SNAPSHOT of the PERIOD
- The English Civil War pitted the King against Parliament
- Industrial and Agricultural Revolutions - led to growth of cities, increased urban poverty and a rise of the middle-class
- Political revolutions in American and in France led to a revolution in literature
A search for a more rational world began in influence the literature of the time.
- Satire and Proportion - how to behave became a key question. The question: "What are the standards of conduct derived from reason and not revolution?" Satire flourished. Remember: Satire ridicules conduct that is not rational, that is out of proportion.
- Pope's Rape of the Lock is a mock epic in which a trivial incident is treated as something earth-shaking
- Swift's Gulliver's Travels is a study in proportion and the disproportionate things that humans do.
- The "How-to" Genres began to appear. Literary essays began as a "how-to" genre, teaching rational conduct.