Swift’s Research Essay

In an essay of at least 1500 words (2000 is better), share what research you have found about Swift’s Gulliver’s Travels. Of course, there is just sharing what you find and hopefully weaving it together into an essay, but then there is figuring out something to say and looking for sources that will help you say it. So, in this regard, you should be writing about the satire of Swift’s book. This can be done in general, but it can also be done narrowly, by focusing on different aspects of the satire: elements, strategies, voice, historical context, religious context, political context, class. If you are able to guide your research, it usually goes better. Note that I don’t necessarily expect original arguments by you; sometimes it is interesting to just land on an idea and to look up a bit more about it — that can be a fine essay. OR Here is a second, maybe easier option: Using at least two of the critical essays that follow the novel in the Norton Critical Edition, write an essay that finds what comments others have made about Swift’s use of satire. This means reading a few of the critical essays and noticing what kinds of things they are saying, and then helping your reader by summarizing and paraphrasing those things. Of course, you will also add your summary and commentary about Swift’s text, as well, the satirical parts. OR This is a third option, the easiest, but that can work for some of you: Write a compare and contrast essay about how war is represented in the different locations Gulliver travels to. It would be better to have a sound thesis, but it can also be fine to argue that it is interesting to notice how war is portrayed differently and similarly in the different destinations Gulliver travels to. It would also be possible on this essay to bring in outside research into criticism written about Swift’s descriptions of war.

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