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A GROSS FORM OF DELIGHTFUL SATIRE

ColstonEnglish Lit. Dr. SpencerA GROSS FORM OF DELIGHTFUL SATIRE"The stoical scheme of supplying our wants by lopping off our desires, is like cutting off our feet when we want shoes." -Jonathan Swift"We have just enough religion to make us hate, but not enough to make us love on another." -Jonathan SwiftLike all true satirists, Swift was predominantly a moralist, one who chastises the vices and follies of humankind in the name of virtue and common sense. Throughout his writing, Swift constantly raised the question of whether the achievements of civilization-its advancing technology, its institutions, its refinement of manners-cannot be seen as complex forms of barbarism. With this theme in mind, Swift wrote some of his best works: A Modest Proposal, Gullivers Travels, and A Tale of a Tub. Although he is mastery at prose, he is also known for his poetry. It can be said that the subjects within his writings could be taken from his religious belief in the non-perfection of man. Swift believed that human reason was necessary to divine guidance. According to Herbert Read, Swift was the first poet who dared to describe nature as it is with all its deformities, and to give exact expression to a turn of thought no matter the subject. And because his life was one long mutiny-mutiny against darkness of fate, the injustice of men, the indignity of our bodily functions-his work is one long scrutiny into dark depths. Therefore, he attacks the idealistic idea of feminine beauty by ironically drawing attention to the female bodys excretory functions. Unfortunately, Swift emphasizes women, despite his deep love and friendship for individual women, as a symbol of mans bestiality. He victimizes women by his own secret over-idealization of her. This is seen in his poems, The Ladys Dressing-Room, Strephon and Chloe, and A Beautiful Young Nymph Going to Bed. Swift becomes obsessed by the morbidly physical. The gap between spirit and flesh can...

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