Jonathan Swift is one of the best known satirists in the history of literature. When one reads his works, especially something like Gulliver’s Travels, it is easy for one to spot the misanthropic themes, which emerge within his characterization. Lamuel Gulliver is an excellent protagonist: a keen observer, and a good representative of his native England, but one who loses faith in mankind as his story progresses. He ends up in remote areas of the world all by accidents in his voyages. In each trip, he is shipwrecked and mysteriously arrives to lands never before seen by men. This forms an interesting rhythm in the novel: as Gulliver is given more and more responsibility, he tends to be less and less in control.
In his encounter with the Lilliputians, Gulliver shows himself to be kind, honorable, and generous. Despite the Lilliputians are prideful, greedy, and cruel in response to him; he always manages to be peaceful with them. For example, when the Lilliputians and the people of Blefuscu (the British and the French in reality) go to war, Gulliver ties a knot to each of the Blefuscan ships and brings them together to the Lilliputian king. Then both of the countries negotiate and settle peace. Thus, Gulliver stops the friction between the two countries and establishes everlasting peace. This marks a characteristic of wisdom within Gulliver and the apple on his shield signifies this quality.
We must always take into account that this novel was written at a time when England was a world power that was dominant in remote parts of the world, such as India, the Caribbean, and America. Gulliver is a good representative of England, but one who loses faith in mankind as the story progresses. The visit to Brobdingnag accounts for most of this misery, where he attempts to preserve his dignity as an English man. Gulliver becomes exactly the controversial figure of what he was in Lilliput. In this case, the Brobdingnagians remain peaceful with him, yet he is prideful. The flag of Gulliver’s homeland, England, on the coat of arms illustrates pride.
Yet due to his pride for his native England, in the country of the Houyhnhnms, Gulliver is gradually driven mad by his realization that he can never hope to achieve the state of existence of the supremely rational, noble Houyhnhnms. Even...