Jonathan Swift – Literature Review essay example
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Jonathan Swift – Literature Review


Jonathan Swift was born in Dublin, Ireland, on November 30, 1667. He graduated from Trinity College in the year of 1688. In the same year, he became an English politician and member of the Whig party. At one time he begun to write satires on the political and religious corruption happening around him. He wrote several political pamphlets in favor of the Whig party. But after some conflicts with the Whig party, mostly because of Swift’s strong allegiance to the church, he became a member of the more conservative Tory party in 1710 (Sparknotes). The Tory government fell out of power in the year of 1714 and Swift fell out of favor too. He returned to Dublin and became the dean of St. Patrick’s.

After returning to Ireland, he became a supporter of the Irish observing English attempts to weaken their economy and political power. Some of the critics think that Jonathan’s writings are a reflection of his own experience of surroundings; the things that are happening. Gulliver’s Travels was a controversial work when it was first published in 1726 (Sparknotes). ‘Gulliver’s Travels serves as a biting satire, and Swift ensures that it is both humorous and critical, constantly attacking British and European society through its descriptions of imaginary countries’(Sparknotes). In his latter life Swift became an unable person and a bit insane that relates him to the protagonist of Gulliver’s Travels as that character became the same out of the rage against humankind. So, Gulliver’s Travel can be an excellent example for narrating Jonathan Swift’s writing style through it.

Literature Review

Bryndis Gunnarsdottir, faculty of Education and International Studies, Department of Early childhood education, Alumna (OsloMet – Oslo Metropolitan University) wrote an article titled as ‘The Satire as a Social Mirror: Jonathan Swift’s A Modest Proposal in Context’ as a thesis in (B.A.) English (2009). This paper was a medium to evaluate Jonathan Swift’s one of the best writings ‘A Modest Proposal’ as a successful satire back in eighteenth century in England. She examined the proposal in her discussion within the context of Irish history and Swift’s attempts to shed light on the Irish situation through this amazing satire.

Mariam, a contributor at writework.com published an online essay naming ‘Jonathan Swift’s style of writing’ (January 2003). There she talked about Jonathan Swift’s writing style as a whole.

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Fanning and Christopher came up with another journal named ‘Sermons on Sermonizing: The Pulpit Rhetoric of Swift and Sterne’ (vol. 76, no. 4, 1997). This article talked about the two popular satirists (Swift and Sterne) and their less popularity as sermonists. They examined the rhetorical manifestations of the two sermonists’ attitudes toward their audience.


Gulliver’s Travels is about a specific set of political conflicts, but if it were nothing more than that it would long ago have been forgotten. The staying power of the work comes from its depiction of the human condition and its often despairing, but occasionally hopeful, sketch of the possibilities for humanity to rein in its baser instincts.

Works Cited

  1. Bryndis Gunnarsdottir. “The Satire as a Social Mirror: Jonathan Swift’s A Modest Proposal in Context” BA thesis in English, 2009
  2. Christopher, Fanning. “Examine the Rhetorical Manifestations of the Two Sermonists’ Attitudes toward Their Audience.” Sermons on Sermonizing: The Pulpit Rhetoric of Swift and Sterne, vol. 76, no. 4, 1997.
  3. WriteWork contributor (Mariam). “Jonathan Swift’s style of writing” WriteWork.com. WriteWork.com, 15 January, 2003. Web. 25 Mar. 2019.
  4. SparkNotes, SparkNotes, www.sparknotes.com/lit/gulliver/context/.
  5. “Jonathan Swift’s style of writing.” Topics, Sample Papers & Articles Online for Free, 20 Jun 2016, https://studymoose.com/jonathan-swifts-style-of-writing-essay

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