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Gulliver’s Travels: Exploring Gulliver’s Journey Essay

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Through metaphors in Gulliver’s Travels, Jonathan Swift showed that the self-indulgence of humanity will lead to their ultimate failure unless they learn to become kinder and more selfless. Each island in Gulliver’s Travels shows a different trait standing alone causing it to be just as bad as being self-indulgent. This type of failure will cause separation and isolation, which could lead to mental instability.
The book, Gulliver’s Travels by Jonathan Swift, starts off with a young surgeon who has been recently married. This young surgeon, Gulliver, is a family man who begins working as a surgeon on a ship. Gulliver at the beginning of the book is just like any other man during this era as seen in this quote from Gulliver’s Travels, “But, my good master Bates dying in two years after, and I having few friends, my business began to fail; for my conscience would not suffer me to imitate the bad practice of too many among my brethren. Having therefore consulted with my wife, and some of my acquaintance, I determined to go again to sea. I was surgeon [sic] successively in two ships, and made several voyages, for six years, to the East and West Indies, by which I got some addition to my fortune” (Swift 26). But throughout his journey, Gulliver loses track of himself and becomes someone completely different.
The first island travels to is Lilliput, but he visits the neighboring island, Blefuscu, after becoming disappointed in the people of Lilliput. The miniature people of Lilliput and Blefuscu were full of pride and were always fighting for the higher rank. In Lilliput, the government officials were elected through competitions to see who was better, as seen in this quote, “Sometimes the Emperor holds one end of the stick, and his fir...


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...ll, Howard. Swift: "Gulliver's Travels" Cambridge: Cambridge UP, 1993. Print.
Kelly, Ann Cline. "Gulliver as Pet and Pet Keeper: Talking Animals in Book 4." Bloom's Modern Critical Interpretations: Jonathan Swift's Gulliver's Travels. New York: Infobase Publishing, 2009. 211-34. Print.
Marshall, Ashley. "Gulliver, Gulliveriana, and the Problem of Swiftian Satire." Bloom's Modern Critical Interpretations: Jonathan Swift's Gulliver's Travels. New York: Infobase Publishing, 2009. 119-44. Print.
Rabb, Melinda. "The secret Memoirs of Lemuel Gulliver: Satire, Secrecy, and Swift." Bloom's Modern Critical Interpretations: Jonathan Swift's Gulliver's Travels, New York: Infobase Publishing, 2009. 165-92. Print.
Swaim, Kathleen M. A Reading of Gulliver's Travels. The Hague: Mouton, 1972. Print.
Swift, Jonathan. Gulliver's Travels. 1726. New York: Penguin Group, 1960. Print.



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