Essay about Analysis Of Jonathan Swift 's ' Gulliver 's Travels '

Essay about Analysis Of Jonathan Swift 's ' Gulliver 's Travels '

Length: 716 words (2 double-spaced pages)

Rating: Better Essays

Open Document

Essay Preview

When Jonathan Swift composed his famous novel, Gulliver’s Travels, he undoubtedly possessed a keen sense of where society was and where it was going. Today, science and reason tend to dominate academia and capture the minds of countless individuals across the globe. While these schools of thought, sciences in particular, were in their infancy during Swift’s lifetime, he conceived a masterful critique of them that remains valid to this day. Swift demonstrates how a science driven society, represented by the people of Laputa, can lead to progress in the wrong direction. With the tale of the Houyhnhnms and their culture, Swift exposes some of the potential problems a society based on pure reason could encounter.
Upon Gulliver’s arrival in Laputa, it is not long before the reader is made aware of something particularly off-kilter about the inhabitants of the floating city. Members of the social elite are so intently focused on their own cognizance that they are impossible to rouse without the aid of an attendant known as a “flapper”. In Swift’s words: “This flapper is likewise employed diligently to attend his master on walks, and upon occasion, give him a soft flap on his eyes; because he is always so wrapped up in cognition, that he is in manifest danger of falling down every precipice” (93). While this notion may have been ludicrous and inconceivable in Swift’s time, people today are frequently injured or killed while feeding themselves their daily dose of media from their smartphones. In a way, this critique of improperly focused attention is more valid currently than at the time of Swift’s publication. Science, too, is found in the crosshairs of Swift’s satire.
The most pointed critique of sciences found in the novel comes whe...

... middle of paper ...

... by their hatred of the “yahoos”. Swift writes: “Their old debate, and indeed only debate . . . The question was, ‘whether the yahoos should be exterminated from the face of the Earth?’” (160). For a society that is supposedly unable to comprehend evil in rational creatures, this proposition is particularly sinister. Modern readers, with atrocities such as the Holocaust brought to mind, have no trouble seeing that the Houyhnhnms are on a dangerous course with unchecked reason at the helm.
To conclude, let it suffice to say that science and reason provide wonderful advancements to society, but, if left uncontrolled, can bring about great harms. Jonathan Swift knew this, and he offers an ominous warning to readers of Gulliver’s Travels through his satire. Swift’s critiques are as valid today, if not more so, as they were when Gulliver’s Travels first went to press.

Need Writing Help?

Get feedback on grammar, clarity, concision and logic instantly.

Check your paper »

Analysis Of Jonathan Swift 's Gulliver 's Travels Essay

- Stating direct facts isn’t always the best way for an author to call attention to certain realities of society. Through the use of satire and irony, a writer can convey meaning to his readers that would not otherwise be conveyed. One such author who expertly knew how to use satire and irony in his writing was Jonathan Swift. In his book Gulliver’s Travels, especially in the section “A Voyage to Lilliput,” and his essay “A Modest Proposal,” Swift is able to use the aforementioned literary techniques to prove how the governments of two different nations are flawed....   [tags: Satire, Jonathan Swift, Gulliver's Travels]

Better Essays
1163 words (3.3 pages)

Analysis Of ' Looking At Gulliver 's Travels ' One Can See That Jonathan Swift

- By looking at Gulliver’s Travels, one can see that Jonathan Swift included the themes human understanding and individual vs. society because men tend to overthink their work focusing too hard on it making them forget about the small things that make us enjoy life, and the feeling of being alienated from many groups when you are just being yourself. All which he had dealt with in his life first handedly experiencing the dark areas of politics, education and religion. Jonathan Swift was born on November 30, 1667 in Dublin, Ireland....   [tags: Gulliver's Travels, Jonathan Swift]

Better Essays
1754 words (5 pages)

Analysis Of Jonathan Swift 's ' Gulliver ' Essay

- 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)....   [tags: Gulliver's Travels, Satire, Jonathan Swift]

Better Essays
724 words (2.1 pages)

