Equipped with knowledge achieved through hard work, Swift set out on his second career: to be a famous poet, not a novelist. Unfortunately, nearly all of his early poems were poor in quality. An extremely discouraging blow to his career came from a professional poet named John Dryden, whom some sources claim discouraged Swift from ever becoming a full-time poet. Instead of quitting on all writing, Swift persevered to become a fantastic satirist – not in poems, but in novels and writings (Damrosch, 82-86).
As Swift would constantly discover, nothing he set out to do finished easily for him. When Sir William Temple passed away in 1699, his family informed Swift that his next job would have much lower pay and standing. Out of respect to the Temple family, Swift accepted his new role as the Earl of Berkeley. However, after making the arduous journey to the city, he discovered the job had already been taken! One could understand his frustration and disappointment in time wasted and hopes spoiled. Instead of letting this circumstance depress him, Swift quickly ...
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...mphlets, it contained amusing wit and humor that entertained the reader once again (Damrosch, 418).
Because of a brutal famine and winter in 1728 to 1729, many Irishmen either died or suffered from starvation. How could those unfortunate circumstances be reversed? A Modest Proposal offered an absurd and ludicrous solution to the matter: if unintentional infanticide was unavoidable, why not make it profitable? Swift argued that cooking children would provide delicious meals to the starving and be equitable (Damrosch, 417-419).
While the prospect of his argument appears as insanity to the modern viewer, Swift wrote his pamphlet so well that he fooled some into irrational anger. Shockingly, few did not realize the satirical nature of the pamphlet and argued that Swift was a madman. This demonstrated the power of Swift’s writing to the people of his day (Damrosch, 419).
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