Our Man Lemuel Essay

623 words - 2 pages

Our Man Lemuel By the end of Book II in Gulliver's Travels, it is very clear that the character of Gulliver is not the same man who wrote the letter in the beginning of the story. In fact, he is not the same man he was in Book I. From the onset of Gulliver's Travels, Swift creates for us a seemingly competent character and narrator in Gulliver. In his account we learn how his adventures have changed him and his perception of people, for the central theme of this story is how human nature and reason reflect society. On the whole, Gulliver is a very frustrating character to deal with for a number of reasons. For example, he's not steady; this unsteadiness as a narrator leads us to question the validity of what Gulliver tells us. This means that we have to be on our guard against what he says, and even though he's our guide, we can't follow him everywhere, which is just what Swift wanted. Gulliver makes many apologies for himself and his actions and puts us the reader emotionally involved in the story. Gulliver seems to direct a good deal of hostility toward us, creating a tinge of hostility back at him. Ultimately, Gulliver works as a narrator because we can relate to him and as a result find him engaging. We too can jump from emotion to emotion, but in the long run, Swift is not attempting to create an Everyman. This Gulliver is not, by any means a wholly allegorical character, but as much an individual as the next person. In certain ways, Gulliver proves to be more resilient than the average man by managing to survive the disaster shipwrecks and people so foreign they might as well be aliens. Still in other ways Gulliver is a naïve person, bereft of decency and...

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