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Jonathan Swift Trivia

Jonathan Swift Trivia Quizzes

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While he is perhaps best known for recounting the travels of Lemuel Gulliver, this Irish satirist and poet wrote a great deal more than that single volume.
5 Jonathan Swift quizzes and 55 Jonathan Swift trivia questions.
  Gulliver's Travels (Part 1)   best quiz  
Multiple Choice
 15 Qns
This shall be the first in a small series of quizzes covering 'Gulliver's Travels', Jonathan Swift's masterwork, and truly one of the great novels in English language history. Enjoy!
Tough, 15 Qns, thejazzkickazz, Aug 14 08
thejazzkickazz gold member
1107 plays
  Traveling with Gulliver, Part II   popular trivia quiz  
Multiple Choice
 10 Qns
A quiz based on Part 2 of "Gulliver's Travels" by Jonathan Swift.
Average, 10 Qns, Cher40, Aug 14 08
548 plays
  Traveling with Gulliver, Part IV   popular trivia quiz  
Multiple Choice
 10 Qns
A quiz based on Part Four, the final part, of "Gulliver's Travels" by Jonathan Swift.
Average, 10 Qns, Cher40, Aug 14 08
433 plays
  A Modest Proposal    
Multiple Choice
 10 Qns
This quiz tests players' knowledge of Jonathan Swift's satirical essay "A Modest Proposal". Best of luck!
Average, 10 Qns, Triviaballer, Oct 31 09
Triviaballer gold member
814 plays
  A Jar of Pickled Children    
Multiple Choice
 10 Qns
A modestly titled quiz about Jonathan Swift's "A Modest Proposal"
Average, 10 Qns, AlexT781, Feb 29 16
260 plays
trivia question Quick Question
Of the 120,000 children annually born in Dublin at the time, how many did Swift suggest should be used for the modest proposal?

From Quiz "A Modest Proposal"

Related Topics
  Literature Before 1900 [Literature] (50 quizzes)

Jonathan Swift Trivia Questions

1. How many children does the speaker estimate can be sold each year?

From Quiz
A Jar of Pickled Children

Answer: 120,000

Out of a population of 1.5 million, he estimates 120,000 births each year from poor parents. Later he subtracts another 20,000 to keep the supply of children flowing for later generations.

2. What is the full title of "A Modest Proposal"?

From Quiz A Modest Proposal

Answer: A Modest Proposal for Preventing the Children of Poor People in Ireland from Being a Burden to Their Parents or Country, and for Making Them Beneficial to the Public

When Jonathan Swift wrote "A Modest Proposal" in 1729, there was widespread poverty throughout Ireland and especially in Dublin. Swift wrote "A Modest Proposal" as an alternative suggestion to all of the other failed suggestions by 'experts'.

3. When beginning his fourth voyage, what position did Gulliver have on the ship "Adventure"?

From Quiz Traveling with Gulliver, Part IV

Answer: Captain

"I left my wife bid with child, and accepted an advantageous offer made me to be captain of the "Adventure", a stout merchantman of 350 tuns." "Cabbin" was Swift's spelling.

4. After leaving the little people of Lilliput (in Part 1), Gulliver's travels took him to Brobdingnag. What was unique about this land and its inhabitants?

From Quiz Traveling with Gulliver, Part II

Answer: They were very large.

When describing his newly-discovered land, Swift said "...but that which first surprised me was the length of the grass, ...above twenty foot high, ...and the corn rising at least forty foot high, ...which was fenced in a hedge at least one hundred twenty foot high." The inhabitant he met is described as "as tall an ordinary church steeple; and took about ten yards in every stride."

5. In order to begin, we must know the given name of Mr. Gulliver, with whom we shall be traveling. By what Christian name does Gulliver go?

From Quiz Gulliver's Travels (Part 1)

Answer: Lemuel

Lemuel was raised at Nottinghamshire, the third of five sons. The book 'Gulliver's Travels', by Jonathan Swift, is broken down into four sections of Lemuel Gulliver's travel memoirs. The memoirs are given the title 'Travels into Several Remote Nations of the World'.

6. At what age does the speaker say children could find employment, either legal or illegal?

From Quiz A Jar of Pickled Children

Answer: 6

According to the speaker, nobody has known a child under six years old to be able to earn a living by stealing. That means the child would be a burden on all the Irish, and so offers his proposal to prevent that from continuing.

7. How did Gulliver come to be in the land of the Houyhnhnms?

From Quiz Traveling with Gulliver, Part IV

Answer: His crew mutinied and set him ashore on unknown land.

