Perceptions Of Satire In Gulliver's Travels

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Satire speaks differently

Gulliver’s travels is a story discusses the sociable cases and humanity by the satire of the situations and events. The story has been written in 1726 in United Kingdom by one of the greatest British writers and satires called Jonathan Swift. The satires used the satire to discuss many issues in England this times by some different travels and characters and uses a narrator called Lemuel Gulliver to express about his views and experience in English society by making a reflection on another states not from the real world. This paper argue the satire of Gulliver’s travels in Lilliput, Brobdingnag and Houyhnhnm.

First, when Gulliver’s travels has been written England was the most powerful country all over the world. It had a big army and navy. England used this options to conquer other countries in the world and British search for new areas to control them. In this time English people knew new civilizations in the world. From this sight Lilliputians consider as the first new civilization although it did not follow England before. Swift mentioned to the tall of Lilliputians is only six inches and that was pathetic for Gulliver, a person from the greatest country all over the world ‘England’ becomes a prisoner for Lilliputians. In this point swift asking about the pride of his country England. From the unity of Lilliputians a large number of small people can take a large man to the prison. The question is if the colonies of British can unit to do great things like that. In chapter three the king decided to give Gulliver some entertainment by showing him their tradition court.

The tradition is those who asks for an honourable positions have to compute with others competitors by walking to the middle of a string which has a highest by two and half feet. All competitors should jump as high as they can. Whoever has the highest jump he is the successful. Form Swift’s opinion the process of hiring the high level officials by this completion is totally similar to the system in England. I think he was making fun of the system of hiring officials in England and described the ambitious as a danger because jumping badly maybe lead to death. Also, in this chapter, Swift made a fun of the English armies when the army crossed under Gulliver’s legs. He wants to say that armies interested in the sight of impressive more than being impressive. In chapter four, Swift mocking form the war between England and France. It is similar conflict like the conflict between Lilliputians and Blefuscudians. Their conflict about how to break the egg off and that goes to the Protestants and Catholics in England and France. It is a religious war and the war for religions from Swift’s point of view like the conflict of how to break the egg off. In chapter five, Gulliver works as a fire engine to quench palace’s fire. But without water he urinated on the palace to controls the fire.

Swift wants to say that someone should urinate on the problems of society. That means the royalty can be stay for a bit of time and if the royal court could be damaged by fire. So, any royal or political power can be damaged also by any types of serious issue. And when it takes place someone tried to control on it by any cost. Gulliver proved this point when all people tried to control on fire with their tiny buckets and he released that the only way to quench the fire is urinating. Swift showing the funny part of royalty. Although Gulliver saved the royal palace but he made it in a dirty way. Most of time in the novel Swift used the satire to mocking something negative in the English society and that is happened when Gulliver tells anything wrong of a society. For example, in Lilliput lying is a crime and Swift wants to say that lying is worse more than any other crimes in British society. I see that goes to what Isabel Stanley said before about Swift when she said that:

‘Swift makes fun of events in England in the alien lands that Gulliver goes to. In all the courts visited by Gulliver, he sees the falsification of ministers and guardians corrupt or being dealt with in small conflicts’.

Second, after Gulliver escaped from Lilliput to Brobdingnag. He sold to the royal majesty and did some political conversations with the king of Brobdingnag. But the king did not consider Gulliver’s point of view as an important opinion because he is very small besides of the idea of getting the authority by gun is an unfavourable idea for the king. After some days of discussions about the governments in both countries England and Brobdingnag. The king describes the British Government when he said that:

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“Race of little malignant insects like the infuriating Fermin that the Earth has suffered ever more.” The king said that after Gulliver tried to influence him by bragging at the history of United Kingdom. That is so clear and Gulliver proved that in his say:

‘He was so surprised by the historical narrative I gave to him about our affairs during the last century, and he protested. It was nothing but a pile of conspiracies, rebellions, killings, massacres, revolts, deportations and the worst effects that could be caused by greed, factions, hypocrisy, treachery, cruelty, anger, madness, hatred, hatred, lust and ambition’.

