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Jonathan Swift's Gulliver's Travels Essay

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Jonathan Swift's Gulliver's Travels


In Gulliver’s travels I think that Jonathan Swift is trying to show
people what human society is really like. He does this through 4
voyages each to a different imaginary place, where the people are a
satire of a different aspect of human society, and in each voyage
Swift is telling us what he thinks of human society through what
Gulliver says, and what he sees. Many people have described the book
negatively for example William Thackeray, an 1850’s novelist described
it as, “Filthy in word, filthy in thought, furious, raging, obscene,”
and indeed over the two and a half centuries since it was first
published it has caused a lot of controversy and has divided opinions.

Gulliver’s first voyage is to a place called Lilliput. The
Lilliputians are small people, about 6 inches high, and this is a
metaphor for their small-mindedness. Gulliver criticises the way the
Lilliputians elect their ministers- by doing circus tricks, “…with a
dance on the rope and whoever jumps the highest succeeds in office.”
This quote is showing that Swift is annoyed that people have to ‘jump
through hoops’ to get into office. This is one of the stupid laws in
Lilliput. This is like politics in the 18th century and even now, in
that the rich were the only ones in parliament in the 18th century,
and now it is mostly the rich in parliament because they are the only
ones who can finance a campaign.

Another law is no urinating in the palace. When a fire breaks out in
the palace Gulliver does not want it to burn down, “This magnificent
palace would have infallibly been burned to the ground,” so he
urinates on it to put it out. Then the king of lilliput makes several
articles against Gulliver. This...


... middle of paper ...


...like the ‘quack’ doctors, and the
drunks who use all their family’s money on alcohol. Also, swift shows
the flaws of mankind and wants to improve it. I know this because he
wrote about good people like the Brobdignagians and the Houyhnhnms, as
I said before. Swift also only tells us about what has happened to
him, so if he has only had bad experiences with, for example
politicians, then he can only make bad comments about them. However,
Gulliver doesn’t tell us about any good people in England at the time,
or any good experiences he had had with people, he focuses on the bad.

In conclusion, I think that Jonathan Swift is not misanthropic in his
presentation of human society because he only comments on what he
knows, and his main aim is to make the world better, and the best way
to do this it to tell people in simple terms, in a story of a popular
genre.


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