Tài liệu Jona than swift the greatest satirist of the 18th century english enlightenment

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Jonathan Swift- the greatest satirist of the 18th century English Enlightenment Acknowledgement Firstly, I would like to express my deep thanks to all the teachers of English at the foreign languages department, especially my supervisor- M.A Tran Ngoc Tuong, who made so many valuable comments on each single unit of this thesis. Secondly, I am most grateful to my parents for their enthusiastic support. And finally, I would like to thank for the English Centre and all my friends who gave me so much encouragement during the studying. Without their help, I am sure I cannot complete this graduation paper. Lª ThÞ Thanh Tó 0 Líp 40 A2 Jonathan Swift- the greatest satirist of the 18th century English Enlightenment Table of content Acknowledgement Part I Introduction I. The reasons of choosing the thesis II. The aims of the thesis III.The objectives of the thesis IV.The scope of the thesis V. The methods of the thesis Part II Contents Chapter I: Background I: England in the 18th century and the English Enlightenment (1660- 1789) 1. Historical background 1.1.The growth of British Empire 1.2. The Glorious Revolution (1688) 1.3. The formation of the two-party parliament: the Whigs and the Tories 1.4. The Age of Science and Learning 1.5. Some other features 2. What does Enlightenment mean? Enlightenment in England (1660-1789) 3. Literature 3.1. Satire - a distinctive form of literature in the 18th century and the development of satire 3.1. a. Introduction 3.1. b. Satire in antiquity Lª ThÞ Thanh Tó 1 Líp 40 A2 Jonathan Swift- the greatest satirist of the 18th century English Enlightenment 3.1. c. Medieval satire 3.1. d. Renaissance satire 3.1. e. 18th century satire 3.2: Some great satirists of the English Enlightenment II. Jonathan Swift- the greatest satirist of the 18th century English Enlightenment 1. His life 2. His literary career Chapter II. Jonathan Swift (1667- 1745) - the greatest satirist of th 18 century English Enlightenmen I. Swift’s satirical attitude toward The Church and Religion II. Swift’s satirical attitude toward the British and human beings in general III. Science and Learning through Swift’s satires IV. Political life and society of 18th century Britain through Swift’s satires Part III. Conclusion Reference Lª ThÞ Thanh Tó 2 Líp 40 A2 Jonathan Swift- the greatest satirist of the 18th century English Enlightenment I. Part I Introduction II. The reasons of choosing the thesis When I was a pupil at secondary school, I was extremely keen on reading picture books. I liked travelling to various lands and being drown in the colorful world of vivid characters. And what drew my attention most was Gulliver’s adventures to the kingdoms of the small people and the giants that were very exciting and thrilling. At that time, I always wondered about Jonathan Swift- the author of imaginative stories and would like to know more about him. Now, being a student, I have a chance to learn English literature. This enables me to understand further many famous writers, especially Jonathan Swift- one of the most typical figures of 18th century English Enlightenment. Studying about him helps me not only satisfy my curiosity from the childhood but also have an encyclopedic sight of 18th century Britain. That’s reason why I choose “Jonathan Swift- the greatest satirist of 18th century English Enlightenment” as the theme for the graduation paper. III. The aims of the thesis - To widen my background knowledge about English Enlightenment and English literature in this period. Lª ThÞ Thanh Tó 3 Líp 40 A2 Jonathan Swift- the greatest satirist of the 18th century English Enlightenment - To understand much more about Jonathan Swift, his life and his literary career as well as the main themes in his satires. IV. The objectives of the thesis - Swift’s satirical attitude toward Religion and the Church. - Swift’s satirical attitude toward the British and human beings in general. - Science and Learning through Swift’s satires. - Political life and British society through Swift’s satires. V. The scope of the thesis In the thesis, we only concentrate on studying about: - The background of the English Enlightenment that lasted from 1650 to 1789. - The life and literary career of Jonathan Swift. - Analyzing some of his typical satires and comparing with the works of the others’ of his time with the aim to clarifying the main themes. VI. The methods of the thesis - Collective method: Collecting the materials concerning the thesis. - Analysis, contrastive and synthetic methods. Lª ThÞ Thanh Tó 4 Líp 40 A2 Jonathan Swift- the greatest satirist of the 18th century English Enlightenment Lª ThÞ Thanh Tó 5 Líp 40 A2 Jonathan Swift- the greatest satirist of the 18th century English Enlightenment Part II Contents Chapter I. Background I. England in the 18th century and the English Enlightenment (16601789) 1. Historical background The period from the middle of the 17 th century to the end of the 18th century is often regarded as the historical background for the appearance of the Enlightenment