However, the gunpowder proves the power and represents the powerful achievements. But Brobdingnag’s king can see the negative effect of gunpowder and assumes that the positive sides can be washed away by the negative or bad side. Swift wants to implement that because someone can do this goal by gun but it will bring many damages.

Third, in this part Gulliver travels to a country called Houyhnhnm. In this country, he sees a group of human-like creatures but a shame called Yahoos. They live like cattle and the superior creature among them is named Houyhnhnms. In Houyhnhnm land Gulliver tries to make himself far away from Yahoos. On the other hand, when Gulliver went to Brobdingnag and explained the English society to the king. The king described the English people as despicable creatures that Gulliver tried to defend the sons of the whole. But this time there is something different. Gulliver explains some appalling aspects of human nature. Here Swift shows his readers the results of losing a lot of graces such as feeling, education, intelligence, express opinion, and consultation. Houyhnhnms always meet to discuss their issues and the writer mentioned to that when he said:

‘Big talk in the General Assembly of Houyhnhnms. How it was determined. Their learning process. Their buildings. The way that they are buried. Defects of their language ‘.

In these chapters Gulliver compared doctors to greedy people who would kill the patient once he was treated. I think he mentioned to that because Gulliver spent many years working as a surgeon before. Also, Gulliver told his boss about ways to deal with horses in English society and his boss could not believe that. The same thing in the English society no-one could not believe that there is a country where horses lead humans. In Houyhnhnm, horses have the virtue and intelligence about humans and Yahoos differ from them in appearance only but enjoy with the same ethics. Swift tries here to show a comparison between the best and the worst in human nature. Swift shows a similarity between both governments in England and Houyhnhnm. When the grey horse attends the big gathering I think that reflects the meritocracy system. And Houyhnhnms were discussed the issue of dispossessing Jews. This is exactly what happened in England when Swift’s time when the native people tried to exterminated the colonized people. But they had to rethink over and over in alternative ways of rearranging society.

Gulliver travelled to many countries such as Lilliput, Brobdingnag and Houyhnhnm. He mentioned to situations and events in essence carry certain messages in each state he went to it. Each time he become in a different culture and shows the bad and good aspects of each culture compared to the real world. So, Swift’s thoughts are absolutely true.

Works cited

  1. Brackett, Virginia. “Gulliver’s Travels.” Encyclopaedia of the British Novel, 2-Volume Set, Second Edition, Facts on File, 2013. Bloom’s Literature, online.infobase.com/Auth/Index?aid=&itemid=&articleId=9826. [Accessed 10 Mar. 2019].
  2. DeGategno, Paul J., and R. Jay Stubblefield. “Gulliver’s Travels.” Critical Companion to Jonathan Swift, Facts on File, 2006. Bloom’s Literature, online.infobase.com/Auth/Index?aid=&itemid=&articleId=18340. [Accessed 9 Mar. 2019].
  3. Stanley, Isabel B. “Gulliver’s Travels.” Master plots II: Juvenile & Young Adult Fiction Series, Mar. 1991, pp. 1–2. EBSCOhost, search.ebscohost.com/login.aspx?direct=true&db=lfh&AN=103331JYF11649270000166&site=lrc-live. [Accessed 9 Mar. 2019].

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Perceptions Of Satire In Gulliver’s Travels. (2021, August 27). Edubirdie. Retrieved January 28, 2022, from https://edubirdie.com/examples/perceptions-of-satire-in-gullivers-travels/
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Perceptions Of Satire In Gulliver’s Travels. [online]. Available at: <https://edubirdie.com/examples/perceptions-of-satire-in-gullivers-travels/> [Accessed 28 Jan. 2022].
Perceptions Of Satire In Gulliver’s Travels [Internet]. Edubirdie. 2021 Aug 27 [cited 2022 Jan 28]. Available from: https://edubirdie.com/examples/perceptions-of-satire-in-gullivers-travels/
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