Saturated With Satire Essay

2346 words - 10 pages

The tale of “Gulliver’s Travels” has been used as a children’s story since it was published in 1726 at the height of the Enlightenment period in Europe. Many people of all ages have enjoyed this story because of its unique fictional characters and the exciting and bizarre turn of events that faced the main character, Gulliver. Although it serves well as an amusing children’s story, this was not author Jonathan Swift’s sole intention. The novel’s humor is rich with sarcasm and satire critiquing religion, politics, and humanity. Every outlandish character, scene and event that occurs played an important role in exposing his strong thoughts and opinions. Swift uses this novel as a vent for his frustration concerning disagreements with English politics and religious conflicts. However, he also felt that he must share with others the faults that he believed existed within society. He used the first two books in this novel to show the reader his strong opposition to the direction of humanity, European politics, and the battles between religious sects.
Rotten Eggs
The Empires of Lilliput and Blefuscu were surprisingly once on common terms with each other. As Swift described these products of his imagination, they cooperated together without any conflicts or disagreements, nearly as a single empire. However, this all changed with one misinterpretation. Swift uses this conflict between Lilliput and Blefuscu as his first example of satire. Here, and several more times throughout the novel, Swift uses satire and allusion to form his first of many opinions in the novel.
The empires of Lilliput and Blefuscu were split in a hard war over the simple task of breaking an egg. Prior to any conflict, the two empires were subject to the ancient practice of breaking eggs from the large end. Gulliver soon finds out that the prolonged rivalry and how it was initiated by the Majesty of the Lilliputins because when he was a child his grandfather cut his finger by breaking the egg at the large end. He decided to do away with the ancient practice of breaking with the large end and instead only break eggs from the small end. This separated the two empires into the Little-Endians and the Big-Endians and caused a total war to engage. Reldresal continues to explain, in stoic seriousness, the “eleven thousand persons” who have been killed and the “bloody war” that stemmed from the conflict.
However, the sole purpose of the war is not in the fact that Lilliputins wish to break their eggs from the small end, but more in the fact that the Emperors of Blefuscu believe that the Lilliputins are offending the fundamental doctrine of the Brundecral, the sacred document of their prophet Lustrog. Blefuscu blames them for “making a schism in religion” and going against what their prophet has already declared.
Swift introduces his trend of satire when he first uses a very serious tone to describe this seemingly ridiculous conflict. However, it quickly evolves into a very clear attack...

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