Gulliver and Satire Book Review by Champ

Gulliver and Satire
This paper analyzes the aspect of satire in Jonathan Swift's book 'Gulliver's Travels'.
# 98620 | 2,139 words | 7 sources | MLA | 2007 | US
Published on Oct 07, 2007 in Literature (English) , English (Analysis)

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In this article, the writer examines the book 'Gulliver's Travels' by Jonathan Swift, which remains one of the best known satires in world literature. The writer notes that Jonathan Swift had gone to all lengths to surprise the English society of the 18th century, in all its different forms from an ironic perspective, emphasizing and ridiculing its petty characteristics. The writer discusses that Gulliver's size, as comparable instrument and relative to the size of the other characters and peoples met in the novel, is a way of satirizing and of drawing reflections and conclusions on human society, in its smallness and occasional complexity. The writer concludes that Gulliver's size is a way to show that people and individuals can draw the entire spectrum from smallness to greatness.

From the Paper:

"There are perhaps two direct characteristics of the Lilliputan society worth mentioning above all: the conflict between Big-enders and the Small-enders, in terms of where to break the egg, and the way the officials are selected for office. The former pictures the smallness and insignificant causes that lead to European conflicts during Swift's time, with an obvious mark on the permanent conflict between France and England. By minimizing the conflict between Lilliput and Blefuscu, the author is minimizing the permanent conflicts between England and France and responds in this personal manner to the incompetence of cabinets encouraging this state of affairs in both countries. Certainly, in European terms, the causes of war are always 'more serious', but, in fact, they are still caught between the Spanish and Austrian successions, for example, and not directed to core, human - related issues. A country or a society so small as Lilliput (in comparison to Gulliver, for example), can only have small, insignificant wars and conflicts."

Sample of Sources Used:

  • Davis, Herbert. Jonathan Swift: Essays on His Satires and Other Studies. New York: Oxford University Press, 1964.
  • Lock, F. P. The Politics of Gulliver's Travels. Oxford, Great Britain: Oxford University Press, 1980.
  • Ewald, William Bragg. The Masks of Jonathan Swift. Oxford, Great Britain: Basil Blackwell, 1954.
  • Swift's Moral Satire in Gulliver's Travels. On the Internet at Last retrieved on January 26, 2007
  • Bloom, Allan "An outline of Gulliver's Travels" in Greenberg et al. Gulliver's Travels: An authoritative text New York; London: c1970

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