Both Alexander Pope and Jonathan Swift satirized society. Compare and contrast the styles of Pope in The Rape of the Lock with the styles of Swift in Gulliver's Travels.

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Alexander Pope's satire in "The Rape of the Lock" differs from Jonathan Swift's satire in Gulliver's Travels mainly in the scope of its ferocity. While Pope teases the upper class, chiding them for their foibles, Swift clearly hates the political structure he satirizes.

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Alexander Pope's satire in "The Rape of the Lock" differs from Jonathan Swift's satire in Gulliver's Travels mainly in the scope of its ferocity. While Pope teases the upper class, chiding them for their foibles, Swift clearly hates the political structure he satirizes.

In "The Rape of the Lock," Pope satirizes the upper class of England with the quintessential mock-epic, which treats silly events with the seriousness of epics like The Odyssey or The Iliad. In this instance, Pope pokes fun at the upper classes, displaying the utter uselessness of their habits by treating them with excessive seriousness. However, he is doing so with a tongue-in-cheek attitude, and you'd be hard-pressed to find any truly nasty sentiments in the poem. 

Swift's prose, however, positively drips with hatred. He doesn't merely poke fun at the upper classes; he compares all of humanity to savage, witless apes, and he suggests that common beasts (talking horses, to be more specific) are more intelligent than the human race. Indeed, at the end of the novel, Swift's Gulliver decides to complete remove himself from human society, citing it as coarse, vulgar, and useless. It's here that the real difference between Swift and Pope's satires lies. While Pope reveals the absurdity of humanity, he certainly doesn't utterly reject society; Swift, on the other hand, suggests that it would be better to live among beasts than humans. 

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Pope and Swift do both use satire in the two works you mention, but they use different kinds of satire.

Pope in the mock-heroic, The Rape of the Lock, uses Horatian satire.  He's making fun of upper-class customs, but mildly.  He's having a joke at society's expense, but it's more teasing than condemning.  He presents a woman putting on makeup as if she is a warrior preparing for battle.  He's poking fun.

Swift in Gulliver's Travels, uses Juvenalian satire.  Swift condemns his targets.  His satire is not teasing or endearing, it is vehement and bitter.  His targets are not exposed as silly, as Pope's are.  Swift's targets are exposed as stupid, ridiculous, mindless, blood-thirsty, etc. 

Again, both writers use satire, but the type of satire used by each is vastly different from that used by the other.

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