Questions and Answers for Jonathan Swift

Jonathan Swift

Discuss the view that Swift was a misanthrope.

The question of whether or not Swift was a misanthrope essentially relates to the question of his attitude toward humanity in his satirical works. The title of misanthrope is reserved usually for...

Latest answer posted July 22, 2009 8:37 am UTC

2 educator answers

Jonathan Swift

What is an explanation and themes of  "The Day of Judgement" by Jonathan Swift?

One of the most important lines in the poem is "You who in different sects were shamm’d." Here Swift is focusing his satire on those dissenting religious groups who were attempting to obtain the...

Latest answer posted September 12, 2019 5:12 am UTC

2 educator answers

Jonathan Swift

Summarize the poem " A Satirical Elegy on the Death of a Late Famous General, " by Jonathan Swift.

The clue to understanding this poem is in its name: a satirical elegy. Swift, renowned as a master of satire, uses his cutting wit in this poem to issue a warning to statesmen and others who, like...

Latest answer posted January 22, 2018 10:02 pm UTC

2 educator answers

Jonathan Swift

Jonathan Swift's The Lady's Dressing Room and Lady Montagu's The Reasons, do both poems accomplish their intent?

The answer to this question is very subjective and highly dependent on individual readers. I've had many students think that Swift's poem is absolutely hilarious, while some students find it...

Latest answer posted August 8, 2019 9:42 pm UTC

2 educator answers

Jonathan Swift

How would Jonathan Swift's "Market Women's Cries" poem be analyzed under the Marxist criticism theory?

In “Market Women’s Cries,” each stanza of the poem depicts a woman selling a different product. The first woman sells apples, the second sells onions, and the third sells herrings. Each of the...

Latest answer posted October 23, 2019 6:37 pm UTC

2 educator answers

Jonathan Swift

What is the purpose of satire in "A Modest Proposal”?

The purpose of Swift's "Modest Proposal" is, first, to expose people's attitudes (particularly those in power) toward the poverty in Ireland and, second, for the author to give his own opinion on...

Latest answer posted February 22, 2019 11:27 am UTC

2 educator answers

Jonathan Swift

How does the social criticism of Oliver Goldsmith compare to that of Jonathan Swift?  

Both Swift and Goldsmith criticized the hard-heartedness of British society's treatment of the poor. Swift, however, criticized the lack of compassion with harsh, biting satire. For example, the...

Latest answer posted September 6, 2017 3:08 pm UTC

3 educator answers

Jonathan Swift

What does the poem "The Lady's Dressing Room" by Jonathan Swift mean? What is the poem trying to prove?...

Swift, as is his wont, is satirizing society and one of its most cherished, long-standing conventions. In Swift's day, women, especially women of quality, were idealized by men, placed on a...

Latest answer posted January 25, 2018 10:47 am UTC

3 educator answers

Jonathan Swift

What is a critical analysis of "The Day of Judgement" by Jonathan Swift?

The poem “The Day of Judgement” was written by Jonathan Swift. It describes the poet’s vision of the Day of Judgement, the day when all people must come before God and take responsibility for their...

Latest answer posted March 25, 2020 10:41 am UTC

1 educator answer

Jonathan Swift

What is the most famous quotation in Jonathan Swift's "A Modest Proposal"?  

In “A Modest Proposal,” virtually every line of the entire text of the pamphlet is famous. One of the more interesting quotes is “I HAVE been assured by a very knowing American of my Acquaintance...

Latest answer posted July 22, 2009 8:55 am UTC

2 educator answers

Jonathan Swift

Pope's “The Rape of the Lock” and Swift’s “The Lady’s Dressing Room”  both poke fun at women’s vanity and obsession...

A mock-epic that is in the Horatian satire, Alexander Pope's Rape of the Lock parodies the vanity of women in his day and the importance placed upon trivialities, while Jonathan Swift's poem is...

Latest answer posted March 14, 2014 3:42 am UTC

1 educator answer

Jonathan Swift

Compare and contrast Johnathan Swift with Oliver Goldsmith.

Despite their relative closeness in time, Swift and Goldsmith, in short, are each representative of a distinct era in English literature. The first half of the eighteenth century has often been...

Latest answer posted April 11, 2018 3:26 am UTC

2 educator answers

Jonathan Swift

One of the things that Swift examined critically in Gulliver's Travels is the government's role in education. Where...

