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Swift & Astell

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Rachel Warburton

Jan 17 Eng 3838 Test – knowing the names, analyzing the techniques, recognizing the techniques, How to propose a 5/5 answer for the test. th The theme of today: 18 century marriage market – what you’ve got is: Swift “Letter to a Young Lady” - It is a conduct book tradition even though it is in the form of a letter to a young lady - The tradition to give them advice on how to conduct themselves o Men do not get conduct books - To catch a husband & make them well-bred citizens - Policing of virginity & innocence o There is no grey area morally or sexually for women - Really just a text about policing conduct, good manners & virginity Page 85/34 IN CANCOPY - “errors, fopperies, and follies” o All negative things o Creates pauses o Using alliteration with the f sound – harsh sound – makes the list sound more negative  You know it’s negative, SAY IT’S NEGATIVE ON THE TEST! o When you string a list of faults together it gets out of hand – there is a sense of a long list & the sentence itself gets out of hand – the female herself gets out of control as the sentence tends to do o The contempt he has for women is shown o Parallelism – women are out of control Page 86/35 IN CANCOPY - “It must be therefore your business to qualify yourself for those Offices” o Not only must she marry him, but must qualify him - “I will not fail to be your Director .. as long as you deserve it ... let you know how to act & what you ought to avoid ...” o He wasn’t qualified to give advice on this but that didn’t stop him o The female is automatically constructed as that what can get out of control, and must be constantly monitored o The rhetoric that is built in is all about confining women and making sure they don’t deviate from the path - “I must therefore desire you in the first place .. slow in changing the modest behaviour of a virgin” o Still wants her to act as a virgin despite marriage - “I must likewise warn you strictly .. least degree of fondness to your husband” o No PDA, can’t show you like the husband in front of people o Psychoanalysis of Swift – he is afraid of women – he doesn’t understand them, though he pretends to, that which he fears & that which could get out of hand – this drives the rhetoric of the piece – THIS IS THE GENERAL TONE & THEME Page 87/35 IN CANCOPY - “differ in practice from those ladies who affect abundance ...” o Long sentence  Uses this technique throughout in the prose o Don’t do this don’t do that – a list of negative things o Assonance  The “ah” sound  What does that support? o Sounds naggy “ah ah ah ah” CHIASMUS – placing crosswise o If this is a scene where the woman is mixed up (according to Swift) & things are out of control, reversing the pattern takes a pattern & jumbles it up o Stay clean morally & physically - “that nothing could make her supportable but cutting off her head; for his ears were offended by her tongue ... “ o The only way he could stand her is to cut her head off – in a letter of advice to this girl o The violence worked in here – he really sees women this way Page 89/36 IN CANCOPY Complaining about how women read the worst books. He sees the books as superficial in subject matter – talks about living life as if marriage is going to be like some book you read. Also has to police her books. - “But neither good-nature nor virtue ... yet you will in time grow a thing indifferent .. supply the loss of youth and beauty with more durable qualities” o Woman is just a commodity – she has to qualify herself (as seen earlier) and this durable qualities claim – she is a commodity to sell
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