
   Bust in St. Patrick's      St. Patrick Hospital,
    Cathedral, Ireland          Swift‟s madhouse
I Swift’s life and his career
   posthumous                 aid grudgingly
   child (遗腹子)                    (unwillingly)

brain            Life story        at war with
Disease                            authorities
                                    “special favor”
  help for the         Temple’s     特许学位证书
  talented              house
  young man
Swift’s love affair
           Esther Johnson, (Stella)
           educating her, forming
            her character, and later
            coming to love her
           Love letters Journal to
             Swift‟s Epitaph
Swift has sailed into his rest.
Savage indignation there
cannot lacerate(割裂) his breast.
Imitate him if you dare,
world-besotted(痴迷的) traveller.
He served human liberty.
---translated by W. B. Yeats
   from Latin
                                  Epitaph in St. Patrick's
                                  Cathedral, Dublin near
                                  his burial site.
            II Swift‟s Works
  (1)A Tale of a Tub     (2) The Battle of Books
  1704                                1704

    in the form of               an attack on
    a parable(寓言故事)              pedantry(买弄学问)
a satire upon all religious sects
an attack on Christianity itself
 Bickerstaff Almanac (比克斯塔夫先生的历书) 1708
 (3) Predictions for the Year 1708《对1708的预言》
 (4) Vindication of Isaac Bickerstaff
(5) Gulliver’s Travels (1706)
               Gulliver‟s Travels
               Part I: to Lilliput
   satirized the contention (争夺)
    for power and profits among
    the English political parties and
    the religious groups through
    the description of the dispute
    concerning the issues of
    „wearers of high/low heels‟ and
    „breaking of big/small end of an
 “Should eggs be broken at the big end or
  the little end? “
 “This, however, is thought to be a mere
  strain upon the text, for the words are these,
  that all true believers shall break their eggs
  at the convenient end. And which is the
  convenient end seems, in my humble
  opinion, to be left to every man‟s conscience,
  or at least in the power of the Chief
  Magistrate(法官) to determine”.
        Parliamentary Parties
 Tories: for a strong king, tended to be
  Anglicans & landless nobles (who got their
  titles from the king)
 Whigs: for a strong Parliament, tended to be
  Anglicans who supported religious freedom,
  as well as merchants and lawyers; also
  included Puritans
 Part one is a satire on the Tories and the
More pictures in Lilliput
   Part 2: to Brobdingnag (大人国)

   accused the English corrupt politics and
    jingoism (侵略主义) through the kings‟ words
    in Brobdingnag (大人国).
   a satire on English lords and ladies
More pictures in Brobdingnag
          Part 3: to Laputa (Flying Island)
   satirized the ivory-towered
    (脱离实际的) research
    work of English
    philosophers and
    projectors through
    description of the projects
    (e.g. extracting sunbeam
    out of cucumbers, turning
    ice into gunpowder, and
    making cloth from cobweb
    蜘蛛网) in the flying island.
Gulliver and headstrong scientist
Part 4: to the country of the Houyhnhnms
 „Yahoo‟ – the appellation of human
 a satire on the conflicts of English
“To mend the world”
    Summary of Gulliver‟s Travels
 The first two books are children’s
 Air of authenticity and realism:
  contemporaries believed them to be true
      Pamphlets on Ireland: Irish Series

      (6) The Drapier’s Letters
      (7) A Modest Proposal
        《一个小小的建议》 (1729)

     Denounce the cruel and unjust
   treatment of Ireland by the English
government and stir up the Irish people to fight.
 Pamphlets on Ireland earned him the
  status of an Irish.
 Quote:

 “Am I a free man in England and do I
  become a slave in six hours by crossing the
          “A Modest Proposal”
 Protested English economic & political
  domination of Ireland
 Whigs imposed harsh conditions to support
  the few English Protestants who lived in
 Catholics could not buy land

