• Join over 1.2 million students every month
  • Accelerate your learning by 29%
  • Unlimited access from just £6.99 per month

Jonathan Swift's Gulliver's Travel is probably the most widely read political satire ever.

Extracts from this document...

Introduction

Jonathan Swift's Gulliver's Travel is probably the most widely read political satire ever. On the surface, it appears simple and straightforward, a mere travelogue intended for children, it, proves, upon closer examination, to be a critical and insightful work satirizing the political and social systems of eighteenth-century England. Gulliver's Travel is the travel account of a ship surgeon, Lemuel Gulliver, who finds himself castaway on the island of Lilliput, where the inhabitants were just six inches tall and his consequent travels to Brobdingnag-the land of giants, Laputa-the land of mathematics and music and finally to the country of Houyhnhnms-horses with reasoning and rationality, who lived with the brutish Yahoos. When we analyse Gulliver's Travel, we have to keep in mind the period in which Swift wrote it and that the events which occurred then had a profound influence over his work. Many of the comparisons might not be relevant or hold true today. My analysis throws light on the relevance and reference of his story in the time that it was written. ...read more.

Middle

The would-be officials are almost literally forced to jump through hoops in order to qualify for their positions. This is was an attack on England's system of political appointments that was similarly arbitrary. The story narrated by Gulliver coincides with European history exactly. The two political parties of the Lilliputians, the High Heels and the Low Heels correspond to the Whigs and Tories of English polity. The two political parties being differentiated by the height of their heels points out how little substantive difference there was between Whig and Tory. Lilliput and Belfuscu represent England and France. By signing off European history as a series of brutal wars over meaningless and insignificant disagreements, Swift implies that the differences between Whigs and Tories and France and England are equally silly and meaningless as how one chooses to crack an egg. This has implications in today's world, with the Catholics and Protestants, the various religious fundamentalists and The most ironical criticism of European civilization occurs when, after offering the secret of gunpowder to the King and his subsequent horrified refusal, Gulliver declares the King to possess "narrow principles and short views!" ...read more.

Conclusion

The point is emphasised when Gulliver professes his admiration for projects such as extracting sunbeams from cucumber and building houses from the roof down. Swift attacks both the lack of common sense and the result of corrupt judgement. Gulliver's final destination was the land of Houyhnhnms, where Houyhnhnms represent perfect reason, untouched by irrationality or excessive emotions. Yahoo, who look and act like humans stripped of reasoning, casts a light on the defects of human nature. Swift moves from veiled attacks to rather direct blows to the subjects of war, which is destruction clad in the pretext of valour and patriotism, lawyers, a lot of social parasites, who measure their worth by their dexterity at deception, thus inhibiting justice, and money, which feeds the greed of few by the labour and poverty of many. Towards the conclusion of the novel, the Swift through Gulliver describes his total rejection of European government and society. He longs for an ideal country such as the land of Houyhnhnms to live in. Swift was one of the many Europeans who were unhappy with the political and social environment in Europe. This led to migration to the New World, America-the land of Houyhnhnms, was what many unhappy Europeans hoped it to be. ...read more.

The above preview is unformatted text

This student written piece of work is one of many that can be found in our AS and A Level Jonathan Swift section.

Found what you're looking for?

  • Start learning 29% faster today
  • 150,000+ documents available
  • Just £6.99 a month

Not the one? Search for your essay title...
  • Join over 1.2 million students every month
  • Accelerate your learning by 29%
  • Unlimited access from just £6.99 per month

See related essaysSee related essays

Related AS and A Level Jonathan Swift essays

  1. Swift's main purpose in Gulliver's Travels.

    In the grand Academy of Lagado once again, Gulliver disappointedly rejects the values that the political scientists believe are necessary for proper governing: In the School of political Projectors I was but ill entertained; the Professors appearing in my Judgement wholly out of their senses.

  2. Gulliver's Travels - How Does Jonathon Swift use satire to show up the time ...

    The native Blefescu or France, are breaking their eggs the opposite side. This leads to war. Between these years Britain was at war with France. So this is an indirect comparison. People which didn't comply in the story were exiled and for what?

  1. Human Nature in Gulliver's Travels

    First of all, there is the "considerable Person at Court" who risked his life to "[come] to my [Gulliver] House very privately at Night in a close Chair" so in order to let Gulliver know of the Lilliputian government's intrigue to murder him.

  2. Satire and Colonialism in the eighteenth century: 'A Modest Proposal' and 'Gulliver's Travels'

    The king rules and although he is not the smartest, everyone listens to him. Maybe Swift was expressing his thoughts about the English aristocracy and he is again satirising the queen of England When Gulliver starts to explain to the king of Brobdignag what England is like, the king is

  1. A Feminist Approach on Jonathan Swift's "Gulliver Travels"

    Actually, considering the century in which Swift lived, his views are extraordinary and differ drastically from the views of most of his contemporaries. Jonathan Swift's writings convey that he believed that women should hold a larger role in English society.

  2. Gulliver's Travels Essay

    At last I beheld several animals in a field, and one or two of the same kind sitting in trees. Their shape was very singular and deformed, which a little discomposed me, so that I lay down behind a thicket to observe them better.

  1. Based On Your Reading Of Gulliver's Travels, To What Extent Do You Agree That ...

    However at the end of this voyage Gulliver sees what happens to them when they get extremely older then normal, they get even more deformed in proportion to their age, and are hated by all the other people, and he decide that he would rather die then live forever.

  2. Guillivers Travels. In this essay I will discuss all 4 voyages in which ...

    The Lilliputians are at war with the neighbouring island of Blefuscu who in fact represents in real terms England and France during Swift?s time. They have been fighting a war for ?six and thirty moons past? (Jonathon Swift 1972 4: 34)

  • Over 160,000 pieces
    of student written work
  • Annotated by
    experienced teachers
  • Ideas and feedback to
    improve your own work