Gulliver'S Travels Essays Human Nature

Gulliver'S Travels Essays Human Nature-59
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The smallness combined with the military aggressiveness of the Lilliputians calls to mind another small country with a tradition of military aggression and disproportionate power in the world: England.

This equivalence is confirmed by the fact that Swift based several of the characters in the Lilliputian government on real-life models from the English government of his time.

How does Gulliver's role develop and change throughout the novel?

At the beginning of the novel, Gulliver is an everyman through whose eyes the reader sees the inhabitants of the places he visits.

This gap between Gulliver's and the reader's perception of events leads to dramatic irony (a literary device in which the reader or audience of a work knows more than the character).

As a middle-of-the-road human being, Gulliver finds himself to be morally superior to the Lilliputians but morally inferior to the Brobdingnagians. It is his pride in, and loyalty to, England, which leads him to lie to the Brobdingnagian king in order to paint his country in a favorable light.The purpose of this study is to examine whether this preoccupation with appearance and reality remains on the surface and is confined to the veracity of Lemuel Gulliver's account and to the authorship of the Travels, or whether it goes deeper, informing Swift's style, permeating his outlook on human affairs and his vision of human beings.In his letter to Cousin Sympson, Gulliver declares : Indeed I must confess that as to the People of Lilliput, Brobdingrag (for so the word should have been spelt, and not erroneously Brobdingnag) and Laputa, I have never yet heard of any yahoo so presumptuous as to dispute their Being, or the Facts I have related concerning them ; because the Truth immediately strikes every Reader with conviction (1).He finds himself midway between the rationality of the Houyhnhnms and the bestiality of the Yahoos.So impressed is he by the Houyhnhnms and so disgusted is he by the Yahoos that he becomes obsessed with trying to be like the Houyhnhnms, when he physically resembles the Yahoos far more.They range from the position on the map of those unknown lands, to samples of the languages spoken by their inhabitants or to factual information concerning Gulliver's accommodation, clothes and diet during his sojourns in these countries.For instance, a prominent device to give reality to Lilliput or Brobdingnag is the use of figures expressing the measures of various objects.This is done, however, in full view of the nether regions of Gulliver's body, which are exposed due to the deterioration of his breeches.This detail makes the vanity and pomposity of the Lilliputians appear ridiculous.He gives his detailed descriptions without judgment, and without the capacity for reflection and distance that the reader possesses.He often fails to see the ludicrous, greedy, and morally depraved nature of the people around him, whereas this is all too clear to the reader.


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