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Word Count: 2,181
During the early 18th century an explosion of satire swept through British literature This period often called the Age of Reason was highly influenced by a group of the elite of society who called themselves the Augustans and were determined to live their lives according to truth and reason Likewise they often found themselves the object of a good deal of satire Among the satirists of this age were such distinguished authors as Daniel Defoe Alexander Pope and Jonathan Swift Of the three the most biting most pungent and most bitter writing came from Swift Swift unafraid to attack almost every institution often found himself surrounded by controversy His most contentious and his greatest work however was a series of chronicled voyages known as Gullivers Travels Through the adventures of Lemuel Gulliver Swift ridiculed everything from English politics to human nature Indeed Swift said that the purpose of his Travels was to wonderfully mend the world qtd in Rowe 143 All four books of Gullivers Travels are utterly filled with satire which simply put is a type of writing that derides the frailties and vices of a person an institution or society in general The satirist holds up for his readers to see a distorted image and the reader is to be shocked into a realization that the image is his own Dyson 673 The fourth book of Gullivers Travels A Voyage to the Houyhnhnms is particularly filled with satire as Gulliver discovers a Utopian society of horses Houyhnhnms who sneer at humans Yahoos as being savage Throughout the selection Swift also includes irony in his work to aid him in his satire Verbal irony the kind that Swift uses occurs when an author says one thing but means something entirely different Although Swifts primary goal in writing the Fourth Voyage of Gullivers Travels was to point out the savagery of human nature a closer reading reveals a more subtle ironic caricature of the Augustans
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