Analysis Of Jonathan Swift 's Gulliver Essay

- Jonathan Swift uses Gulliver travels to somewhat criticize the English society. Gulliver visits four society’s that each have likeness back to England. He sees the Houyhnhnms, Laputa, Brobdingnag, and Lilliputian who all share similar problems. Swift successfully creates the satiric mode by pointing out the same flaws of England through a different society to make the social ills apparent to the reader. Swifts is criticizing England through these societies. In Lilliput, Gulliver sees how officials are picked by which can do the best tricks....   [tags: Gulliver's Travels, Jonathan Swift, Society]

Better Essays
938 words (2.7 pages)

Essay on Analysis Of Gulliver 's Travels By Johnathon Swift

- Gulliver’s Travels, by Johnathon Swift, is a satiric misanthropic of humanity. The narrator and protagonist of Gulliver’s Travels is Lemuel Gulliver, who is intelligent and well educated. To which it ends there. The reader gets a glimpse into Gulliver’s voyage to four different lands through what Gulliver wants the reader to know. The reader gets facts about the lands he visits; with no signs of emotion or passion. Gulliver’s lack of aspiration and narcissism is what makes Gulliver a gullible character....   [tags: Jonathan Swift, Gulliver's Travels]

Better Essays
1186 words (3.4 pages)

Gulliver's Travels and Jonathan Swift Essay

- Jonathan Swift was born on November 30, 1667 in Ireland to English parents, Jonathan and Abigail. His father, Jonathan, died shortly after his birth, leaving his mother to raise him and his sister alone. In Ireland, Swift was dependent on a nanny for three years because his mother moved to England. The young man was educated because of the patronage of his Uncle, Godwin Swift. Godwin sent him to Kilkenny Grammar School at age six, which was one of the best primary schools in Ireland at the time....   [tags: historical and biographical analysis]

Better Essays
598 words (1.7 pages)

Abuse of power in Gulliver's travels Essay

- Jonathan Swift’s Gulliver’s Travels presents a narrator, Lemuel Gulliver, who recounts his various sea voyages to fantastical lands. During each voyage, Gulliver encounters different societies and customs to which Gulliver must adjust to. in order to be accepted into their society The entire novel serves as a commentary on how people everywhere have a tendency to abuse the power given to them. Gulliver’s first voyage is to Lilliput. The ship that Gulliver travels on capsizes, and Gulliver finds himself on a strange unknown island....   [tags: Jonathan Swift, Literary Analysis]

Better Essays
1700 words (4.9 pages)

Essay on Gulliver’s Travels by Jonathan Swift

- In the cleverly written and witty story of Gulliver’s Travels by Jonathan Swift, the reader is taken on a journey that targets the strengths of weakness of different societies. Swift ingeniously incorporates the use of the main character, Lemuel Gulliver, and his experiences through the discovery of several islands in order to relay messages about his own country’s system of politics, society, and use of scientists. The first voyage Lemuel Gulliver sets foot on is to the distant and strange island of Lilliput....   [tags: Novel Analysis]

Better Essays
1749 words (5 pages)

Essay on Saturated with Satire: Gulliver's Travels

- The tale of “Gulliver’s Travels” has been used as a children’s story since it was published in 1726 at the height of the Enlightenment period in Europe. Many people of all ages have enjoyed this story because of its unique fictional characters and the exciting and bizarre turn of events that faced the main character, Gulliver. Although it serves well as an amusing children’s story, this was not author Jonathan Swift’s sole intention. The novel’s humor is rich with sarcasm and satire critiquing religion, politics, and humanity....   [tags: Jonathan Swift novel analysis]

Better Essays
2012 words (5.7 pages)

Gulliver's Travels Essay

- The author of Gulliver’s Travels os Jonathan Swift. He was born on November 30, 1667 in Dublin, Ireland (Cody, 1). At an early age his father past away and because of this sudden death Swift’s mother soon moved back to England. Swift, in the care of his relatives, was sent to school at Kilkenny Grammar School. He then attended Trinity College but did not finish his schooling because the school was closed because of a revolution occurring in the government (Cody, 2). Swift then moved to England where he became the secretary for Sir William Temple....   [tags: Literary Analysis, Jonathan Swift]

Free Essays
624 words (1.8 pages)