Gulliver's Travels: Swift's Opinions Of The English Essay

Gulliver's Travels: Swift's Opinions Of The English Essay

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After being washed ashore and then falling asleep, Lemuel Gulliver awakens to find himself tied firmly to the ground. In confusion, Gulliver hears noises and feels an object move about on his chest. He looks down and accounts, "I perceived it to be a human creature not six inches high, with a bow and an arrow in his hands and a quiver at his back" (6).

     Imaginative stories, such as the one with the small human creature, are parts of the classic piece of literature Gulliver's Travels . The many humorous stories in Gulliver's Travels have appealed to audiences of all ages since the book was written in the early eighteenth century by Jonathan Swift, a political writer (xvii).

     Gulliver's Travels is written as Lemuel Gulliver's account of his voyages to the strange lands of Lilliput, Brobdingnag, the kingdom of Laputa, and the land of the Houyhnhnms. Swift's opinions on the English politics of his time are disguised in Gulliver's strange encounters, allowing the reader, rather than Gulliver, to discover them. Gulliver remarks about his encounters in a straight forward way, reporting on the cultures instead of analyzing them.

     Part one of Gulliver's Travels takes place in an area called Lilliput, where all the inhabitants are six inches high. In Part one, Gulliver is portrayed as a solid, decent, and responsible person, symbolic to the powerful lords that existed in Swift's time. One example that demonstrates this point is Gulliver's remark; "[the emperor] had so good an opinion of my generosity and justice as to trust their persons in my hands" (22). During his stay in Lilliput, three officers develop a hatred and jealousy towards Gulliver because of his popularity in Lilliput. They devise a plan to have Gulliv...


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...orror and astonishment are not to be described, when I observed in this abominable animal, a perfect human figure; the face of it indeed was flat and broad, the nose depressed, the lips large, and the mount wide..." (268). To Swift, the Yahoos represent what humans can become if they do not use the reason they poses.
     Gulliver is later forced to leave the land of the Houyhnhnms. When he returns to England he buys horses and spends most of his time in the stable. He can barely tolerate the presence of his family, and he has as little to do with them as possible.
     The humorous adventure stories of Gulliver's Travels will continue to be read for entertainment purposes, and Swift's opinion of the English will continue to be disguised within the story.

Works Cited


Swift, Jonathan. The World's Great Classics: Gulliver's Travels . New York: Groiler Inc..

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