Essay on Gulliver's Travels

Essay on Gulliver's Travels

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Which phrase better describes Gulliver's Travels, A very merry
book (Arbuth Not) or Saeva Indignato?

Gulliver's Travels, sees our narrator going on journeys to four
startlingly different nations. The comic elements throughout the book
show the reader that the literature they are reading does indeed fall
into the category of being "A very merry book", however, upon closer
inspection, this may not be the case. The reader is constantly
presented with cynical comparisons between events and discussions
taking place during out narrator's travels, and the workings and
traits of human society. Both phrases shown in the title can be
related to this book, but ultimately, it depends on how the reader
approaches, and reads the novel.

Gulliver talks about all manners of social injustices and personal
discomfort. Often the literature is with biting sarcasm but sometimes
with violent explosions of anger, frequently with quiet, subtle
ridicule. However he does this, the intention is the same and he urges
the reader to really think about the effect of these views. Through
various characters Gulliver meets on his travels, their
characteristics are aimed to remind the reader of human weaknesses
such as lust, barbarism, pride and conceit, often in a vary scathing
manner. Characters such as the people in the Court at Lilliput and
their antics to procure promotion, and the people in the Academy at
Lagado and their time consuming and worthless research are examples of
this criticism.

In book one in Lilliput the reader is presented with some amusement
during the descriptions given of the court proceedings, and how
meaningless they are. The ceremonies are over the top and unnecessary,
the awarding of honours is ridiculed, ...


... middle of paper ...


...ls. The
cutting and insulting irony used throughout, and the satirical
descriptions of all Gulliver meets acts as a social commentary on
humans and the society which Swift lived in at the time. It is in Book
four that the reader's attentions are drawn to the resemblance between
Yahoos and humans. The filthy lifestyles, and cringe worthy habits of
these creatures is meant to be a criticism of humans, and their role
in society. The novel can be described as a "very merry book" in the
manner which it is highly comical at times, but once the reader looks
a bit deeper into the criticisms being made, they can realise that the
novel is not "merry" in the slightest. It is highly critical and at
times, very rude and coarse. It is full of cutting criticism, and is
aimed at undermining the workings of society. It is indeed full of
fierce indignation towards society.

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