Essay PreviewMore ↓
Jonathan Swift wrote Gulliver's Travels in 1762 with the intent of entertaining many people. Entertainment through satire is what Swift had in mind. To fully understand Gulliver's Travels, one must first reflect upon the following: the plot, character, setting, theme, point of view, conflict, climax, resolution, symbolism, and figurative language. These ideas will help the reader comprehend some of the ideas portrayed throughout the novel, as well as why Swift wrote them.
The setting plays an important role in all novels, but in Gulliver's Travels, one must take into consideration that the four different parts of the book have different settings. The first setting is more or less on an island called Lilliput, on November 5, 1699. Gulliver ended up on this island due to a ship wreck. The setting to the second part of the novel happens to be upon his arrival to another island that Gulliver wishes to inspect for water. This was on the 16th of June, 1703. The third part of the book has many different little scenes. The first of which takes place on Laputa an island of deformed creatures. The fourth and final part of the book takes place in the country of Houyhnhnms, in 1711.
The main character, Gulliver, is a well educated sailor. He has been recommended to be a surgeon. Traveling around the world, exploring new places, Gulliver meets many new cultures and civilizations. Gulliver wears clothes not uncommon to the 1700's. He has long hair, that sometimes restricts him from turning his head. Gulliver is a round character. This can be seen when he refers to past experiences during an adventure. This means that he can compare the two situations, thus learning from it. There are many minor characters. Easier referred to by the names of their people. Them being: the small Lilliputians, the giant Brobdingnags, the creatures at Lugnagg and Balnibarbi, with the islands of Laputa and Blubdrubdrib. And finally, the Yahoos and Houyhnhnms. Gulliver's stories are told in the first person by himself.
Some very important symbols are used throughout the novel to depict some very important ideas. One of these symbols would be when Gulliver relieves himself on the Lilliputians royal castle to put out a fire. It seems, as though how silly something may seem, it just might be an answer to an important problem.
How to Cite this Page
"Understanding Gulliver's Travels." 123HelpMe.com. 19 Aug 2018
Need Writing Help?
Get feedback on grammar, clarity, concision and logic instantly.Check your paper »
- Humankind as the Balance of Rationality and Passion “A Voyage to the Country of the Houyhnhnms” Jonathon Swift’s Gulliver’s Travels takes place in four parts, each of which describe Gulliver’s adventures with fantastical species of foreign nations. The search for Swift’s meaning has been a controversial one; the novel has been interpreted along a wide spectrum ranging from children’s story to a satire of human nature. The greatest debate lies within the realm of satire, and Part Four of Gulliver’s Travels, “A Voyage to the Country of the Houyhnhnms,” is just one area in which critics argue for a variety of satirical meanings.... [tags: Jonathon Swift's Gulliver's Travels]
2945 words (8.4 pages)
- Use of Irony, Ambiguity and Symbolism, in Gulliver's Travels Although it appears simple and straightforward on the surface, a mere travelogue intended solely for the amusement of children, Gulliver's Travels, by Jonathan Swift, proves, upon closer examination, to be a critical and insightful work satirizing the political and social systems of eighteenth-century England. Through frequent and successful employment of irony, ambiguity and symbolism, Swift makes comments addressing such specific topics as current political controversies as well as such universal concerns as the moral degeneration of man. While he incorporates them subtly early in the novel, these obs... [tags: Gulliver's Travels]
825 words (2.4 pages)
- English Society Exposed in Gulliver's Travels In Gulliver's Travels, Swift takes us to many places that serve as a looking glass for the foibles of English society, but none of the places are as severe a censure of men as Houyhnhnmland. Here Swift has made a clear division of pure reason, embodied in the Houyhnhnms (maybe he was refering to "horse sense"), and raw passion, embodied in the Yahoos (which are "coincidentally" very manlike). Here Gulliver has to make the choice between Houyhnhnms and Yahoos, reason and passion.... [tags: Gulliver's Travels]
1211 words (3.5 pages)
- An Exploration of Lockean Philosophy in Gulliver's Travels Ricardo Quintana asserts in his study Two Augustans that even "though Swift as a traditional philosophical realist dismissed Lockian empiricism with impatience, he recognized in Lockian political theory an enforcement of his own convictions" (76). It may be argued, however, than when two contemporary authors, such as Locke and Swift, are shaped within the same matrix of cultural forces and events, they reveal through their respective works a similar ideology.... [tags: Gulliver's Travels]
3541 words (10.1 pages)
- Gulliver’s Travels and Phaedra – Passion or Reason Do you base your decisions on passion or reason. The way one bases his or her decisions affects the quality and happiness of his or her life. Neither passion nor reason should be the sole basis for one's philosophy or lifestyle, because passion without reason is uncontrollable, and reason without passion takes the spark out of life. Works such as Phaedra and Gulliver's Travels show that either extreme will likely result in chaos and unhappiness, teaching one to pull from both sides.... [tags: Gulliver's Travels Essays]
