Essay on Gulliver's Travels: Where Size Doesn't Matter

Essay on Gulliver's Travels: Where Size Doesn't Matter

Length: 1662 words (4.7 double-spaced pages)

Rating: Powerful Essays

Open Document

Essay Preview

In Jonathan Swift’s Gulliver's Travels, satire is ever-present: in plot, character and setting. Dystopia and utopia set the story, with grotesque added to sharpen character facets. The title character narrates the novel, and all actions are told through his point of view. His voyages expose him to extraordinary and absurd circumstances, used as fodder for mockery, and all throughout Gulliver’s travails society is ridiculed, and a bitter light is cast on humanity. Character growth is not spared: in the beginning Gulliver is much one-dimensional, and as he changes, Swift uses his growth as another ancillary conduit to let loose more satirical prowess. In the world as painted by Swift, Dystopia and Utopia are not what they seem: all through the changes happening in the novel, corruption and deceit brings rewards; moral rectitude brings emptiness and misfortune.

Right at the beginning of the novel, in the first voyage, corruption is rewarded. Gulliver buys into the Lilliputians' extravagant imaginings because he is frightened by their threats of punishment. Their issue of a formal conviction for sedition is surprisingly rewarded, given their lack of any significant physical prowess over him. As the novel advances, Gulliver changes through the events in his journeys: when he is a giant in Lilliput, he is concerned about stepping on the Lilliputians and crushing them. In the land of Brobdingnag, however, he is the one at risk of being crushed, and is treated more like a toy than a human being. To the end of the book Lemuel Gulliver is changing: on the last voyage he becomes so fond of the Houyhnhnms that his once great desire to return to humankind completely vanishes.

Dystopia and utopia are substantia...


... middle of paper ...


...g by Patrick Galloway. Shirley Galloway, 1994. Web. 22 Feb. 2012. .

Kukreja, Ridhi. "Book: Gullivers Travels." Book Review: Gullivers Travels-Jonathan Swift. 2009. Web. 22 Feb. 2012. .

Parkin-Speer, Diane. "The Genres Of Gulliver's Travels (Book Review)." Utopian Studies 2.1/2 (1991): 266. Advanced Placement Source. Web. 23 Feb. 2012.

Lindberg, John. "Gulliver's Travels (Book Review)." Utopian Studies 1.2 (1990): 167. Advanced Placement Source. Web. 22 Feb. 2012.

Hart, Vaughan. "Gulliver's Travels, Jonathan Swift (Book Review)." Utopian Studies 9.2 (1998): 250. Advanced Placement Source. Web. 22 Feb. 2012.

"Jonathan Swift's Gulliver's Travels." Kirkus Reviews 79.21 (2011): 2026. Advanced Placement Source. Web. 22 Feb. 2012.

Need Writing Help?

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

Check your paper »

Gulliver's Travels: An Altered Perspective Essay

- Gulliver's Travels: An Altered Perspective Jonathan Swift's ultimate satirical masterpiece, Gulliver's Travels, scrutinizes human nature through a misanthropic eye. More directly, it examines the bastardization English society underwent. The brilliant tale depicts the journey of Lemuel Gulliver, an Englishman, and his distorted encounters. Examining the prominent political and social conflicts of England in the eighteenth century, Swift's critical work causes much controversy. Gulliver's Travels leads him to places of opposite environments and presents him with different opportunities....   [tags: Swift Gulliver's Travels]

Powerful Essays
752 words (2.1 pages)

The Assessment of Society in Jonathan Swift's Gulliver's Travels Essays

-     "In its most serious function, satire is a mediator between two perceptions-the unillusioned perception of man as he actually is, and the ideal perception, or vision, of man as he ought ot be," (Bullitt, 3). Likewise, "misanthropy" can be understood as being the product of one of two world views: 1) The Pure Cynic or Misanthropist has no faith in human nature and has given up on any notion of ideals. This type lies and manipulates as a matter of course and these are the types that tend to run the world....   [tags: Gulliver's Travels Essays]

Free Essays
3324 words (9.5 pages)

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

- 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....   [tags: society, government, pride]

Powerful Essays
643 words (1.8 pages)

