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"Swift has a very bleak view of human nature." Discuss the ways in which Swift uses various satirical techniques in Gulliver's Travels to expose ills of human nature and failings of Englandand Europe's societies and institutions.

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Ronnie Gunson 3.3.02 "Swift has a very bleak view of human nature." Discuss the ways in which Swift uses various satirical techniques in Gulliver's Travels to expose ills of human nature and failings of England and Europe's societies and institutions. Swift is a master of satirical writing, and his use of satirical technique in Gulliver's Travels is of a deep and intense nature. In each mysterious island he visits, there is a subtle attack on European nature, and the way the people of his time lived and acted. Gulliver's Travels was written to expose and open up the cracks in the society of his time. Each island he visits has no knowledge of Europe at all, and this further enhances the shock and dismay by the people and creatures he meets. It is a satirical technique used so the characters can amplify there emotions, thus creating a more shocking experience and reaction. Gulliver was the leader of a ship with an array of foreign crew because of heavy losses to his original crew. ...read more.


and its members to have a "great ability and love of their country" with the "wisdom of the whole nation." This satire is used in a sarcastic way, seeing as the politicians of the time were extremely corrupt and conveniently voted. However the kings' response was of a surprising nature to Gulliver, "a stranger with a strong purse might not influence the vulgar voter." Gulliver is puzzled by the kings' reactions and cannot see his on naivety. Swift is clearly showing human ignorance and self pride, and lack of realisation to human faults. In an attempt to once again impress the king he reveals the ingredients for gunpowder. He quotes " that a proper quantity of this powder can drive a ball with such violence and speed that nothing will sustain its force," this not being the best idea to bring into a utopian world, once again amplifying the ignorance and violence of Europeans, satirically . He continues for quite a while in total lack of knowledge that the king was repulsed by this creation and wondered why Gulliver and his people were so violent and hurtful. ...read more.


After a long debate, the Houyhnhnms decide that Gulliver must leave the island, yet he wants to stay as he loves the Houyhnhnms way of life, and the way the act and think and react. He wanted to stay, yet was dismissed. Once again his ignorance and lack of tact left him stranded. Swift uses this to construct a thick and detailed depiction of the European life, which he found mistake ridden and scatological. He was later picked up by a ship, and taken back to England, in which his stories were not believed until a Lilliputian horse was found. Swift is a misanthropic person who believes human nature is not right and works in a decrepit and foul manner. In Gulliver's travels he highlights the flaws in society and shows them satirically. He particularly attacks politicians and there lack of leadership and decision making. He includes utopian lands to once again emphasize what Europe and England lack. Swift tries to show that we are all animals at heart, and sometimes not as intelligent as shown. ...read more.

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