Доклад опубликован в рамках III Областной научно – практической конференции учащихся на английском и немецком языках «Культурное наследие стран изучаемого языка», посвященной 350-летию Дж. Свифта, 25 февраля 2017.

Khudyakova Svetlana Ivanovna, School №23
Podolsk, an English teacher

(Co-authors: Students: Ignatyev Mikhail, Alexander Khodyrev, form 8)

We can see the word «religion» very often in our common speech, science documents, publicism and fiction. Religion was and is one of the most important factors that still affects the ideology and the way of life of each believer, and also influences the relationship between people in general. In honor of the 350th Anniversary of the Jonathan Swift's oeuvre we want to highlight the question of religion in his compositions relying on his biography and his close connection with Anglican Church.
Why did we choose this pamhlet from the plenty of others? According to the words of the author and the bookseller, pamflet was replicated behind author's back by the third person who wanted to stay neutral. With reference to Jonathan Swift the pamflet was lost with the death of this person who had replicated it. The pamflet was not appended by the author to the end but it had saved the sharpness and the directness of the young Swift's language, Nobody could change it, even Swift himself. The opportunity to see unmodified reality - this is what attracted our attention.
Swift lived in a protestant family since his birth, he lived without a father, who he had never seen. He graduated from the Trinity college of Dublin University after four years of studying, and that is why he got a sceptic view on various kinds of scientific wisdom.
The coup d'etat in England provoked a rebellion in which Swift was forced to leave Ireland for the time of rebellion. He returned only in 1690. Exactly in those two years he met Sir William Temple, who, partly, played the most important role in making Swift a satirist. He could see the talent of an excellent writer in Jonathan. Afterwards, Temple helped Swift to obtain the status of the Master in Oxford. Swift obtains the status of the Master in Oxford and then obtains an ordination.
In 1696 Swift came back for the job to Temple. Leaving the church he wrote «A tale of a tub», namely when he was 30 years old. It was his first experience in satire. In this book there is a satire on everything that Swift thought to be obsolete, outlived or harmful in literature, science and religion. It is wide, burlesque and satiric overview of the life in England and whole Europe in the 17th century.
The pamflet tells us a story about three brothers, whose father willed them three caftans which were made from magic cloth and gave them the wearing rules. Brothers followed the rules for seven years... But after seven years of abidance Peter, Martin and Jack started arguing with each other and rehashing the caftans. As a result of manipulation on the caftans, the caftan of the older brother Peter was unrecognizably embroidered with all sorts of braid and lace. The caftan of the youngest brother, Jack, was turned into filthy rags. Only the middle brother, Martin, managed to stop in time to correct all alterations and return the coat in an original condition. Also, Martin was better than his brothers from the moral side. For example, he rejected the idea of Peter to expel their wives and replace them with other women.
Everything here is allegorical. The names of the 3 sons match the names of the founders of the branches of West European Christianity: Catholicism (Peter, the apostle), Lutheranism (Martin, Martin Luther), Calvinism (Jack, Janne Calvin). The Will is the Holy Bible and brothers interpreted this as they wanted. Jonathan Swift made fun of it.
«A tale of a tub» is full of not only anti-religious satire, but also political, social and anti-war satire. That's why Pope himself had included this book in the list of banned literature.
Someone can say that author is a blasphemer and a heretic, and wonder why this man was a Dean at St. Patrick's Cathedral in Dublin. However, there is a logical explanation. In order to verify this we are giving a few quotes personally from the author.
«But Religion, they tell us, ought not to be ridiculed; and they tell us truth, yet surely the corruptions in it may; for we are taught by the tritest maxim in the world, that Religion being the best of things, its corruptions are likely to be the worst». He said in defense of his pamphlet. And it's completely natural for him. Swift, the Anglican priest, was pretty close to Lutheranism and is proud of its «moderation». He could not castigate Martin Luther, and personal respect to Luther, the outstanding figure of the XVI century, did not allow him to do this. He directed his mockery his mockery at the other two brothers - against Roman Catholicism and Puritanism.
In proof of this, we will give another statement from defense of the Pamphlet:
«It (a tale of a tub) praises the Anglican Church as the most perfect among all in relation to the deanery and dogmas; does not express any opinion, which the Church rejects and condemns nothing. It means that Swift was a person who was a real believer and as nobody else was interested in the question of religion, which is the subject of many disputes so far.
To sum up, the question of the place of religion in his works remains and will remain open, because the author did not provide the opportunity to give a definite answer. In his judgements Swift did not want to consider with the nagging and unintelligent fools. The author acknowledged that the book contained some of his youth antics, reprehensible on the part of people serious, and smart. So we want to finish our story in the traditional manner of Swift's pamflet, leaving an ambiguous impression about itself and the right to choose «places of religion» at the discretion of the audience.


1.Джонатан Свифт и его «Сказка о бочке» [Электронный ресурс ] - Режим доступа: http://lunacharsky.newgod.su/lib/ss-tom-6/dzonatan-svift-i-ego-skazka-o-bocke
2.Свифт, Джонатан. [Электронный ресурс ] - Режим доступа: https://ru.wikipedia.org/wiki/%D0%A1%D0%B2%D0%B8%D1%84%D1%82,_%

3. Свифт Джонатон. Сказка бочки. [Электронный ресурс ] - Режим доступа: http://www.100bestbooks.ru/files/Swift_Skazka_bochki.pdf
4.Пучков П.А. Церковь и религия в «Сказке бочки» Джонатана Свифта [Электронный ресурс] - Режим доступа: http://vestnik-mgou.ru/ Articles/Doc/6846
4.«Сказка бочки» Свифта в кратком содержании. [Электронный ресурс] - Режим доступа: http://litem.ru/kratkoe-soderzhanie-proizvedeniy/skazka-bochki-svifta-v-kratkom-soderzhanii