Analysis Of Gulliver 's Travels And Pastoralia By Jonathan Swift

1090 Words Nov 2nd, 2016 5 Pages
Explore the struggle between the individual and society in 'Gulliver 's Travels ' and 'Pastoralia '

'Principally, ' wrote Jonathan Swift in a 1725 letter, 'I hate and detest that animal called man... upon this great foundation of misanthropy the whole building of my Travels is erected '. Such cynicism is hardly surprising from a writer such as Swift, whose whole corpus is marked by its acerbic and critical tone. As Gravil put it, Swift 's genius was a 'radical scepticism ', one that often-times put him at odds with his fellows, who were utterly entrenched in the intellectual optimism of the Enlightenment. What perhaps may be more unexpectedly gleaned from Swift 's correspondence is his focus on how the 'Travels ' relate to the human condition as a whole, rather than the political events that preceded its writing. Swift uses the 'Travels ' to make a philosophical argument about the nature of the individual and his place in society – a sort of anti-humanist manifesto, stressing the strength of the collective over personal worth. The examination of this relationship is integral to both 'Travels ' and Saunders ' modern satire, 'Pastoralia '. Even though both works are thoroughly grounded in the contexts of their time, their wider underlying message – that the relationship between man and his society is broken – proves a common thread , one that makes 'Travels ' relevant centuries later, and one that shifts 'Pastoralia ' from comedy to commentary. Saunders was, too,…

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