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The Use of Satire in Gulliver's Travels Essay

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Satire is a literary work that uses humor, hyperbole, and derision to ridicule the human behaviors and customs. Rather than being judgmental, many writers utilize satire to convey their innovative ideas to change certain aspects of society. From the many writers that used satire to condemn the actions of society, Jonathan Swift's, Gulliver's travels, stands as one of the best satirical work in human history. Published in 1726, Gulliver's travels is an adventure of Lemuel Gulliver whose voyage turns into a series of disasters to various strange islands where he lives with humans and animals of various sizes, behaviors, and philosophies. Through the usage of extended metaphor and symbolism, Swift brings to light numerous religious and political follies of 18th century English society through the characterizations of the Lilliputians.
Lemuel Gulliver is the third son of his father. He was born in the peaceful county of Nottinghamshire, where he attended post-secondary school at Emanuel College. He became an English surgeon after attending medical school at the prestigious University of Leiden. Even though, Gulliver is a smart man, he is without a doubt gullible. He has a simplistic unbiased view of the world. He believes everyone is just as honest and modest as he is while in reality the world is full of corrupted individuals.
After University, Gulliver sets out to be a voyager. In his most significant voyage, he travels as a surgeon on the merchant ship, Antelope. While in sea, a catastrophic storm devastates the ship causing the crewmembers to die. Subsequently, Gulliver washes up on the shores of Lilliput as the only survivor from the Antelope. After waking up from his tribulation, he finds that he is captured and tied down...


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...he egg breaking ceremony to emphasize the absurdity of any religious war."(Downie)
Throughout the book, Swift's usage of satire brings to light how in the 18th and 19th century the English society was morally, socially, and politically corrupted. Swift makes it clear that every normal person wants to be concerned with honor, gratitude, common sense, and kindness, but on the contrary human intentions are always strayed into a wrong path.








Works Cited

Swift, Jonathan, and Alfred Bradly Gough. Gulliver's Travels;. Oxford [Eng.: Clarendon, 1915. Print.
Soens, Lewis A. Gulliver's Satire. Google Books. Web. 02 Apr. 2012. .
Ewald, Wiliam Bragg. The masks of Jonathan Swift. Oxford, Great Britain: Basil Blackwell, 1954.
Downie, J.A Jonathan Swift: Political writer. London Routledge and kegan Paul, 1984


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