When Gulliver is among the Lilliputians, he learns about their system of education. Swift writes, "parents are the last of all others to be trusted with the education of their own children."...

Latest answer posted March 4, 2017 12:16 am UTC

1 educator answer

Jonathan Swift

Satire, Swift, and "A Modest Proposal" One very famous pamphlet Jonathan Swift wrote was A Modest Proposal. What did...

Swift's modest proposal was satirical and therefore not to be taken at face value. "A Modest Proposal" grows out of Swift's furious indignation, his disgust with English oppression and...

Latest answer posted July 19, 2008 11:10 am UTC

2 educator answers

Jonathan Swift

In what ways do we see Jonathan Swift's poetry as a critique of his society and the time in which he lived and wrote?

Jonathan Swift was certainly well known for satirizing British society. To satirize is to use comedy to expose and criticize something, especially society. While one of his best socially satirical...

Latest answer posted November 9, 2013 6:31 am UTC

1 educator answer

Jonathan Swift

What information on Jonathan Swift's background can you give me?

Jonathan Swift was an Irish author, satirist, and clergyman who was born on November 30, 1667, and who is best known for writing Gulliver’s Travels and “A Modest Proposal.” Both of these works...

Latest answer posted May 9, 2016 5:41 pm UTC

1 educator answer

Jonathan Swift

What did Gulliver see at the house of Houyhnhnms?  

In Jonathan Swift's Gulliver's Travels, Gulliver's last voyage takes him to the land of the Houyhnhnms. There, he finds two kinds of creatures: A monkey/human hybrid of filthy and deceiving...

Latest answer posted January 10, 2018 5:58 am UTC

1 educator answer

Jonathan Swift

What is "The Lady's Dressing Room" about, and what is Lady Montagu's response to it?

Jonathan Swift's "The Lady's Dressing Room" is an extended "toilet humor" satire about an upper class woman's dressing room and her efforts to beautify herself. The woman's name is Celia, and she...

Latest answer posted July 7, 2019 2:30 am UTC

3 educator answers

Jonathan Swift

A Modest Proposal Social Allegiance? where does the speakers social allegiance lie in " A Modest Proposal"?

Since it is satire, we know that the author is not suggesting that people should eat babies. However, the speaker could go either way. You could argue that the speaker is being satirical and not...

Latest answer posted January 18, 2012 6:00 am UTC

4 educator answers

Jonathan Swift

In Jonathan Swift's a proposal for the use of Irish manufacture how is he being satirical?

I think the prior answer assumes you were asking a question about Swift's "A Modest Proposal." From your reference to Irish manufacture, I will assume you are asking about satire in Swift's "A...

Latest answer posted March 3, 2012 6:55 am UTC

2 educator answers

Jonathan Swift

What does Swift think of Dryden?

Dryden is ridiculed by Swift in his satire The Battle of the Books (1704). Swift took part to the Quarrel of the Ancients and the Moderns with the publication of his satiric work. The Quarrel...

Latest answer posted June 27, 2010 6:46 am UTC

1 educator answer

Jonathan Swift

Swiftʼs writing style is described as “biting.” What do you think this means?

The word "biting" in relation to Swift means harsh, cruel, or cutting. There's little doubt that this is an accurate description of his writing. Compared with the more sedate, gently mocking satire...

Latest answer posted April 12, 2018 11:13 am UTC

1 educator answer

Jonathan Swift

How has society's definition changed and remained the same since Wwift's time? In what media do we most often see...

In terms of satire, I think that society has become more accepting of it to a point where it does not contain the same level of effect that it did in Swift's time. Individuals have become much...

Latest answer posted February 28, 2010 8:53 pm UTC

1 educator answer

Jonathan Swift

What is a topic from Gulliver's Travels that Swift satirizes that continues into the modern era? Is government's role...

The government's role in education is a topic that Swift satirizes in Gulliver's Travels and that continues today. Among the Lilliputians, "parents are the last of all others to be trusted with the...

Latest answer posted March 3, 2017 10:44 pm UTC

1 educator answer

Jonathan Swift

What does Gulliver's Travels say happiness is? What does Gulliver's travels, an essay on man, and rasselas, as a...

I've read and enjoyed the book and I don't know that Swift actually comes out and tells people what happiness is. In his rather biting commentary on human nature, he certainly points out quite...

Latest answer posted July 29, 2010 1:50 am UTC

1 educator answer