1329 words (3.8 pages)
- Personal Identity in Jonathan Swift's Gulliver's Travels What establishes a person’s identity. What changes this personal identity. Psychologically, we have the ability to change our beliefs. Physically, our human bodies change. How do we frame the issue to better understand man’s inability to decipher his own self-identity, and more importantly, how do we know when and precisely where this change in identity occurs. Issues of personal identity are apparent in Gulliver’s Travels, by Jonathan Swift.... [tags: Jonathan Swift Gulliver's Travels Essays]
1755 words (5 pages)
- The Relevance of Jonathan Swift’s Gulliver’s Travels Having read Jonathan Swift’s novel, Gulliver’s Travels, in high school, I found it an exciting task to reread this great work from a slightly older, more experienced outlook. I was pleasantly surprised to find that time had greatly changed the way I viewed this novel. Upon first reading the novel I feel that I viewed the book in a more childlike matter, scoffing at his ideas of world politics and not understanding much of his satire.... [tags: Gullivers Travels]
2244 words (6.4 pages)
- In 1726, the Anglo-Irish satirist Jonathan Swift wrote Gulliver's Travels. Gulliver's Travels was originally intended as an attack on the hypocrisy of the establishment, including the government, the courts, and the clergy, but it was so well written that it immediately became a children's favorite. Swift wrote Gulliver's Travels at a time of political change and scientific invention, and many of the events he describes in the book can easily be linked to contemporary events in Europe. One of the reasons that the stories are deeply amusing is that, by combining real issues with entirely fantastic situations and characters, they suggest that the realities of 18th-century England were as fan... [tags: essays research papers]
886 words (2.5 pages)
- Madame Bovoary In the writing's of the Jonathan Swift we can clearly see issues and concepts with regard to morality, ethics and relations come into play in our society and in Gulliver's Travels, Swift brings those issues to the for front for everyone to see and analyze. The very concepts and beliefs that man holds dear Swift attacks and strongly justifies his literary aggression thought the construct of the society of the Houyhnahnms who truly leads a just and humane society that we as humans (Yahoos) have the faintest concept of.... [tags: Essays Papers]
4236 words (12.1 pages)
- Self -Discovery is acquiring knowledge about your identity which stems from a mixture of the people you associate with and the environment you're surrounded by. One of the underlying themes in Gulliver's Travels is the journey of self-discovery. Gulliver starts out his expedition as an ambitious, practical, and optimistic character who appreciates mankind however, by the end of the voyage he develops an overt hatred towards humanity. Because of Gulliver's surroundings, his outlook on mankind is cynical which leads to a shift of self-distinctiveness, an identity crisis, and an overall jaded mental state.... [tags: self-concept, human corruption]
1231 words (3.5 pages)
Some very important themes that the reader may have picked up on can be very helpful. One of these themes is that no matter how small something is, it is not inferior. Gulliver stayed with the Lilliputians for a very long time. The fact that they were only six inches tall did not mean that he could do anything he wanted around or to them. Another theme that the reader should have got is that no matter how large something is, it still has to have a small amount of brains. The giants in the second part were very tall, but nowhere did the book say that they were very smart.
There are many different conflicts throughout the novel as well. Some of these being internal, and others being external. One of the internal conflicts can be seen when Gulliver is tied down by the Lilliputians. Gulliver has a chance to snatch up many of the little creatures, but knows that they will most likely shoot him with needle-like arrows. An external conflict is between Gulliver's crew against nature. Many times Gulliver gets blown off course by a storm or has his boat overturned by waves. This is an example of human against nature.
Some of the literary devices that Swift uses in Gulliver's Travels are satire and irony. Swift wrote the novel as a parody of travel books and an indictment of mankind; it is revered as a charming children's story. The ironies Swift intended to be recognized-the small-mindedness of the tiny Lilliputians, the physical and moral abnormality of the giant Brobdingnagians, and the perfect animalizing of the filthy manlike Yahoos (far inferior to the placid horses they work for)-are often ignored or dismissed.
After considering all of this, the reader should have a better understanding of the novel. Being able to pay a greater attention to the details of a novel always helps one understand the greater, more broad ideas following them. Jonathan Swift was a magnificent author. Without his Gulliver's Travels, there would be a great gap in the art of Literature.