Sir Thomas More And Jonathan Swift Essay

1592 WordsOct 8, 20167 Pages
For whom are empires built? Sprawling across regional and temporal territories, empires not only affect their citizenry. Indeed, through their inclusion, empires establish an exclusivity that renders both in and out of its populations a kind of distrust. It remains to be seen if there is an ideal empire, but in conceptualizing the shortcomings of an empire 's trajectories, there are significant observations to be made. Nowhere is this more apparent than in the sixteenth and eighteenth century writings of Sir Thomas More and Jonathan Swift. Here, individuals for the first time interrogate the governmental systems which predate them to a particular effect, though their means are drastically different. Shared between the authors is a critical engagement with the lasting effects of the British empire that dominated the world around them. Though they can be balanced in either opposition (with Swift as the darker of the two or, for that matter, More), More represents for Swift something of a mentor. As one scholar notes, Swift 's “ 'catholicism ' in religion and politics, his contempt for nationalism, factionalism, and individualism that informs the utopian passages of Gulliver 's Travels and owes its philosophical debt to More” (Traugott 535). A Modest Proposal was written around the same time as Gulliver 's Travels and both were different forms of critical engagement; the content of the latter most obviously attributed to More in the Lilliputians — individuals whose political

More about Sir Thomas More And Jonathan Swift Essay

Open Document