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Jonathan Swift


Jonathan Swift was born in 1667 in Dublin, but his family was English, and moved back to England at the end of the glorious revolution in 1688, where Swift became secretary to Sir William Temple, a Whig statesman, who encouraged him to write his first satirical works.
In 1694 Swift returned to Ireland, where he was ordained Anglican Priest and he was later appointed Dean of Dublin's St Patrick's Cathedral in 1713.
He lived in Dublin for the next thirty years, he took an opposite position to the Whig government in London and after a few years he started to write pamphlets denouncing the injustices that Ireland suffered from. In 1726 he published Travels into several remote nations of the world known as Gulliver's Travels , and in 1729 he published A modest proposal, in which Swift suggested that the poverty of the Irish people should be relieved by the sale of their children as food for the rich. This is a satirical pamphlet, at those times many unwanted children were born and there were less and less food, therefore Swift wanted to draw the public attention to the problem of poverty and starvation.
Swift was labelled alternatively as a misanthrope or as a lover of mankind. The former because of what he says in A modest proposal and in the 4th book of Gulliver's Travels, and the latter because he cared about the society's problems. What emerges from his works is that he was very concerned with politics and society, and he didn't share the optimistic view which characterized that age indeed he believed that reason must be used properly, too intensive a use of reason is misleading, human beings are endowed with reason but it becomes useless when it's not used to improve every day life. Swift then died in 1745.
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