English Literature

Modest Proposal

He was criticise the English government as they were ignoring Irish people and letting this chaotic problem consume them from inside. His criticism is really scientific including scientific research, using numbers, doing the math. He is presenting an argument which proposes babies as food as it would have a beneficial effect on economy, gastronomy and etc. He presents all his arguments in a very reasonable way.

With his disgusting reasonable proposal, he is also criticising his era which is era of reason as when someone solely focuses on reason, that person can think or even do filthy things.

He cared people as individuals not as groups. He may liked Jon but he may hate politicians, lawyers, etc.


Slowly the age of reason left its place to story-telling and stories. Since the first literature of England, the stories were told in verses, proses (French influence) but shortly evolved into novels.

Novels emerged in the 18th century for a variety of reasons. One of the reasons was to give people ability to expresses themselves in the age of reason. Novels are emotional outlet of for the author. In this century, middle-class was rising and their affluence was getting bigger and bigger and due to this they were able to get educated and learn to read, write. First works of novelty were conducted by women but due to society’s norms, they had to hide their names and use the men’s names to conceal themselves and share their work.

Jane Air – Sherlock Ronte, Emily Ronte, Ann Ronte: They wrote novels, each of them and they were really productive but they each used men’s name. When they went to the publishing firm, nobody believed that their literary works were conducted from a woman.

Journalism were becoming widespread, there was prose writing and it was getting more and more popular as well as biographies and there was the effect of puritanism.
Anything related to an individual could be made into a story.

The first English novel was Robinson Cruise written by Daniel Defo, in the novel people read what an indivuaul able to do when he is stuck in a situation, his survival instincts, what he was able to do in order to continue his life, stranded in an island. In the novel he was alone for some time but then he met a person and named him Friday as he met him on Friday. They were friends but they were not equal. People liked this book because even in the most hard situation an individual is able to rise, survive and etc. Later on there were a lot of references to Robinson Cruise such as “What would you do if you were stranded in an island?”

Robinson had to fight his way to make things for his life, to survive and all these required so much energy and strength. He motivated himself to overcome any hardships that may occur. In this work self-reliance was emphasised. (Puritanism).


Samuel Richardson – Pamela

He was an educated man and he was very good in writing letters. He made money out of writing letters, he wrote letters for people in business, for lovers and etc. One day a publishing house made him an offer, they wanted him to write letters and teach how to write letters for certain purposes. As he was doing his job, he realised that out of letters you could make a good story by their correspondence in different settings. He started working on his title called Pamela.

The main character is Pamela, she’s working at a very affluent house but she is very virtuous person despite the son’s advances to her. The son is seducted by her virtuous personality and falls in love with her and they live happily after. The main idea of this novel is importance of virtues. The novel is written in epistolary form (by combining letters).

This novel was criticised by H. Fielding, as the novel was focusing too much on virtues and modesty, so he wrote a novel Calle Josef Andrews, and this character was brother of Pamela. He later on wrote a novel calle Tom Jones which is a comic epic in prose work. This character is a very funny character and he puts himself in very difficult situations, he is a womaniser. Opposing Samuel Richardson, H. Fielding didn’t care about morals.

In novels, picaresque, this style emerged in Spain and it mens series of episodes in prose fiction where the hero is forced to seek his fortune outside of stable society. Imagine there is a family and in this family the father tells his son to go away and find his way, his place. Imagine we have a womaniser character and he has an affair with the married woman and the husband finds out and exiles him from the society.

Tom Jones is built with the picaresque style.


Gulliver’s Travels – J. Swift

  • The book basically asks a question: what sort of thing is man?

Identifying with Gulliver, voyaging through imaginary worlds we try tı find ourselves. Are proud insects, or lords of creation? Brutes, or reasonable beings?

Swift defined man not as a arational animal but as an animal capable of reason. He had a keen sense of our capacity for self delusion folly and vice.
He offers us comic and horrific perspectives, which confront us with unpleasant facets of human life, silently recommending proportion, humility and fellow-feeling.
The way others perceive you will you change what you are, you can be a giant in a place but a midget in another.

In this ship we have this man called Gulliver and he starts a voyage on that ship and he travels to imaginary places.

  • Four imaginary voyages of Lemuel Gulliver, a ship’s surgeon all of which end disastrously among “several remote nations oft he world.”
  • In the first book, Gulliver is shipwrecked in the empire of Lilliput, where he finds himself a giant among diminutive people.
  • In the second, Gulliver is abandoned by his shipmates in Brobdingnag, a land of giants, which appears to be a utopia governed by a human prince.
  • In the third voyage, to flying island of Laputa, Gulliver is together with scientists who are so occupied with their studies that they cannot see what is right in front of them.
  • The final voyage sets Gulliver between a race of horses, Houyhnhnms, who live…


Lawrance Sterne – The life and Opinions of Tristram Shandy

Shandy is a man and this book is about his life story in 9 big divisions of books, but his life story begins in the third book, before that he talks about his parents, society, etc. His life is full of funny incidents and he particularly talks about Uncle Toby

Lawrance had this interesting style, he had an interactive approach as he left some blanks in his books for you to fill them. Such as when he is descrpiting a beatiıful woman he leaves the desrictpion blank and expects you to write it. The book is written in a witty way accompanied with strange stylistic approaches.


Samuel Johnson – Dictionary of the English Language

The first dictionary of English and it represents the ideology of its era. In this dictionary Samuel Johnson passed his judgment into his work and defined words with his perspective. It is also important that how the vocabulary has changed over time.

Every age has its ideal concept of ideal man and in the age of reason, the ideal man is the person who uses his intelligence but one can not deny the fact that humans have emotions, too and after the age of era, there it comes

The Romantic Era.

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