"A Modest Proposal" 
Jonathon Swift

Gulliver’s Travels

This is also a satire.  The "Modest Proposal" satirized essays that claim to solve social ills.
Gulliver's Travels uses the adventure novel to satirize English society.  By looking at Englond through the lense of other cultures, Swift shows us how irrational English institutions were.  This process is called making strange, i.e., making the ordinary seem strange by looking at it in a new way.

"Making Strange" – distorts size, shape of people. Makes natural/normal seem odd. Gulliver spent much time trying to explain British ways to horses who cannot understand it.


Part 3 Chapter 2

This chapter satirizes our own institution - the university.  The Laputans are so caught up in thinking that you can't get their attention.

3.  5

How do they write books?

3. 10

What is unusual about the Struldbruggs?
Is this an advantage or a disadvantage?
What special marital law do the Struldbruggs have?

Part 4

Summary: Gulliver’s crew conspires against him and throw him overboard. He swims to an island inhabited by Houyhnhnms ~ horses who govern the land ~ and Yahoos ~ degraded, deformed humans who behave like beasts. He is befriended by one of the horses who teaches him their language. Once they are able to converse, Gulliver discovers they are far more superior and that humans are much like the wild Yahoos. They do not know how to lie, cheat, and fight. They are governed by reason and thus have no need for laws. Two principal virtues are benevolence and reason. Gulliver learns to admire and respect them and eventually begins to detest all "Yahoos" including himself. He lives with the horses for 3 years until his "Honor" forces him to leave (because the other horses felt it disrespectful for him to associate with such a lesser creature). He eventually makes his way back to England. He can’t stand the sight or smell of his wife or kids.


What type of creature does he first meet when he comes to the island?
What saves him?


He describes the Yahoos.  What does he find unsettling about their appearance?


Why do the Houyhnhms consider his appearance to be superior to the Yahoos? What enexamined stereotype on Swift's part does this reflect.

How do the Houyhnhms describe a lie?


Notice how he describes his crew.  What do they do that makes them resemble the Yahoos?



How do the Yahoos treat another Yahoo who has fallen from power?

4. 10

Why does he leave the Houyhnhms?
What does he think of people when they find him?

4. 11

How's he spend his time now?

He quotes Virgil to support his truthfulness, "nor if Fortune had moulded Sinon for misery, will she also in spite mould him as false and lying."  Of course, Sinon when he said that was lying - his job was to persuade the Trajons to bring the Trojan horse into Troy.