in England. Some remarkable events in this period are: 1.1. The growth of British Empire England began its colonial expansion a century later than Spain, Portugal and France. In the 16 th century, whereas Britain was just a small kingdom without overseas possessions, Spain and Portugal had sent expeditions on discoveries across the Atlantic and opened the route to India. They claimed monopoly of trade with new lands. After defeating Spain’s invincible Armada in 1588, England was ready to enter the race for overseas trade and possessions. The British Empire was built partly through discoveries and settlement. The first Empire: The British Empire at first had 2 poles: America in the West and India in the East. But the stream of immigrants was directed mainly toward America and was increased by religious persecution. In 1620, the Pilgrims Fathers landed on the shores of New England (in the Northeastern part of Lª ThÞ Thanh Tó 6 Líp 40 A2 Jonathan Swift- the greatest satirist of the 18th century English Enlightenment the United States, including the territories of main, New Hampshire, Vermont, Massachusetts, Rhode, Island, Connecticut). Between 1620 and 1640, about 25,000 pilgrims went to live in New England. And English Civilization was steadily spreading. British regarded the colonies as a source of raw materials and markets. The search for markets was the cause for the Seven Years War (1756-1763) through which England took over the control of India and Canada from France. Shortly, after the Seven Years War, the American colonies began to rebel against the policies of Great Britain. The Independence War of the American colonies began in 1775 and lasted for 8 years. On July 4, 1776, 13 British colonies in North America proclaimed their independence from Great Britain. The most valuable part of the British Empire was lost, and thus making the end of the First Empire. The Second Empire: In the 18th century, the Industrial Revolution spread in England workshop and of turned the the world country English into the manufactures unrivaled needed markets for their goods, and food and raw materials for their factories. British shipping grew enormously. Within 25 years after the loss of American colonies, the second British Empire was strongly developing in size and in strength. In the 19th and early 20th centuries, territories in Africa, Australia, Canada, New Zealand, Asia and the Pacific were Lª ThÞ Thanh Tó 7 Líp 40 A2 Jonathan Swift- the greatest satirist of the 18th century English Enlightenment colonized and became dependent on the British Empire. It was a common saying that “the sun never set in the British Empire”. 1.2. The Glorious Revolution (1688) The Civil War (also called the Bourgeois Revolution 1640-1648) was a terrible experience for the British; it was a bad example; so the people asked the King not to repeat any action like that. Leaving France, Charles II was promised a warm support by Louise XIV on 2 conditions: - Not to interfere in the political arena in Europe and - To yield certain concession to the Roman Catholics in England. Everything seemed to be going well until Charles’s death. In 1685, Charles II died without direct issue and left the Crown to his brother, James II. As a Stuart King, James II inherited all the extravagance and licentiousness of the Stuarts. On the other hand, James was an extremely fanatical Stuart, who tried to play the all-powerful monarch, regardless of the compromise between Charles II and Louise XIV. Therefore, James II was no more supported by King Son of France and he had to pay the price. In the 1688, an arrangement was made among the top layers for James II to flee to France, leaving the Crown to his daughter Mary and his son-in-law William of Orange. This event was known as the “Glorious Revolution”, marking the end of the Absolute Monarchy and the beginning of the Constitutional Lª ThÞ Thanh Tó 8 Líp 40 A2 Jonathan Swift- the greatest satirist of the 18th century English Enlightenment Monarchy in England. William and Mary then accepted a new constitutional settlement, the Bill of Rights 1689, which assured the ascendancy of parliamentary power over sovereign rule. 1.3. The formation of the 2-party parliament: the Whigs and the Tories From 1670 to 1690, in Britain, there were two political parties- the Whigs and the Tories. The Whigs (also the predecessor of the Liberal Party): the name was first used of rebel Covenanters and then of those who wished to exclude James II from the English succession (as a Roman Catholics). This party represented the financial and commercial interests of the town and city people as well as of the progressive men who didn’t favor of the old tradition, and were opposed any interference in political matter by the monarchy. The Whigs always pressed for industrial and commercial development, a vigorous foreign policy and religious toleration. During the French revolution, the Whigs demanded parliamentary reform in Britain, and from the passing of the Reform Bill 1832, became known as Liberals. While, The Tories was considered as the forerunner of the British Conservative party about 1680-1830. It was the party of the