“A Meditation upon a Broomstick” by Jonathan Swift (1701)

“A Meditation upon a Broomstick” by Jonathan Swift (1701)

  • The broomstick propped up in the corner was once a tree flowing with life
  • Now everyone who touches it does so out of drudgery
    • Supposed to make other things clean & makes itself dirty in the process
    • It’ll either be thrown out or in the fire in the end
  • That’s a lot like a man
    • Starts out looking good & clean, puts on a wig of hairs that aren’t his
      • Brooms wear straw hairs that aren’t theirs
  • If a broom is a tree standing on its head, a man is an animal with its faculties tied to rationality, his head where his heels ought to be – on the floor, groveling
    • But men set out to be reformers, correctors of abuse, raising up dust where was none before
    • Eventually he’ll be in the hands of a woman until he’s either thrown out with the garbage or in the fire to be burnt for heat

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