Jonathan Swift’s Perception of Ireland
The author has used satire and irony in his writing to make a description of the social, religious and political structure of Ireland. During that early time in history around 1700, the prevalent social system in Ireland was feudalism. This system had developed in Europe and it involved the vassals and the feudal lords.
Jonathan Swift was actually an English man who was born in Ireland. During that time, Ireland was under the governance and ruling of England. There were many cultural differences that arise among these two nations. In terms of religion, Irish were predominantly Catholics while the English were mostly Protestants. Conflicts between the two nations arise most of the time. Both the Modest Proposal and Gulliver’s Travel by Jonathan Swift depicted the relationship between the two. The strong English landlords were the one that caused great social problems particularly poverty among the people of Ireland. Swift worked his way to display the flight of the poor families in Ireland. They had many struggles towards their living conditions. The rich ones gave them great burdens by imposing huge taxes which made life for them miserable.
The author had a strong affiliation towards England so probably he looked with Ireland with mockery and derision. On the other hand he could genuinely felt sorry and sympathize with the situation of the Irish. He exposed in his writings the cruelty of the English landlords and the poverty of many Irish people. Ireland was perceived by the author as a victim of injustice and prejudices that apparently happening during his time.
Swift, Jonathan. “A Modest Proposal”(2008).Project Gutenberg E-Book (E-Book #1080) Retrieved August 14, 2008, http://www.gutenberg.org.
Swift, Jonathan.”Gulliver’s Travels”(2008). Project Gutenberg E-Book (E-Book #829) Retrieved August 14, 2008 , http://www.gutenberg.org