Jonathan Swift World Literature Analysis - Essay

Jonathan Swift World Literature Analysis

(Masterpieces of World Literature, Critical Edition)

Swift lived through times of great change in politics, religion, and learning. Divine authority, medieval scholasticism, and Renaissance humanism were being supplanted by materialistic, mechanistic, empirical skepticism, thanks largely to the work of philosophers Thomas Hobbes and John Locke and the incalculable influence of French mathematician René Descartes. Men such as Temple and Swift preferred the serene assurances of the old order based upon rational Christian humanism. They saw the acids of modernism dissolving spiritual authority and the moral values of the landed aristocracy.

From the moment of his precarious birth, Swift was in search of a place in life. Without noble ancestry, he used his talents with words...

(The entire section is 3272 words.)