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Reading Comprehension Worksheets
European History: 1600s-1800s
Jonathan Swift

European History: 1600s-1800s
European History: 1600s-1800s

Jonathan Swift
Print Jonathan Swift Reading Comprehension

Reading Level
     edHelper's suggested reading level:   grades 7 to 9
     Flesch-Kincaid grade level:   8.6

     challenging words:    big-endian, little-endian, satirist, satire, discontent, criticism, brutal, ongoing, treason, political, society, rival, pseudonym, conflict, stranded, further
     content words:    Jonathan Swift, Several Remote Nations, Lemuel Gulliver, King George

Jonathan Swift
By Sharon Fabian

1     Did you ever read Gulliver's Travels? Did you ever watch it on TV or video? Many kids have. This story about Gulliver and his voyage to the land of the tiny Lilliputians has been a popular story for kids ever since it was written. It must be a great kids' story!
2     It is, but there's one thing you should know. Gulliver's Travels wasn't written as a kids' story at all! Jonathan Swift, the author of Gulliver's Travels, was not a children's author. He was a political satirist, a writer for adults who wrote criticism of political happenings of his time.
3     Gulliver's Travels is one of his works of political satire. Its full name is Travels into Several Remote Nations of the World, and its supposed author was Lemuel Gulliver, described on the book's cover as "first a surgeon, and then a captain of several ships." Of course, this was Jonathan Swift writing under a pseudonym, or pen name. The pseudonym was necessary because Swift's stories, full of satire that criticized the government, stirred up discontent against the leaders of England.
4     Jonathan Swift was such a creative writer that he could make his political criticisms in ways that also could be read as great adventure stories. That is why both adults and children have enjoyed his stories for so many years.
5     Gulliver's journey to Lilliput is the first part of a longer story. In this part, Gulliver is shipwrecked and washed ashore in the land of the Lilliputians. There he meets people who are one-twelfth his height. At first, Gulliver is welcomed into their society, but later, after disagreements between them have escalated, he is charged with treason. Luckily, Gulliver escapes and is rescued.

Paragraphs 6 to 11:
For the complete story with questions: click here for printable

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European History: 1600s-1800s
             European History: 1600s-1800s

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