Capabilities and The Downfall in Gulliver's Travels

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Capabilities and The Downfall in Gulliver's Travels Upon reading “Gulliver’s Travels” I investigated the nature of man, his weaknesses, his capabilities, and the way of life that was fitting for him. Swift constantly stressed the evil of human pride as the greatest defect in human nature. Showing the dangerous consequences of our refusal to recognize our limitations as human being. In the first part of the “Travels”, Swift takes a simple, agreeable, man named Gulliver who has thought very little about life, and places him into a situation where he becomes victim of the uncontrollable pride of tiny creatures who act as if they were masters of the universe. The Lilliputians behave as if they were lords and masters of the universe, appearing to be unaware how ridiculous their ways are in relation to their size. Gulliver sees that pride is a basic human sin, the causes of all other evils. Political corruption in Lilliput causes Gulliver to leave disillusioned about the good of man. This book begins Gulliver’s “education.” In Book II Swift tricks us into identifying with Gulliver, and realize how morally inferior we are to “giants.” The Brobdingnagians were far from perfect. As we saw through the actions of the farmer they were capable of greed and exploitation. He can be contrasted to King who represents the highest of moral development we have yet encountered. He is aware of the limitations of man. We see this when the King refuses the gunpowder because he believed it is too much power to be put in the hand of such imperfect a creature as man. This is so true; it is evident when Gulliver describes the destructive potential of a cannon without showing the pain and terror they can create. When the King refuses the gunpowder he also refuses absolute control over his subjects. This is unlike the Lilliputian Emperor who was mad at Gulliver for putting the Blefuscudians under his authority. Ironically, it appears that Gulliver has embraced the belief of the Lilliputian Emperor; he believes the Brobdingnag King is foolish not to want to be a tyrant.

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