Discovering Jonathan Swift through Derrida, Miller, and de Man
Hoepfinger, Erin Leah
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This query into the works of Swift as seen through deconstructionist theory will lead readers through a search for Swift's supplement in Gulliver's Travels, incorporating a variety of deconstructionist theories, including an exploration of prioritization of written versus spoken word and iterability and the inextricable similarities between satire, irony, and the originary lack, or gap filled by the supplement. Next, the paper moves to discovering the performative dimensions of "A Modest Proposal" in light of J. Hillis Miller's exposition on the three ways in which literature can act as an event, the performative dimension of the work as a whole, and the ways in which the speech act is disguised within literature through conforming to convention, circumstance, authority, and understanding between two or more people. In the final chapter, the reader will find the myriad ways in which The Battle of the Books embraces the qualifications for a text to become an allegory within the bounds of Paul de Man's philosophies.