A Tale of a Tub
West Margin Press, 2021 M01 19 - 116 pages
From the author responsible for the satirical work of genius, A Modest Proposal, Jonathan Swift's A Tale of a Tub is an allegorical work that follows three brothers after the event of their father's death. When their father, who meant to be God, dies, the three brothers, Peter, Martin and Jack, inherit his will and each receive a decorative coat. Their father also leaves them instruction not to alter these coats in any way because doing so would be damaging for their futures. Despite this warning, the brothers not only quickly make alterations, they also police each other for their choices. Each brother represents one of the major branches of Christianity. Peter, who represents the Roman Catholic church, is the first to change the coat left to him in the will. He adds many embellishments, claiming that the garment is better because of it. Jack, who represents the Protestant church, and Martin, who represents Anglicans, follow their brother's lead and also add to the coats. Their actions lead to arguments between the brothers, each feeling that they know what's best for the coats. Feeling like they are being controlled by Peter, Jack and Martin reject him, and then try to undo the alterations made to their garments, furthering the damage to the clothing and to their relationship with each other.
Jonathan Swift created an allegory for the Reformation in his story of the three brothers. With satire and frank representation of the branches of Christianity, A Tale of a Tub addresses issues concerning society's effect on religion, polluting the original message of its creator. Swift's satire on the three major branches of Christianity was very controversial and though he wrote under a pseudonym, A Tale of a Tub was traced back to Swift. Even by modern standards, A Tale of a Tub invites controversial conversation that is both relevant and compelling.
This edition of Jonathan Swift's A Tale of a Tub features an eye-catching cover design and is printed in a modern font to appeal to a contemporary audience.