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Matthew Gates

Mr. Mcvey-Finney
Honors English 12
2/17/15
Challenging Perspectives
Jonathan Swift's “A Satirical Elegy on the Death of a Late Famous General” is
about a general of an army who “tragically” died. In this story, the general was described
as cruel, and unliked through Swift stating that the general “left behind so great a stink”
and that his rule was as if he was so brutal and ruthless that nobody liked him at all. Swift
describing the military general as being ruthless and cruel was an important part in
helping the reader understand Swifts intended purpose of showing the reader that not all
deaths are tragic and that people get too upset and worked up over the idea of death.
Swifts use of techniques such as being invective, sarcastic, and caricaturing the general
to display his intended purpose.
Jonathan Swift's invectiveness towards the general when he says how the official
“turned to that dirt from whence he sprung” represents how no one liked the general and
how they were willing to make fun of him behind his back for who he was instead of
being sad for his. The author's invectiveness is also revealed when Swift states “Come
hither, all ye’ empty things.” This represents how the majority of the people who knew
him didn't like the general as they are disrespectful of his death and making it into a joke
instead of mourning the death of a highly ranked leader.
Swift’s use of sarcasm can also be seen as he writes “His Grace! Impossible!
What dead! Of old age too! And in his bed!” It may also be assumed that based on the

. Finally. He felt that he should have died in a more impressive way as he is a powerful. Swift stating this also reveals that instead of grieving over the generals death people are making fun of him and laughing instead. dull way like every other average dull person on the earth instead of dying in a spectacular fashion. fearless General. However that isn't the case in “A Satirical Elegy on the Death of a Late Famous General”. Swift uses caricaturization to degrade the character of the general and display how terribly people he knew hated him.former quote. that the general thought too highly of himself and that he beleived as if he was this incredible being unable to die a normal death and thought that due to his “outstanding” social standing and that the general should leave this world in as amazing a way as possible. and therefore it is ok to mock the deceased and disrespect them in their death instead of mourning them. The quote also states how people are mocking at the way he died as he died an average.” This quote reveals the hate directed at the general and the lack of sympathy the people have regarding his death. This quote also brings up an understanding of how terribly atrocious the general must have treated his citizens as people are going through a great deal in order to get the meaning out on how much they hated the general and how they don’t feel sorry at all at the fact that he died. Swift uses this caricature when he says “he left behind so great a stink. when someone as important as a general dies it is usually a somber occasion with people grieving and disparing over that person dies. For the most part. The man who died in this story was a someone who was very cruel and mean to people.

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