"The rogues whom I had picked up, debauched my other men, and they all formed a conspiracy to seize the ship and secure me; which they did one morning, rushing into my cabbin, and binding me hand and foot, threatening to throw me overboard, if I offered to stir. ... They sailed many weeks, ...but I knew not what course they took, being kept close prisoner in my cabbin... They forced me into a longboat, ... rowed about a league; and then set me down a strand."

8. What was the occupation of the man who accepted Gulliver into his home?

From Quiz Traveling with Gulliver, Part II

Answer: Farmer

Gulliver was first captured by a servant field worker who "ran along with me to his master, who was a substantial farmer ... [He] carried me home to his house."

9. What is Gulliver's initial occupation as he begins his travels onboard a ship captained by a certain Mr. Powell?

From Quiz Gulliver's Travels (Part 1)

Answer: Surgeon

Lemuel Gulliver was trained in the arts of medicine under the keen eye of Dr. James Bates in London. After four years of study under Bates, Gulliver went on to study the art of navigation and some mathematics, at least those parts of the discipline that pertain to sea travel. Gulliver serves as ship's surgeon aboard several ships, including those on which he travels to some of the odd lands he discovers. Later, he becomes a ship's captain.

10. Who told the speaker that a child, "whether stewed, roasted, baked or broiled", is very nourishing?

From Quiz A Jar of Pickled Children

Answer: an American

An American living in London supposedly told the author how good children taste and how healthy they are. The American, however, was told this by somebody living in Formosa (today Taiwan).

11. How old did Swift recommend children be before they became a modest proposal?

From Quiz A Modest Proposal

Answer: One year

In the story Swift mentions that a child can be brought up almost entirely on a mother's milk for about one year. If tolerably nursed, the child should weigh twenty-eight pounds at one year of age.

12. The first creatures that Gulliver saw on this land were Yahoos. How were Yahoos described?

From Quiz Traveling with Gulliver, Part IV

Answer: Hairy, dirty, deformed humans

"Their shape was very singular, and deformed. Their heads and breasts were covered with a thick hair, some frizzled and others lank; they had beards like goats, and a long ridge of hair down their backs, and the fore parts of their legs and feets; but the rest of their bodies were bare.... The face of it, indeed, was flat and broad, the nose depressed, the lips large, and the mouth wide. The forefeet of the Yahoo differed from my hands in nothing else, but the length of the nails, the coarseness and brownness of the palms, and the hairiness on the backs."

13. On his first night in Brobdingnag, Gulliver fought for his life when attacked by what kind of animal?

From Quiz Traveling with Gulliver, Part II

Answer: Rats

"Two rats crept up the curtains, and ran smelling backwards and forwards on the bed. ... [I] drew out my hanger to defend myself. These horrible animals had the boldness to attack me on both sides, and one of them held his fore feet at my collar. I had the good fortune to rip up his belly before he could do me any mischief. He fell down at my feet; and the other seeing the fate of his comrade, made his escape. ... These creatures were the size of a large mastiff, but infinitely more nimble and fierce... I measured the tail of the dead rat, and found it to be two yards long..."

14. Upon which ship did Gulliver sail aboard from Bristol on May 4th, 1699, to begin the first of his genuine adventures?

From Quiz Gulliver's Travels (Part 1)

Answer: Antelope

The Antelope was not the first ship upon which Gulliver sailed, this would be the Swallow. The Antelope is important, however, as this is the ship upon which he sails towards his first adventure in Lilliput.

15. The speaker then moves on to addressing the benefit to the parents. How much money could they make by selling their child?

From Quiz A Jar of Pickled Children

Answer: 8 shillings

Estimating an 8 shilling profit, the speaker points out another obvious benefit: the mother would be fit to work, instead of begging, until she has her next child.

16. Gulliver lived with the Houyhnhnms. How were Houyhnhnms described?

From Quiz Traveling with Gulliver, Part IV

Answer: Talking horses

"The word 'Houyhnhnm' in their tongue, signifies a horse."

17. While in Brobdingnag, who was Gulliver's primary care-giver?

From Quiz Traveling with Gulliver, Part II

Answer: A 9-year-old daughter of a farmer

[The farmer] "had a daughter of nine years old, ... very dextrous at her needle... She made me seven shirts, ... these she constantly washed for me. ... She likewise was my school-mistress to teach me the language... To her I chiefly owe my preservation in that country."

18. Why doesn't the speaker make any proposition dealing with the poor who are elderly, sick, or maimed?

From Quiz A Jar of Pickled Children

Answer: He thinks they are dying as fast as can be expected.

The speaker states he isn't bothered by the problem because disease, famine, and vermin kill them as fast as possible. He doesn't feel there is any way to further accelerate their death.

19. What was the ethnicity of the person who told the narrator that a young, healthy child is a most delicious, nourishing and wholesome food?

