Many Contemporary Issues Tackled in Gulliver's Travels by Jonathan Swift

Many Contemporary Issues Tackled in Gulliver's Travels by Jonathan Swift

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According to Gulliver, "Undoubtably philosophers are right when they tell us that nothing is great or small than by comparison." In the novel Jonathan Swift tackles many of the contemporary issues of his day. His portrayal of English society alludes to the fact that he perceived many evils in the structure of society. In the novel Swift puts focus on the issues of economy, government, war, mankind and plictic. As a result of his insightful perspective into the fabric of society, Gulliver’s Travels, is regarded by many as being one of the greatest satires in modern history.
It can be seen as though Swift’s intention is to ridicule throughouth the text. He portrays the uses satire in human nature, rulers and government. However, this point is arguable to say the least. In Part IV of his book, Swift provides illustrations of the two poles of the human condition as Lemuel Gulliver, the main character, finds himself on an island inhabited by two species. He encounters the Houyhnhnms who are horse-like animals and the Yahoos who are more human-like. The Houyhnhnms are seen to be noble and intelligren . They are solely operated by reason. The Yahoos are the complte opposite. They are seen to be dirty barbaric beings. Although there are faults to be found in each species, it is almost as Swift is trying to provide an illustration of the extremes of humanity so that people can understand the dichotomy possible in human nature.
One of Swift’s favorite focal points is the absurdity of war. This is illustrated by the Lilliputians who uncover the idiotic nature of war in any society. The Little-Ender and Big-Ender war began because of an argument that manifest about the correct way to break an egg. The war persisted and the cause of th...


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...d animals that ate when they weren’t hungry, and valued shiny rocks – a clear mockery of human civilization. Furthermore, they elected their leaders on the basis of chosing whoever was the most vicious.
Swift developed a very clever method of portraying what he viewed as society’s faults in Gulliver’s Travels. He provided two extremes which represented an exaggerated view of mankind’s potential. Although neither extreme is completely desirable in its totality, there is obviously one path that is more desirable than the other for humanity. It seems that Swift’s main goal is to clearly illustrate the flaws of human nature as a whole in a way in which they can be clearly recognized. I don’t this that Swift is necessarily a misanthrope, as has been suggested. Rather, he is using fiction to help people see the implications of their decisions on a collective basis.


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