Analysis Of ' Gulliver 's Travels

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Even in today’s society, jokes about the repercussions of educating women find their way into the popular culture, though they are generally very tongue-in-cheek. For example, in Pitch Perfect 2, a recent film, a comedic-relief, narrating character says of the girls’ acapella performance, “This is what happens when you send girls to college” (Pitch Perfect 2). The character implies that when girls are given education and freedom, they will default to partaking in foolish behavior. This was a common idea in the eighteenth century as people legitimately denied women schooling based on such a concept. In the last paragraph on page 55 of Gulliver’s Travels (1726), Swift comments on the education and roles of women in Lilliputian society using specific word choice and juxtaposition of male and female schooling. With this, he asserts that, while the Lilliputians regarded women with similar gender-based expectations as the English, they did offer women some form of equality through the basis of education. This, of course, contrasts the treatment of women in European society which feared that female education would empower women to leave behind their traditional roles. Through his addressal of the fact that women can be educated and still “succeed” as mothers and wives, Swift presents that society could benefit from teaching girls basic information while still keeping them in their customary places.
For instance, he comments that Chambermaids practiced “common Follies” (Swift 55).
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