country landowners, parson and the squire, as opposed to the Whigs. The trading classes and nonconformists, many of who were supporters of James II, supported it. Lª ThÞ Thanh Tó 9 Líp 40 A2 Jonathan Swift- the greatest satirist of the 18th century English Enlightenment The original Tories were Irish guerrillas who attacked the English and the name, was applied to royalists who opposed the Exclusion Bill. Although largely supporting the 1688 Revolution, the Tories were suspected of Aconite sympathies and was kept from power 1714-1760, but then held office almost continuously until 1830. Though the difference in their policies was very insignificant, they were often at war against each other, which became an objection of several famous satirists of the time. For most of the 18 th century, the Whigs party was supreme, especially after Sir Robert Walpole consolidated its power. During his long rule as Prime Minister from 17211724 many of the greatest writers feared Walpole’s power sided with the Tory minority against him that was brilliantly satirized by A. Pope, J.Swift, John Gay, S. Johnson and H.Fielding… So, in short, the color of these two parties was different, but both of them had no aim, but using all the means to usurp the Cabinet and to control and threaten the state machine. 1.4. The Age of Science and Learning The 18th century in England was also distinguished in science and learning. At this time, London was a city of several great men: Isaac Newton, John Locke, David Hume… whose discoveries were considered as basic foundation for people to understand, to explain and to form their own opinion about all phenomena of the nature and the meaning of the universe. These discoveries opened the way for the Age of Science and Learning. Lª ThÞ Thanh Tó 10 Líp 40 A2 Jonathan Swift- the greatest satirist of the 18th century English Enlightenment Considering the philosophical aspect, in about the end of the 17th century and the beginning of the 18 th century, the trait against the feudalism took place under various forms, but it was said to be the struggle between Idealism and Materialism. According to John Locke (1632-1704), a philosopher the first to launch the 18th century Enlightenment: “Man and his use of reason are evidence enough for the existence of God”. Locke’s epistemology and his crucial rejection of innate ideas in favor of the notion of knowledge based on external sensation and internal “reflection” helped, it has been argued, to determine the tendency of many 18th century writers to describe the observable world rather than offer a subjective interpretation of the workings of the psyche. Locke, as the appreciation of Engel’s: “considering the religious aspect as well as the political one to be the own child of the compromise of 1688”. Anyway, Locke also marked an important advance in history for ideology; had a great influence on later philosophers; especially, many progressive philosophers of the 18 th century in France where Absolute Monarchy and Christianity were ruling with their cruelty and arbitrary over every aspect of life. Religious controversies about Deism became extremely ebullient during many years at the beginning of 18 th century. Following Locke’s ideology, the others tried to apply the reason to define a kind of natural religion; to propagandize some aspects of Materialism, and to be Lª ThÞ Thanh Tó 11 Líp 40 A2 Jonathan Swift- the greatest satirist of the 18th century English Enlightenment against the Church. Here, we can mention Tolland (16701722), Collins (1676-1792), Wools ton (1669-1731)… From the 17th century, in Britain, the conflict between Christianity and Puritanism turned severe. Puritanism appeared in 1564 in Britain; it was influenced by religious reform of Caving and especially, this religious sect had an extremely strict point of view about virtue. This is actually another form of the struggle of the capitalist class against feudalism, as the Stuart, at this time, was considering Christianity to be its state religion. Philosophical ideologies were always attached with political problems. Bolingbrook (1678-1754), about religion, supported Deism and about politics, expressed his sympathy to an equal monarchy. Shaftsbury (1671-1713) brought out his own point of view on the harmony of the world, on good human nature and his moral notion as well as beauty existing inside each other. Along with philosophers, scientists also contributed their part to pave the way for the Age of Science and Learning. Among them, Isaac Newton (1642-1727) is a typical figure. Newton, “The miracle of the present Age” as Joseph Addison called him “had given his eighteenthcentury heirs a carefully reasoned theoretical framework on which a whole range of additional theories could be hung.” His “Principia” (1687) and his “Optics” (1704) suggested that there were indeed intelligible laws in nature which could be demonstrated by physics and mathematics, and, moreover, that the universe exhibited a magnificent Lª ThÞ Thanh Tó 12 Líp 40 A2 Jonathan Swift- the greatest satirist of the 18th century English Enlightenment symmetry and a mechanical certainty. By interpretation, Newton’s heavens declared that there was order, law and indeed design in creation. Largely thanks to the propagandist work of the Royal Society in London and European-wide advances in astronomy, mathematics, mechanics, physics and optics, natural philosophy had shed the taint of forbidden knowledge. Religious mystery could be enhanced; scientific thought begun by Copernicus 150 years earlier was to be fulfilled as popular enlightenment. His “Primped” marked a milestone in the history of Science by announcing his theory of the law of universal gravitation. And the Optics established him as the founder of the modern science of optics, to this book was attacked Method of Fluxion, the Newton calculus which caused a better dispute with Alibis over priority of invention. 