Essay on Use of Satire in Jonathan Swift's Gulliver's Travels

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Effective Use of Satire in Gulliver's Travels       


Jonathan Swift's story, Gulliver's Travels, is a very clever story. It recounts the fictitious journey of a fictitious man named Lemuel Gulliver, and his travels to the fantasy lands of Lilliput, Brobdinag, Laputa, and Houyhnhmn land. When one first reads his accounts in each of these lands, one may believe that they are reading humorous accounts of fairy-tale-like lands that are intended to amuse children. When one reads this story in the light of it being a satire, the stories are still humorous, but one realizes that Swift was making a public statement about the affairs of England and of the human race as a whole.


In the
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These people take all of his possessions for inspection, for they are in awe and fear of his great size. They feed him, and soon untie him but still keep him in confinement. While in his confinement, he is visited by the emperor who likes Gulliver. Gulliver learns there language and the customs of the people of Lilliput. In this book Swift, by describing the ludicrous system that Lilliput's government fashions in, is satirizing the English system of governing. He uses parallels that seem absurd at first glance but make more senses when looked at carefully.


When Gulliver reaches the land of Brobdinag, he finds himself in the exact opposite situation that he was in when in Lilliput. In Brobdinag, it is Gulliver who is the tiny person, and the inhabitants of that land who appear to be giants. Gulliver expects these "giants to be monsters", but soon finds that they are a peaceful race of people, who live in a sort of peace-loving land. Swift was playing on all people's fear of being frightened by those who appear different looking or more powerful.


In recounting third journey, Gulliver visits the land of Laputa. The stories that are contained within are a satire on specific figures and policies of the British government of the period in which Swift lived. This is probably, out of all of the parts of this story that are commonly read today, the least widely read. This is because most people today do not know of
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