Tuesday, October 22, 2019

Free Essays on Gulivers Travels

In Gulliver's Travels, Swift and his character, Gulliver, have separate personalities. Swift does not express his views through Gulliver, but through the foreign societies and cultures that Gulliver sees (though is unable to put into critical perspective). 1. Gulliver remarks about the Lilliputians, Brobdingnagians, Laputans, Houyhnhnms and Yahoos in a straightforward way, reporting on the cultures, rather than analyzing them. Swift thus disguises his allusions to the political and philosophical thought of his time, allowing the reader, not Gulliver, to discover them. The book can be read as a simple adventure story and travelogue (as Gulliver intends), or as a complex satire on 18th century morals and thought (as Swift intends). In each land that Gulliver visits, there is a different ironic comparison to English/European politics and philosophy. Book I (Lilliput) is a rich satire of the English politics of Swift’s time. The small (but extremely immoral) Lilliputians represent the Whig party of England, whose vicious foreign policy and accusations of treason against members of the Tory party Swift despised. The small size of the Lilliputians is in inverse proportion to the amount of their corruption. Similarly, the Brobdingnagians find Gulliver’s culture to be too violent for the size of its people, and Gulliver’s pride in describing the English is offset by his puniness. Swift characterizes the giants of Book II to be imperfect but extremely moral, possibly the ideal for how a society could be in Swift’s (or our) time. In Book III, Swift satirizes the philosophical movements of rational thought that were popular in the 17th and 18th centuries. The overkill of geometry and other systems being used by the Laputans (to everyone’s disadvantage) ridicules the idea of overthinking something. The Laputans deal in the conceptual rather than in the sensible, resulting in ludicrous theories and ideas. The Houyhnhnms of Book I... Free Essays on Gulivers Travels Free Essays on Gulivers Travels In Gulliver's Travels, Swift and his character, Gulliver, have separate personalities. Swift does not express his views through Gulliver, but through the foreign societies and cultures that Gulliver sees (though is unable to put into critical perspective). 1. Gulliver remarks about the Lilliputians, Brobdingnagians, Laputans, Houyhnhnms and Yahoos in a straightforward way, reporting on the cultures, rather than analyzing them. Swift thus disguises his allusions to the political and philosophical thought of his time, allowing the reader, not Gulliver, to discover them. The book can be read as a simple adventure story and travelogue (as Gulliver intends), or as a complex satire on 18th century morals and thought (as Swift intends). In each land that Gulliver visits, there is a different ironic comparison to English/European politics and philosophy. Book I (Lilliput) is a rich satire of the English politics of Swift’s time. The small (but extremely immoral) Lilliputians represent the Whig party of England, whose vicious foreign policy and accusations of treason against members of the Tory party Swift despised. The small size of the Lilliputians is in inverse proportion to the amount of their corruption. Similarly, the Brobdingnagians find Gulliver’s culture to be too violent for the size of its people, and Gulliver’s pride in describing the English is offset by his puniness. Swift characterizes the giants of Book II to be imperfect but extremely moral, possibly the ideal for how a society could be in Swift’s (or our) time. In Book III, Swift satirizes the philosophical movements of rational thought that were popular in the 17th and 18th centuries. The overkill of geometry and other systems being used by the Laputans (to everyone’s disadvantage) ridicules the idea of overthinking something. The Laputans deal in the conceptual rather than in the sensible, resulting in ludicrous theories and ideas. The Houyhnhnms of Book I...

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