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A Modest Proposal by J. Swift and Candide by F. M. Arouet Literature Analysis

Based on the evident mistreatment that women get in society, feminists have devoted themselves to making hefty campaigns to end gender segregation. However, the role of women in society has not received its due attention. As a result, the paper sheds light on the roles of women as portrayed by Jonathan Swift and Francois Marie Arouet in their respective works A Modest Proposal and Candide. According to them, women are nothing more than sexual tools that men use, not only to satisfy their sexual desires but also for pleasure.

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Perhaps, one of the ways that portray the real character of Swift, the author of the play A Modest Proposal, as a feminist, is evident in the manner he portrays the role of women in the play as sexual tools. Even though Irish women may have different roles that perhaps other cultures might not have been a comforting or even unfamiliar with, the anticipations and parts of women are reflective of the disrespect and disdained status in the society. Swift makes it look like women are the chief cause of malnutrition in Ireland.

He says, “Crowded with beggars of the female-sex, followed by three, four or six children all importuning every passenger for alms” (Swift 298). This extremity in generalization tends to infer that every woman and child is a beggar. The position of a woman in society is a narrow one. She has no occupation that can help her meet her daily needs.

Therefore, women are a liability and or dependants rather than providers. This fact implies that women are subjects of men’s manipulation. Swift’s proposal for people to resulting in cannibalism, consequently, discourages the less advantaged in terms of gender, class, and age. Unfortunately, women belong to the helm of the gender-discriminated people.

On the other hand, Francois Marie Arouet’s play Candide presents women as no more than sexual equipment designated for men to satisfy their sexual desires. They are sites from which men please their souls. The main women characters namely Cunegonde, Paquette and the old woman, have a rape story to tell out of the experience. They are slaves of sex. The attitude of the characters and the narrator towards acts that disregard women’s sexual rights is widely nonchalant.

In the play, peculiar dangers always have a woman character in the mix. The male characters in the play have an exceptional value of chastity in women when it comes to sexual matters. Unfortunately, women lack such an opportunity. They have no right to criticize male counterparts. “Catholic authorities burn heretics alive, priests and governors extort sexual favors from their female subjects, businessmen mistreat slaves” (Voltaire 23).

This depicts women as tools for satisfying men’s needs. Women’s rights encounter a fair deal of prejudice when it comes to issues of sex. In fact, the pope, of all people, can afford to keep a mistress. The mistress agrees to indulge the secretly maintained relationship. This implies that women are subjects of control by men since they must respect the popes’ intentions of maintaining the relationship in secret, never blow the whistle.

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In A Modest Proposal and Candide, the theme of women’s roles in the society is essential. As the plays reveal, women are the chief sources of troubles that afflict people in Ireland, as the case stands in A Modest Proposal. Cannibalizing them would mean a reduction in the number of children beggars since few births would ensue.

On the other hand, Candide presents them as species lacking an opportunity to make their own decisions. They are even forced into sexual slavery. In the two works, women are merely tools for gratifying the desires of men and hence subject to their manipulations.

Works Cited

Swift, Jonathan. A Modest Proposal. New York, NY: Plain Label Books, 2010.

Voltaire, Francois. Candide. New Jersey, NJ: Echo library, 2010.

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StudyCorgi. (2020, May 4). A Modest Proposal by J. Swift and Candide by F. M. Arouet Literature Analysis. Retrieved from https://studycorgi.com/a-modest-proposal-by-j-swift-and-candide-by-f-m-arouet-literature-analysis/

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StudyCorgi. (2020, May 4). A Modest Proposal by J. Swift and Candide by F. M. Arouet Literature Analysis. https://studycorgi.com/a-modest-proposal-by-j-swift-and-candide-by-f-m-arouet-literature-analysis/

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"A Modest Proposal by J. Swift and Candide by F. M. Arouet Literature Analysis." StudyCorgi, 4 May 2020, studycorgi.com/a-modest-proposal-by-j-swift-and-candide-by-f-m-arouet-literature-analysis/.

1. StudyCorgi. "A Modest Proposal by J. Swift and Candide by F. M. Arouet Literature Analysis." May 4, 2020. https://studycorgi.com/a-modest-proposal-by-j-swift-and-candide-by-f-m-arouet-literature-analysis/.


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StudyCorgi. "A Modest Proposal by J. Swift and Candide by F. M. Arouet Literature Analysis." May 4, 2020. https://studycorgi.com/a-modest-proposal-by-j-swift-and-candide-by-f-m-arouet-literature-analysis/.

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StudyCorgi. 2020. "A Modest Proposal by J. Swift and Candide by F. M. Arouet Literature Analysis." May 4, 2020. https://studycorgi.com/a-modest-proposal-by-j-swift-and-candide-by-f-m-arouet-literature-analysis/.

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StudyCorgi. (2020) 'A Modest Proposal by J. Swift and Candide by F. M. Arouet Literature Analysis'. 4 May.

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