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Essay on Use of Satire in Jonathan Swift's Gulliver's Travels

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Effective Use of Satire in Gulliver's Travels       

 

Jonathan Swift's story, Gulliver's Travels, is a very clever story. It recounts the fictitious journey of a fictitious man named Lemuel Gulliver, and his travels to the fantasy lands of Lilliput, Brobdinag, Laputa, and Houyhnhmn land. When one first reads his accounts in each of these lands, one may believe that they are reading humorous accounts of fairy-tale-like lands that are intended to amuse children. When one reads this story in the light of it being a satire, the stories are still humorous, but one realizes that Swift was making a public statement about the affairs of England and of the human race as a whole.

 

In the beginning of the story, Gulliver explains to the reader a bit about his background, why he was on these journeys to begin with, and where he finds himself at the beginning of his tale. The story begins with Gulliver recounting how he was shipwrecked the land of Lilliput. He awakens to find himself tied down and held captive by a tiny race of people. To the inhabitants of Li...


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...ourneys to these lands. Swift did a excellent job of hiding a biting criticism of the government and society in which he lived. He did this by making the characters in the story so fantastic and foreign to the reader that the story could only be a fairy tale, written for children. The actions of the people he runs across are so absurd, and Gulliver seems so innocent, that at first read many people didn't even get what Swift was trying to say. There were, however, people who knew Swift's intentions from the start, and got all of the symbols in the story.


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