 English Parliament claimed right to legislate
  for Ireland
          III Close reading of text
             A Modest Proposal
   What is the identity of the persona “I” in
    the essay? What’s the apparent purpose
    of his proposal?
    a projector
    “for preventing the children of poor people in
    Ireland from being a burden to their parents
    or country, and for making them beneficial to
    the public” (P.1)
 Whathas stimulated the persona
 to make his proposal?
  “a melancholy object” in Ireland.
  beggars, and jobless men, (thieves, slaves)
  (Para. 1)
  “children has been a burden”
  to find a fair, cheap and easy method”.
 (Para. 2)
   How does the persona evaluate his own proposal?
    1) It is of a much greater extent: “far from being
    confined to provide only for the children of
    professed beggars” (para. 3)
    2) a considerate and thoughtful proposal. “having
    turned my thoughts for many years upon this
    important subject, and maturely weighted the
    several schemes of other projectors” (para. 4)
    3) prevention of bloody murdering: to prevent
    women‟s voluntary abortions; (para. 5)
   What kind of proposal does the persona
    make? State the content of the proposal.
     to sell the infants at the age of one year old,
    for the flesh at this age is a most delicious,
    nourishing, and wholesome food, whether
    stewed, roasted, baked, or boiled, and I
    make no doubt that it will equally serve in a
    fricassee or a ragout.
   Why does the projector propose to sell
    infants instead of children at the age of 12?
 1) children are sold at the age of 12, but their parents can
 get 3 pounds, that is too cheap. A one-year-old infant can
 be sold for 10 shillings. Their parents get 8 shillings as net
 profit---enough to give birth to a second baby---in terms of
 the parents.
2) infant food is precious suitable to entertain friends for the
 persons of quality and fortune----in terms of the landlords
3) to reduce the number of Catholics in Ireland.
4) to reconcile the relationship between the landlords and
 the tenants. ----in terms of the government
5) to provide more job vacancy: shambles; ----in terms of
 the society
   What is the author’s real intension? How
    about its tone?
       to satirize the ruthlessness and hypocrisy
    of the ruling class and show great sympathy
    to the poor people in an ironic tone
   In what kind of techniques does the
    author utilize to achieve the effect?
 Wording in irony:
1) Direct satire: I grant this food will be somewhat dear,
 and therefore very proper for landlords, who, as they
 have already devoured most of the parents, seem to
 have the best right to the children.
 2) Indirect satire: thus the squire will learn to be a good
 landlord, and grow popular among the tenants. ---
    Those who are more thrifty (as I must confess the
 times require)…
 more examples: professed beggars; for the “carcass”
 of a good fat child; fore or hind quarter; dam; ---to
 satirize that the infants are merely animals in the eyes
 of the ruling class.
   Rhythm as whole
3) The whole prose goes calmly and logically
  to utter the projector‟s cool-headed
  statement. It is the cool-headedness that
  demonstrates his cruelty inward.
How do you think of the ending?
 Is it forceful?
     The end is forceful enough to reinforce
 the satire against the upper class.
      Apparently, the projector doesn‟t intend
 to acquire any profit for his own interests,
 yet in essentially, he won‟t sacrifice anything
 in this proposal.
   How to translate and interpret the title of the
    essay? Is it a modest proposal?
 However, the proposal is not modest at all, on the contrary,
 it is bloody and devouring.

Proper words in proper places, make the
 true definition of a style.
       -------Jonathan Swift
            IV Swift’s style
 One of the greatest masters of English
 simple, clear, vigorous language;

 simple, direct and precise prose;

 a master satirist;

 powerful satire.

 deadly irony;
          Swift on Satire
  Satire is a sort of glass, wherein
beholders do generally discover
everybody's face but their own.
    Appendix: Development of Prose-
       writing in the 18th Century
   The appearance of coffee-houses stimulated the
    development of paper and style of prose-writing.
   Richard Steele started the first paper “The Tatler”
    (an issue of 3 times a week) in 1709.
   Steele and Joseph Addison collaborated “The
    Spectator” during 1711-12---the first daily paper---
    supposed to be edited by a small club headed by
    Mr. Spectator, a man of travel and learning.
Joseph Addison   Richard Steele
  (1672-1719)     (1672-1729)
 Their   careers run parallel courses
  Both attend the same school and university
  Both enjoy the patronage of the Great
  Both serve government and get official
  Both are political writers and newspaper
 Significance of “The Spectator”
 The essays in the paper deal mainly with the
  manners, morals and literature of the time.
  the object is to enliven morality with wit, and
  to temper wit with morality.
 Another feature is the character sketches of
  Mr. Spectator, a type of a new culture.
  Character sketches are the forerunner of the
  modern English novel.
In general
 Their writings shape a new code of social
  morality for the bourgeoisie.
 They give a true picture of the social life of
  England in the 18th century.
 In the hands of Addison and Steele, the
  English essay had completely established
  itself as a literary genre. They ushered in
  the dawn of the modern novel.