ESSAY: Literature of the Enlightenment

Select one reading from each list below, and—in a two to three paragraph response—compare and contrast the way that they present the basic ideas of the Enlightenment: Social Awareness, Individual Liberty and Accountability, and the role of Reason versus Emotions.

Gulliver’s Travels
Oroonoko or The Royal Slave


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Discourse on Method
The Social Contract
A Vindication of the Rights of Women

Consider the following in your discussion:
Use of satire
Form and approach of the work (i.e. narrative fiction, drama, essay)
Position of oppression (i.e. slavery, rights of women)


Literature of the Enlightenment

Tartuffe is a drama and narrative fiction that was developed and performed first in 1664. It extensively explores the field of family matters and exposes some of the common predicaments that surrounds family and friends’ interactive circles. For example, there is the issue of marriage being brought about involving Tartuffe and Mariane, which is being disputed for one because Orgon, the father of Mariane had not told her about the plan. From that scene, we see how Mariane’s individual liberty is deprived.

The flow of the story involving the interactions between Tartuffe and the Orgon family show how they acted with emotions other than reason. At one point, for example, upon the conviction that Damis had lied, Orgon banished him from the house and went on to sign all his worldly possessions to Tartuffe. It is a concept that mirrors the irrational society acts of selfishness, favoritism, and lack …

Just like the Tartuffe, the Social Contract was a book published with the aim of enlightening the society on matters that surround commercial society and the political issues involved (Skyrms, 2014). Due to its creative coverage of political leadership and social problems, it inspired so many political reforms and revolutions in Europe (Skyrms, 2014). The Social Contract is not presented….

There is detailed information on slavery and property regulation, which are some of the key problems that were causing social problems. Satire and comedic representation have been used in the book; for example, the author claims that all people will be free because the forfeit the same number of rights and are involved in the same duties all. That’s a satirical …

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