From Quiz A Modest Proposal

Answer: American

The American told the narrator that he had tried stewed, roasted, baked and boiled varieties.

20. How did Gulliver describe the Houyhnhnms and their society?

From Quiz Traveling with Gulliver, Part IV

Answer: Rational, wise, virtuous

"The wise and virtuous Houyhnhnms, who abound in all excellencies that can adorn a rational creature, ... hath no term to describe any thing that is evil, except those whereby they describe the detestable qualities of their Yahoos. ... Their prudence, unanimity, unacquaintedness with fear, and their love of their country, would amply supply all defects in the military art."

21. How was Gulliver used by the master of his first place of residence in Brobdingnag?

From Quiz Traveling with Gulliver, Part II

Answer: He was shown at market for the profit of his master.

"My master, pursuant to the advice of his friend, carried me in a box the next market-day to the neighbouring town. He hired the... cryer to give notice through town, of a strange creature to be seen, ... and in every body part resembling an human creature; could speak several words, and perform an hundred diverting tricks. ... My master gave publick notice, that he would shew me again the next market-day. I was so tired with my first journey, and with entertaining company eight hours together, that I could hardly stand upon my legs, or speak a word.... My master, now finding how profitable I was like to be, resolved to carry me to the most considerable cities of the kingdom.... We were ten weeks in our journey."

22. During what time are the most Roman Catholic children born?

From Quiz A Modest Proposal

Answer: Nine months after Lent

The narrator mentions that the author Rabelais recommended that the Lenten diet was conducive to propagation in his work "Gargantua and Pantagruel".

23. How did Gulliver leave the land of the Houyhnhnms?

From Quiz Traveling with Gulliver, Part IV

Answer: He builds a boat and puts to sea

"Let it suffice to say, that in six weeks time, with the help of the sorrel nag, who performed the parts that required most labour, I finished a sort of Indian canoo, but much larger, covering it with the skins of Yahoo well stitched together, with hempen threads of my own making. The sail was likewise composed of the skins of the same animal. ... I likewise provided my self with four paddles. ... I paid my respect to the ... Houyhnhnms ..., then getting into my canoo, I pushed off from shore."

24. As Gulliver's health deteriorated in his first place of residence, who purchased him?

From Quiz Traveling with Gulliver, Part II

Answer: The Queen.

"[Her majesty] asked my master, whether he were willing to sell me at a good price. He, who apprehended I could live a month, was ready enough to part with me."

25. When Jonathan Swift wrote "I grant this food will be somewhat dear, and therefore very proper for landlords, who, as they have already devoured most of the parents, seem to have the best title to the children", who is he referring to?

From Quiz A Jar of Pickled Children

Answer: The Irish landowners and the English government

Swift saw the problems facing Ireland at that time resulting from not just what he saw as English abuses, but from the Irish landowners as well. They used up what resources were available and never thought about the effects on the country and its people.

26. What did the narrator recommend as the selling price for a beggar's child?

From Quiz A Modest Proposal

Answer: Ten shillings

Since the cost of raising a child was only about two shillings, each poor family should make eight shillings from each child they give to the modest proposal.

27. After leaving the Houyhnhnms, in what land was Gulliver wounded by an arrow?

From Quiz Traveling with Gulliver, Part IV

Answer: New Holland

"I arrived ... to the south-east point of New Holland. I saw no inhabitants in the place where I landed; and being unarmed, I was afraid of venturing far into the country. ... On the fourth day, venturing out early a little too far, I saw twenty or thirty natives upon a height, not five hundred yards from me. ... I made what haste I could to the shore, and getting into my canoo, shoved off: the savages observing me retreat, ran after me; and before I could get far enough into the sea, discharges an arrow, which wounded me deeply on the inside of the left knee."

28. While in this new residence, his second home in Brobdingnag, Glumdalclitch tended to Gulliver. Who was Glumdalclitch?

From Quiz Traveling with Gulliver, Part II

Answer: His previous care-giver.

"Since I was now her majesty's most humble creature and vassal, I must beg favour, that Glumdalclitch, who had always tended me with so much care and kindness, and understood to do it so well, might be admitted into her service, and continue to be my nurse and instructor. Her majesty agreed to my petition; and easily got the farmer's consent, who was glad enough to have his daughter preferred at court."

29. Swift's writing leaves nothing unscathed, no matter how sacred. The speaker in his satire adds one more reason for the English to support his proposal. The Anglicans would be happy because of what side effect of selling the children?

From Quiz A Jar of Pickled Children

Answer: The number of Catholics would decrease dramatically

The majority of the Irish, Swift included, were Catholic. This put them at odds with England from the very beginning, since England broke away from the Catholic Church during the reign of Henry VIII.

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