Dystopias By Jonathan Swift: A Literary Analysis

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Mazin Abbas 900140098 Dr Motawy Rhet 1010 Imagined Worlds: Utopias and Dystopias 8 October 2014 A modest combination of literary techniques A satirical essay so ridiculous that people start taking the ideas behind it seriously? That sounds like something out of a fictional tale. Well it is not, this essay exists and is written by a man named Jonathan Swift. Jonathan Swift was an influential Irish poet and writer in the 1700s. Born to an Irish aristocratic family, Swift received a great education and went on to work in England. At the time, Ireland greatly suffered from poor work wages and extreme trade embargos and taxes put upon them by England. Irish workers were paid extremely low wages by English landowners because they believed that…show more content…
Swift, throughout the essay, illustrates the children as animals by using metaphors that relate to that. The first example is on the second page of Swift’s essay in which he states “A child just dropped from its dam.” (Swift, 2) This metaphor is typically used to describe animals being born but instead Swift uses it to describe children being born. Another example of Swift using metaphors in his essay is when he states that “I grant this food will be somewhat dear… as they have already devoured most of the parents, seem to have the best title to the children.” (Swift, 3) Swift does not mean that the landowners literally devoured the parents but rather financialy devoured them and therefore they have some sort of right to also devour the children. The use of these metaphors creates a sort of depersonalization of the children and treats them as inanimate objects rather than…show more content…
Economic analysis used by Swift includes exact numbers and economic definitions which add a sort of credibility to his essay. Aside from the satire and metaphors, economic analysis and reasoning make this essay seem extremely credible. This makes the reader not take Swift’s proposal as a joke but rather see it from a satirical point of view. If the entire essay was made up of jokes and far-fetched proposals, Swift’s audience would find it hard to understand and rather uninteresting. Swift uses this to demonstrate his understanding of the subject
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