1.5. Some other features At this time, the upper class thought that if the poor had chance to learn much, they might change their position in the society. So universal education was so far for future and was opposed by the upper classes on the ground that it could elevate the humble people in the same position. The 18th century British society, so, appeared seven groups of people: - The great who lived luxuriously. - The rich who lived so plentifully. - The middle sort who lived well. - The working trades who labored hard but felt no want. Lª ThÞ Thanh Tó 13 Líp 40 A2 Jonathan Swift- the greatest satirist of the 18th century English Enlightenment - The countrymen who lived and worked indifferently. - The poor who lived and worked hard. - The miserable people who suffered a lot of difficulties. 2. What does Enlightenment mean? The 18th century marked an important turning point in the history of development of European countries. It exists in the history with a meaningful name: “The Enlightenment Century”. Feudalism, which existed in Europe for a long time, until 18th century, didn’t play a progressive role but became a hindrance for the development of the society. The capitalist class, from its birth fought strongly against feudal system and this struggle was extremely severe and drawnout. The former considered it its duty to abolish an out-ofdate system. And this duty was basically solved in 18 th century. During many centuries the feudal system together with the obscurantism of the Church restrained people in a completely vicious circle. Philosophers and progressive writers of 18th century from many countries over Europe launched a powerful movement which praised reason and used the light of Reason to drive darkness away, to enlighten the truth, to free ideology for everybody, to broaden their knowledge and to enable them to contact with culture, science and art. The light of Reason shone every field: politics, religion, economy, philosophy, law and education feudalism. and turned Engel’s Lª ThÞ Thanh Tó into didn’t a sharp forget 14 to weapon against emphasize that Líp 40 A2 Jonathan Swift- the greatest satirist of the 18th century English Enlightenment characteristic while appreciating French writers of 18 th century to be: "great men enlighten people’s mind with the aim to preparing for a revolution which is due to burst”. The term “Enlightenment” pointed out the progressive role of the capitalist class in comparison with the feudal class in the Age of the Bourgeois Revolution by giving the contrast between the light and darkness. Or, broadly speaking, “Enlightenment contrasts with the darkness of irrationality and superstition dominating the Middle Ages”. It is said to be the emergence of man from his selfcomposed infancy characterized by lack of not reason itself but of the courage to use it, to become a subject with independent reasoning… Thus the watch-word of the Enlightenment is: “Sapere aude!” (Have courage to use your own reasoning) In Literature, “Enlightenment” is the period lasting from 1700 to 1798. Through their works, the leading doctrines of the Enlightenment center round the following categories of thought: 1: Reason is a principal tool for all humans to think and to act correctly. 2: Man is good by Nature. And man’s good nature can be brought to perfection through education. 3: All men and women are born equal in respect of their rationality and should thus be given the right to equality before the law. Lª ThÞ Thanh Tó 15 Líp 40 A2 Jonathan Swift- the greatest satirist of the 18th century English Enlightenment 4: Beliefs, religions, customs are to be questioned and accepted on the basic of reason only, not on the basic of authority, sacred texts or tradition. 5: Supernatural and miraculous elements are discarded as the whole universe is conceived as a rational system accessible to human reason. 