Essay Satire in Jonathan Swift´s Gulliver's Travels

- In the early eighteenth-century, Irish writer Jonathan Swift produced one of the most printed novels known to date. The novel, Gulliver’s Travels, not only received recognition for being reprinted an immense amount of time, but also for the satire found within the novel. Swift intended his novel to be used as a scapegoat in which he would reveal his opinion on the English society. Swift was able to demonstrate this satire through the four part plot of Gulliver’s Travels. Each part of the novel told the journey of the protagonist and focal character, Lemuel Gulliver, to an unknown island....   [tags: scapegoat, journey, humanity, satire]

Powerful Essays
1955 words (5.6 pages)

Jonathan Swift's Gulliver's Travels Essay

- Although Gulliver's Travels by Jonathan Swift has long been thought of as a children's story, it is actually a dark satire on the fallacies of human nature. The four parts of the book are arranged in a planned sequence, to show Gulliver's optimism and lack of shame with the Lilliputians, decaying into his shame and disgust with humans when he is in the land of the Houyhnhmns. The Brobdingnagians are more hospitable than the Lilliputians, but Gulliver's attitude towards them is more disgusted and bitter....   [tags: essays research papers]

Powerful Essays
1667 words (4.8 pages)

Use of Satirical Techniques in Swift's Gulliver's Travels Essay

- Use of Satirical Techniques in Swift's Gulliver's Travels Swift is a master of satirical writing, and his use of satirical technique in Gulliver's Travels is of a deep and intense nature. In each mysterious island he visits, there is a subtle attack on European nature, and the way the people of his time lived and acted. Gulliver's Travels was written to expose and open up the cracks in the society of his time. Each island he visits has no knowledge of Europe at all, and this further enhances the shock and dismay by the people and creatures he meets....   [tags: Papers]

Powerful Essays
795 words (2.3 pages)

Gulliver's Travels by Swift as a Fine Example of Satire Essay

- Gulliver's Travels by Swift as a Fine Example of Satire Gulliver's Travels is a book which uses satire, to attack the politics of its time. Swift operates on two levels; on one level he tells an enjoyable fantasy story for all ages. On the second level behind the superficial narrative he comments upon the issues he faces in the reality of England and makes criticisms. The story is set on an island called Lilliput, it is inhabited by little people and it is this which Swift uses as a base for his views on the world around him....   [tags: Papers]

Powerful Essays
817 words (2.3 pages)

Essay on Gulliver's change throughout Gulliver's Travels

- Gulliver’s change throughout Gulliver’s Travels Throughput the book “Gulliver’s Travels” by Jonathan Swift, the character Gulliver changes many times. During and after part two and four of the book a noticeable change in Gulliver starts to occur. He himself may not see it but the reader sees it and ones attitude towards Gulliver might change due to Gulliver’s changes. Throughout these two parts, we see Gulliver as an adventurous man that wants to see everything that has been created in the world....   [tags: Johnathan Swift Gullivers Travels Gulliver]

Powerful Essays
922 words (2.6 pages)

Gulliver's Travels Essay

- At first Gulliver’s travels comes off as a fantasy/adventure, but in actuality it’s a satirical commentary on society in Johnathan Swift. It starts off with Gulliver talking about himself. Later he gets shipwrecked and ends up in Lilliput, where the people are 6 inches tall. At first they think Gulliver is an enemy, but then realize he is no threat. He is taken to the palace and housed in a cursed temple. Gulliver is amazed at how silly the government’s rules are, for example to gain entry to the court the candidates must petition to the emperor....   [tags: Gulliver's Travels]

Powerful Essays
1017 words (2.9 pages)

Gulliver's Travels Essay

- As a seemingly wise and educated man, throughout the novel Gulliver's Tarvels, the narrator cleverly gains the reader's respect as a thinking and observant individual. With this position in mind, the comments and ideas that Gulliver inflicts upon those reading about his journeys certainly have their own identity as they coincide with his beliefs and statements on the state of humanity and civilization in particular. Everywhere Gulliver goes, he seems to comment on the good and bad points of the people he encounters....   [tags: Gulliver's Travels]

Free Essays
1289 words (3.7 pages)