PosterĄG Justin Hu at 13:4:18 3/17/98 from c549-30.svdcc.fju.edu.tw
The journal I have read is called "A Description of the Morning." It is quite an interesting poem because it gave me several ideas on how is the attitude of the author toward the city he is describing.
For the first time I read, I imagine pictures of the city and the citizen. But for the second time I saw the actions of the citizen. It is kind of weird, at first the author describes the city and then the action. If I were the author I would describe the city and the citizens as one and not separately.
At the beginning of the poem we see how he describes the street and it makes me think as if the city is full of middle and lower class citizen. Is the author really describing London? Or he is just an imaginary city of the citizens who lives in London? In the 18th century the city of London should be beautiful and look kind of new but the author describes as an old city, streets being worn by wheels and the city looks old. The author is trying to give us a view of London but in another way because in the 18th century, city like London, in the streets there are usually hackneys all over the streets. But in this poem there are almost none of them. How could this be? I think that in the morning the upper class should be coming out of their house to work. Do they work in their house? Maybe. How could the street be worn by wheels if there are almost no hackney? I think the answer to this is because there are only tools of the lower class. The workers made the worn on the streets. The citizen are working in a common way, its like they were maids but actually they don't act like it. In the 3rd line we see that Betty is getting up from the master's bed. How could a maid sleep in a master's bed? May be the master has an affair with Betty. In the last 5 lines Swift talks about a landlord, may be he is the owner of this city because there are duns who meets this landlord. I think they are there to receive commands on how to collect the taxes and money. It is kind of funny to call them duns because they are actually collecting money not because the citizens owe them but because the landlord thinks that the citizen owe him. You might find lots of negative attitudes of the author toward the landlord and his servants. The way he calls them is so unrespectable. He calls the collector duns and the man who is in charge of the jail the author describes him as a shepherd. I think it is kind of an insult saying that this man can only handle weak sheep and not strong criminals.
I think this author is from the middle class, and he is trying to make fun of the upper house. He is trying to make us see how lower and upper class' attitudes toward the upper class but he cannot write it in an obvious way because he could lose his head. Since he is a funny poet, maybe he is using his humor to describe it. If a reader with no history knowledge read this poem maybe he won't find what is funny in this poem but if a reader from the 18th century reads it, maybe they will laugh and enjoy this poem for the way Swift describes the servants of the landlord. The reason is that they are described as if they were from a lower class than the citizen. The fun is that the servants don't know how they are treated and they still try to play tough.
In this poem I can only imagine the citizen cleaning the city and at the end I see collectors collecting the taxes. Even though the author describes the act of collection as steal.
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