Analysis Of Jonathan Swift 's ' Gulliver ' Essay

Analysis Of Jonathan Swift 's ' Gulliver ' Essay

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Using the popular style of a travelogue, Jonathan Swift, through the point of view of Gulliver, an English seamen, satirizes human nature and English society in Gulliver’s Travels. As a result of a series of unfortunate events, Gulliver is taken on four voyages to curious lands that defy the laws of nature. The uniqueness of each land provides not only a captivating tale, but a metaphor that highlights Swift’s satire. Swift exemplifies the use of these metaphors through the parallels of Gulliver’s first voyage to Lilliput, a land of people no more than six inches tall (Swift 17), and his second voyage to Brobdingnag, a land inhabited by sixty-foot giants (Swift 79). In these first two voyages, Swift uses the size of the human creatures Gulliver encounters to satirize the flaws of 18th century English society.
In Gulliver’s first voyage to Lilliput, Swift satirizes the self-imposed grandeur and pride associated with rank, politics, the court, and war within English society. By reducing the size of the Lilliputians, who metaphorically represents English society, Swift strips them of any real significance and power. Instead, their pride and self-importance makes them believe in a false power. This point is exemplified through Gulliver’s account of how the Lilliputians achieve rank and authority. According to Gulliver,
“When a great Office is vacant, either by Death or Disgrace, (which often happens) five or six of those Candidates petition the Emperor to entertain his Majesty and the Court with a Dance on the Rope; and whoever jumps the highest without falling succeeds in the Office (Swift 33).”

Through this description, Swift mocks how prominent figures of English society are without a proper education or qualification, but ac...


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In this voyage, Swift makes a more direct mockery of the faults of English society by utilizing the contrast in size between the giants and Gulliver. Through size, Swift parallels the faults of English society between Gulliver and the Lilliputians with Gulliver and the people of Brognignag.
Through the use of size, Swift effectively highlights the flaws of English society in a satirical approach. The corrupt nature of men in Gulliver’s Travels is ruthfully exposed before the reader. Using satire, Swift wrote Gulliver’s Travel as a warning and alert to a society in denial of their own vice. Like Gulliver whose sight is gradually sharpened voyage after voyage, Swift urges those reading to open their eyes to the faults of not only those around them, but to the faults within themselves in order to rid society of corruption and thus making the world a better place.

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