6: Man to man is brother-to-brother, regardless of nationality or country of residence. Enlightenment thinkers believed in social progress and in the liberating possibilities of rational and scientific knowledge. They were often critical of existing society and were hostile to religion, which they saw as keeping the human mind chained down by superstition. The enlightener-writers concentrated on humanistic studies of Man, his nature and the origin of his good and evil doings. To them, vie was due to ignorance which could be done away with by force of reason. As a result, they thought it their duty to enlighten the people and insisted upon a systematic education for all through their works. In short, the Enlightenment movement was in fact a revolutionary movement. As it spread the idea of equality and brotherhood, it had nothing to share with the surviving feudal ideology, a system of thought based on hierarchical and patriarchal relation among men. And the American and French Revolutions were justified by Enlightenment principles of human natural rights. Enlightenment in England (1660-1789) Lª ThÞ Thanh Tó 16 Líp 40 A2 Jonathan Swift- the greatest satirist of the 18th century English Enlightenment Though England was known as the cradle of the Enlightenment, the English Enlightenment was not so revolutionary as the French one. The French Enlighteners were themselves extreme revolutionists. They recognize no external authority of any kind. “Reason became the sole measure of everything. Every form of society and government then existing, every old traditional notion was flung into the lumber-room as irrational… Superstition, injustice, privilege, oppression were to be superseded by Eternal Truth, Eternal Rights, Equality based on nature and the inalienable Rights of Man” (Engel’s). By the same time, in England, the English Bourgeois Revolution had been over for a long time. The political background for the English Enlightenment was the Glorious Revolution, a revolution that is characterized by compromises between the old aristocracy and the emerging bourgeoisie. Being a period of political intrigue and increasing intellectual tendencies, the Age of Enlightenment was favorable to the development of prose rather than of poetry. The Literature of this time was illustrated by such masters of prose as Swift, the prince of English satirist; Defoe, the father of the English novel; Addison and Steele, the creators of English essay-writing and Pope, the acknowledged ruler of the literary world of his day. The Enlightenment in England was not uniform. There were two tendencies within the movement: the moderate and the radical. Enlighteners-writers of the more moderate Lª ThÞ Thanh Tó 17 Líp 40 A2 Jonathan Swift- the greatest satirist of the 18th century English Enlightenment wing, who wanted to make the world better by teaching, include: Alexander Pope (1688-1744); Daniel Defoe (16611731); Samuel Richardson (1689-1761); Joseph Addison and Richard Steele. Among the Enlighteners of the more radical wing who openly protested against vicious social orders in their social satires, were Jonathan Swift (1677-1745), Henry Fielding (1704-1754), Robert Burn (1759-1796) and others. Early Enlightenment (1660-1750) This period witnessed the birth and growth of Neoclassicism in poetry and the transition from the Heroic style (of Shakespeare) to the prosaic style of essayists. This period also witnessed the maturity in the development of the Enlighteners’ novel writing both in theory and in practice. In theory, the aim of novel writing was set up as “to imitate life; to show the variety of human nature; to expose the roots of human vices; and to indicate the ways for correcting social wrongs”(Fielding). In practice, the novels by Daniel Defoe, Samuel Richardson and Henry Fielding provide their readers with vivid pictures of the contemporary society described with a down-to-earth realism. Through their works, especially Pope’s, all the essential features of English Neo-classicism are fully expressed. They are: - Control of emotion - Worship of reason Lª ThÞ Thanh Tó 18 Líp 40 A2 Jonathan Swift- the greatest satirist of the 18th century English Enlightenment - Adherence to the styles and aesthetic principles of ancient Greek and Roman classical art. In the Early Enlightenment also appeared two typical authors of the two groups: Daniel Defoe and Jonathan Swift, who were representatives of the Enlighteners’ realism. Realism, a literary term, which comes from the Latin word ‘realist’ meaning material; is the method of truthful presentation of objective reality. Realism, as a method of literary creation, also implies, alongside, realistic details, the description of typical characters acting under typical circumstances. Defoe’s strength as a novelist lies in his realism. Every novel reader likes the air of verisimilitude (this means: everything appears under its nature). The novel reader asks to be “taken in the described society of the novel; and he likes it to be done well". Defoe manages it in style, he always identifies himself with the subject; asking himself what he should have done in his character’s place. In other words, Defoe is a master of the art of taking and keeping the point of view of his hero. His novels are often based on what he had experienced or on real event, for example, "Journal of the Plague Year” (1722) or “Robinson Crusoe” (1719). The impression of the truthfulness is considerably furthered by Depoe’s mastery of realist details. While being a typical Enlightener of the more radical wing, Swift is best known for his satires. He described the Lª ThÞ Thanh Tó 19 Líp 40 A2
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