Essay on Saturated with Satire: Gulliver's Travels

Essay on Saturated with Satire: Gulliver's Travels

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The tale of “Gulliver’s Travels” has been used as a children’s story since it was published in 1726 at the height of the Enlightenment period in Europe. Many people of all ages have enjoyed this story because of its unique fictional characters and the exciting and bizarre turn of events that faced the main character, Gulliver. Although it serves well as an amusing children’s story, this was not author Jonathan Swift’s sole intention. The novel’s humor is rich with sarcasm and satire critiquing religion, politics, and humanity. Every outlandish character, scene and event that occurs played an important role in exposing his strong thoughts and opinions. Swift uses this novel as a vent for his frustration concerning disagreements with English politics and religious conflicts. However, he also felt that he must share with others the faults that he believed existed within society. He used the first two books in this novel to show the reader his strong opposition to the direction of humanity, European politics, and the battles between religious sects.
Rotten Eggs
The Empires of Lilliput and Blefuscu were surprisingly once on common terms with each other. As Swift described these products of his imagination, they cooperated together without any conflicts or disagreements, nearly as a single empire. However, this all changed with one misinterpretation. Swift uses this conflict between Lilliput and Blefuscu as his first example of satire. Here, and several more times throughout the novel, Swift uses satire and allusion to form his first of many opinions in the novel.
The empires of Lilliput and Blefuscu were split in a hard war over the simple task of breaking an egg. Prior to any conflict, the two empires were subject to the ancient pra...


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... to the Protestant Reformation. Likewise in the second voyage he uses the king of Brobdingnag and his unfailing moral to expose humanity’s obsession with violence and power. However, Swift’s strongest attack is very prevalent in both books. This is Swift’s exposure of the corruption that plagues politics in England. Swift focuses on this because he understands that although he may not be able to change humanity or religion, he can open the eyes of the people to this corruption and make people more aware of whom and what they vote for. He is trying to help his readers realize that this corruption certainly exists all around us and that we must not only realize it but act against it and do what we can to prevent it. Swift writes this novel not only to vent his frustration but to also change the minds of his readers and ultimately make a positive difference in society.

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