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THE CRITICS - CRITICAL ANALYSIS
I congratulate you first upon what you call your Couzen's wonderful Book, which is publica trita manu at present, and I prophecy will be in future the admiration of all men....
I find no considerable man very angry at the book; some indeed think it rather too bold, and
too general a Satire: but none that I hear of accuse it of particular reflections (I mean no
persons of consequence, or good judgment; the mob of Criticks, you know, always are
desirous to apply Satire to those that they envy for being above them).... Motte receiv'd the
Alexander Pope to Swift, November 16, 1726
I wondered to hear him say of Gulliver's Travels, "When once you have thought of big men and little men, it is very easy to do all the rest." I endeavoured to make a stand for Swift, and tried to rouse those who were much more able to defend him...."
Boswell, Life of Johnson, 1775
Swift's greatness lies in the intensity, the almost insane violence, of that
"hatred of bowels" which is the essence of his misanthropy and
which underlies the whole of this book.
Aldous Huxley, Do What You Will, 1930
Animal rationale-animal rationis capax! Swift's somewhat scholastic distinction turns out, in the light of seventeenth century thought, to be by no means scholastic. It symbolizes, in fact, the chief intellectual battle of the age. Swift seems to have seen clearly enough that in assaulting man's pride in reason, he was attacking the new optimism at its very root.
T. O. Wedel, "On the Philosophical Background of Gulliver's Travels," from Studies in Philology, 23 (1926)
I tell you after all that I do not hate Mankind, it is vous autres who hate them because you would have them reasonable Animals, and are Angry for being disappointed. I have always rejected that definition and made another of my own.
Jonathan Swift to Alexander Pope, November 26, 1725
We wish to thank the following educators who helped us focus our Book Notes series to meet student needs and critiqued our manuscripts to provide quality materials.
Murray Bromberg, Principal Wang High School of Queens, Holliswood, New York
Sandra Dunn, English Teacher Hempstead High School, Hempstead, New York
Lawrence J. Epstein, Associate Professor of English Suffolk County Community College, Selden, New York
Leonard Gardner, Lecturer, English Department State University of New York at Stony Brook
Beverly A. Haley, Member, Advisory Committee National Council of Teachers of English Student Guide Series Fort Morgan, Colorado
Elaine C. Johnson, English Teacher Tamalpais Union High School District Mill Valley, California
Marvin J. LaHood, Professor of English State University of New York College at Buffalo
Robert Lecker, Associate Professor of English McGill University, Montreal, Quebec, Canada
David E. Manly, Professor of Educational Studies State University of New York College at Geneseo
Bruce Miller, Associate Professor of Education State University of New York at Buffalo
Frank O'Hare, Professor of English Ohio State University, Columbus, Ohio
Faith Z. Schullstrom, Member of Executive Committee National Council of Teachers of English Director of Curriculum and Instruction Guilderland Central School District, New York
Mattie C. Williams, Director, Bureau of Language Arts Chicago Public Schools, Chicago, Illinois