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Satire In Jonathan Swift´S Gulliver's Travels

2236 words - 9 pages

In the early eighteenth-century, Irish writer Jonathan Swift produced one of the most printed novels known to date. The novel, Gulliver’s Travels, not only received recognition for being reprinted an immense amount of time, but also for the satire found within the novel. Swift intended his novel to be used as a scapegoat in which he would reveal his opinion on the English society. Swift was able to demonstrate this satire through the four part plot of Gulliver’s Travels. Each part of the novel told the journey of the protagonist and focal character, Lemuel Gulliver, to an unknown island. Lemuel Gulliver spent a majority of his life bouncing around from place to place until settling in London as a practicing doctor. Once Gulliver’s business in London failed due to the death of his partner, he made the decision to travel at sea for the following six years. Gulliver’s restlessness caused his crave for adventure, leading him on a journey to various islands. Gulliver tells the story of these journeys to the islands as the narrator. Swift uses Gulliver’s journey to three islands Lilliput, Brobdingnag, and Laputa to scrutinize and satirize humanity, often referring to England, and with Gulliver’s encounters with the habitants of these islands, Swift is able to construct Englishness.
Swift wrote Gulliver’s Travels at a time when England was embarking on a journey it had not been on before. During the five years Swift wrote Gulliver’s Travels, he was able to observe the changes England was encountering and connect his story to the story England was creating for itself. England’s fleet gave the small country dominance over the rest of Europe, giving rise too not only military power, but economic as well. This rise in power gave England a chance to expand, bringing the country to the beginning of colonization. Through colonization England came in contact with a variety of new people, places, and things that had a different mean of existence then the English were accustomed too. The beginning of colonization for England was the muse in Swift’s idea to have the character Gulliver travel to new islands and come in contact with unfamiliar faces. It is through Gulliver’s encounters with these new civilizations that Swift is able to construct Englishness.
Lemuel Gulliver’s decision to take a job at sea for the following six years embarked him on the first of many journeys aboard the Antelope. Unfortunately, the Antelope was caught in a violent storm killing most of the crew, leaving the remaining crewmembers, including Gulliver, to escape on a rowboat. As if tragedy did not already strike, Gulliver lost his companions but was able to swim ashore. Amidst his arrival to the unknown island, his exhaustion caused him to fall asleep. Gulliver woke up in an environment he did not recognize for he found himself surrounded by dozens of six-inch tall people. The little people, who Gulliver learned to be the Lilliputians, were tying him up and carrying him to their...

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