Satire: A Literary Analysis

Good Essays
Throughout the entire recorded history, satire has been an art. We can find examples of satirical plays even before the genre had even defined, and today it is still a powerful tool for social critique. Satire was used for many authors to try to advocate social and political changes in times of unrest. However, this technique grew in an enormous way during the Restoration period. One reason of the development and rise of satire in this period could be the advent of the Age of Enlightment. But it was not the only one, all satire, constructive and destructive, arises because of the sense of dissatisfaction; after the restoration of Charles II to the throne of England, puritan morality and religiosity were dismissed as standards of excellence…show more content…
During this period, there were two British political labels with different ideals. On one hand, we find the conservative one, Tory, which conceives of sovereignty as residing in rulers and view the people as subjects whose duty is to obey. On the other hand, there is the liberal label, Whig, which conceives of power as ultimately residing in the people and view rulers as serving the will and welfare of the people. Swift belonged to the Tories, and when they rose the power, Swift became himself an important figure, and even he was made the editor of The Examiner, a weekly periodical. But, when the opposing party, known as the Whigs, got back into power, he had to come back to Ireland, city where he lived when he was a child. Consequently this fact gave him the opportunity that he needed to start his career, producing along this period almost all his major works, such as Gulliver’s Travels which is maybe his most famous satiric play. According with D.W. Jefferson “There is no work by Swift over which such revealing and significant differences of opinion occur as the last book of Gulliver’s Travels. To the kind of reader who inclines towards the book “Augustan” view of him, this book is a straight attack on the filthy degradation of the human species in the name of ‘Nature and Reason’; and, in so far as Gulliver (who is Swift) rejects humanity, it is the work of a…show more content…
Their father (representing God) gives each other a coat (religious practices), with the order that the coats are on no account to be altered. “Sons, because I have purchased no estate, nor was born to any, I have long considered of some good legacies to bequeath you, and at last, with much care as well as expense, have provided each of you (here they are) a new coat. Now, you are to understand that these coats have two virtues contained in them; one is, that with good wearing they will last you fresh and sound as long as you live; the other is, that they will grow in the same proportion with your bodies, lengthening and widening of themselves, so as to be always fit. (…)You will find in my Will (here it is) full instructions in every particular concerning the wearing and management of your coats, wherein you must be very exact to avoid the penalties I have appointed for every transgression or neglect, upon which your future fortunes will entirely depend. I have also commanded in my will that you should live together in one house like brethren and friends, for then you will be sure to
Get Access