The Possibilities of Utopias in Gulliver's Travels by Jonathan Swift

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The idea of the perfect and model state has existed since the beginning of civilization. In Jonathon Swift’s satirical novel Gulliver’s Travels, Gulliver travels to remote lands and is keen on analyzing and investigating the possibility of utopias. There are noticeable instances of utopias in Gulliver’s Travels; such is symbolized by the Houyhnhnms and the Lilliputians. However, most of these states could not be logically achievable in Swifts’ English society due to the fact that it would require a much different governing state. The only obtainable utopia that Gulliver observed in Gulliver’s Travels is the Lilliputians due to their systematic order of politics law that are similar to that of 17th and 18th Century England. Although there are certain features of Lilliputian society in Gulliver’s Travels that are bizarre, the similarities of Lilliputian society to that of England are used to show that troubles are present in all civilization and it is outlandish to imagine that they could not exist. Although the Houyhnhnms presented in Gulliver’s Travels have a model way of life, Swift makes them non-human horse-like creatures. This is significant because it proposes that only those who are non-human are truly competent of existing in a fair society or a utopia. It is essential to recognize that the Lilliputians are comparable to English society, their miniscule size being the only difference. The Lilliputians in Gulliver’s Travels are comparable with England as Gulliver observes the insignificance of certain proceedings that appear to become important in politics and society. This portrayal of Lilliput and their society provides an example on how an English utopia could be realized, most notably in terms of politics and law. ... ... middle of paper ... ... in England seem as equally ridiculous, particularly seeing as the majority of the debate was founded on the “proper or correct” way to deduce which portion of the egg was the smaller end. The Lilliputians and their society appear to a great extent as a tiny and more ridiculous England. The depiction of the people and the government continue and it becomes evident that even though the Lilliputians may endure the same impurities of English society, such as a exaggerated government, uprisings over moderately trivial issues, and an inclination to attempt at controlling more everyday aspects of life. It is in this sense, that the Lilliputians attain many values and ways of thinking that allow them to become utopian when compared to England. Jonathon Swift recognizes this and along with the current Enlightenment thinking of the time, satires the concept of human pride.

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