A Utopia in Brobdingnag, Swift's Gulliver's Travels Essay

A Utopia in Brobdingnag, Swift's Gulliver's Travels Essay

Length: 1021 words (2.9 double-spaced pages)

Rating: Strong Essays

Open Document

Essay Preview


A Utopia in Brobdingnag

Just as the French philosopher Rabelais had an immense influence on Swift, Thomas More, the English philosopher, also had a significant influence that one can see in Swift’s greatest satire, Gulliver’s Travels, especially during Gulliver’s voyage to Brobdingnag. In this part of the book Swift uses Utopia, More’s writing, to emphasize the immorality of the English, and bases his second book, set in Brobdingnag, on the ideas that More presents in his own book. Although all Brobdingnagians do not possess all of the same qualities that the Utopians possess, Swift uses many of the Utopian characteristics, such as morality and logic, and incorporates them into his Brobdingnagian world.
     The most prevalent and important characteristic that both Brobdingnagians and Utopians possess is the idea of morality. In Gulliver’s Travels Swift uses the size of the Brobdingnagians comparatively to Gulliver as an indication of their levels of morality. As the Brobdingnagians are large giants their level of morality is high, and compared to these highly moral people Gulliver is merely a midget, a small English man with low moral standards that stem from his upbringing in England. The government contributes to many of these moral problems that take place in England. However, in Brobdingnag the government is based on the characteristics of common sense, justice, mercy, and understandable laws. It is a simple government that, unlike the government in England, has no refinements, secrets, or mysteries. Like in Utopia, Brobdingnagians learn only specific subjects: morality, history, poetry, and practical mathematics. They learn only what is necessary, and are not able to think in abstract ways. Their laws must be clear, concise, and only contain twenty-two words. Commenting on the law is considered a capital crime and receives a severe punishment. Although the laws and customs are understandable, they are also ideal and sensible, and are followed by Brobdingnagians. These giants do what is morally correct and follow this ideology in every aspect of their lives, which leads to their personal happiness and freedom. By lying about the customs and institutions of England Swift shows how Gulliver is corrupted by the English system which, instead of leading to honest human beings, caus...


... middle of paper ...


...Their books are clearly written about the subjects that are simple and necessary. No abstract ideas enter into the minds of these giants, so as not to cause confusion.
     More and Swift both describe Utopias in order to criticize the society of that time. The Utopias are ideals that would create better societies in which people would be simple, moral people, who would not possess any negative qualities. Growing up in these societies, one would not experience strong emotional feelings, and in turn he or she would be happy. These Utopias eliminate the strong emotional feelings, good and bad, and although the good ones cause happiness, the bad ones cause sadness, thus creating a society of complication and confusion. If a society were solely based on reason and practicality there would be uniform happiness that all people could experience, and by creating these Utopias Swift and More attempt to show how this happiness can be accomplished. Using More as a mentor, Swift creates his own sense of Utopia in Brobdingnag, and although it is not exactly as More’s Utopia, it is a Utopia Swift creates in order to show the corrupt society in which he lives.

Need Writing Help?

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

Check your paper »

Swift's Gulliver's Travels Essay

- Swift's Gulliver's Travels is without question the most famous literature to emerge from this 18th century Tory satiric tradition. It is the strongest, funniest, and yet in some ways most despairing cry for a halt to the trends initiated by seventeenth-century philosophy. In Book IV, we discover how Gulliver's journey into a discovery of what man is becomes a journey into madness. We encounter, here, a cruel attack on man. This is an attack using two of the most striking literary metaphors for man: the Houyhnhnms and the Yahoos....   [tags: Swift Gulliver's Travels]

Free Essays
1599 words (4.6 pages)

Essay on Johnathan Swift's Gulliver's Travels

- Literary Analysis Paper Essay on Gulliver's Travels by Jonathan Swift Past the political satire and laughable motifs in the book Gulliver's Travels by Jonathan Swift, the purpose of this story is to show everything ignoble and tactless of the human species in general and that humans are truly disgusting. Also exploring the idea of a utopia. Swift uses the literary device of political satire to show how childish and ignorant human acts were. This is because during Swift's time in the eighteenth century, Britain was modernizing at this time....   [tags: literary analysis ]

Strong Essays
1624 words (4.6 pages)

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

- 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....   [tags: Literary Analysis]

Strong Essays
1662 words (4.7 pages)

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

- ... 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 the war in its origin was never the focus. Rather, once the battle lines are drawn, no matter why the tensions were created, there is a part of human nature that simply adapts to the situation around them without attempting to decipher the situation on their own....   [tags: society, war, human nature]

Strong Essays
886 words (2.5 pages)

Essay about Finding Wisdom in Jonathan Swift's Gulliver's Travels

- Finding Wisdom in Jonathan Swift's Gulliver's Travels A wise man once said, "That which does not kill us only makes us stronger". Jonathan Swift obviously made good use of the moral of this quote when writing his book, Gulliver's Travels. In this book, Swift tells of Lemuel Gulliver's travels to fantastic nations that exist only in Swift's own imagination. However, as Gulliver journeys to these new places, his attitudes about the state of man and his morals gradually change. In every stage of his travels, Gulliver sees a new side of mankind that makes him pity the state of his kind, while allowing him to see the light and become a better individual himself....   [tags: Essays Papers]

Free Essays
987 words (2.8 pages)

Jonathan Swift's Use of Satire in Gulliver's Travels Essay examples

- Jonathan Swift was a great fan of using sarcasm, exaggerations and caricatures. All of these words can be summarised into one satire. Swift uses satire in most of his work and Gulliver's Travels is no exception. In Gulliver's Travels Swift satirises how in the 18th century Europe was oblivious to all else going on and thought that everything that they did was correct. He does this in various stages/lands throughout the book. He also gains knowledge and culture throughout his travels to encourage us to step back and think about the world that we live in, the leaders that are chosen, how we are still animals deep down, and our selfishness....   [tags: English Literature]

Strong Essays
955 words (2.7 pages)

Political Themes in "Gulliver's Travel" Essay

- In Gulliver’s Travel, a novel written by Jonathan Swift, there are many political themes and satirical descriptions of the English government. During Swift’s time, the early 1700s, the Tory government and the Whig government opposed each other. Hoping that they would appoint him to the Church of England, Swift joined the Tories, but he was not appointed to the position by the Queen. When Tory government was in trouble for treason with the French, the Whig government took over, and Swift left politics to publish Gulliver’s Travel to show the disagreements between the two parties and between the Protestant English and the Catholic French, who did not agree on religious values....   [tags: Classic Engligh Literature]

Strong Essays
1257 words (3.6 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]

Strong Essays
1017 words (2.9 pages)

Utopia Essay

- Behold, after above six Months Warning, I cannot learn that my Book hath produced one single Effect according to mine Intentions: ... And, it must be owned that seven Months were a sufficient Time to correct every Vice and Folly to which Yahoos are subject, if their Natures had been capable of the least Disposition to Virtue or Wisdom: (Letter;3) That he had good Reasons to think you were a Big-Endian in your heart; and as Treason begins in the Heart, before it appears in Overt-Acts, so he accused you as a Traytor on that Account, and therefore insisted you should be put to death....   [tags: essays research papers]

Free Essays
1191 words (3.4 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)