March 21, 2010
Jonathan’s Swift Gulliver’s Travels is a portrayal of how human society existed during the eighteenth century.“Gulliver’s Travels” satirizes human society, in the description of the exotic places that Gulliver visits in his travels, and the culture of the inhabitants in these places. Each voyage shows a different flaw of human society, until the last voyage, where there is the strongest attack on human nature, and the voyage that finally kills Gulliver’s ideals. In his work, Jonathan Swift criticizesaspects of his country, the female sex, human nature, and the goverment of the time period in his novel.
Jonathan Swift Gulliver’s Travels portrays the ideal man in human society of his time period. Gulliver is full of optimism and rationality and very naive about how the world really operates. He believes in the absolute justice of the court system, the principles of congress, and the holinessof the church. Gulliver is everything that Swift detests in English society. A character that is completely blind to all the flaws in the society he lives in. During his voyage to Brobdingnag Gulliver describes his country to the king, as follows:
I began my discourse by informing his majesty that our dominions consisted of two islands, which composed three mighty kingdoms under one sovereign,beside our
plantations in America. I dwelt long upon the fertility of our soil, and the temperature of our climate. I then spoke at large upon the constitution of an English parliament, partly made up of an illustrious body called the House of Peers, persons of the noblestblood , and the most ancient, and ample patrimonies. I described the extraordinary care always taken for their education in arts, and arms, to qualify them for being counselors to the king, and kingdom, to have a share in the legislature, to be members of the highest Court of Judicature, from whence there could be no appeal, and to be champions always ready for the defense of their prince, andtheir country, by their valor, conduct, and felicity. (Swift 142)
Gulliver believes his country to be without equal in the world, and is blinded to all the problems facing English society of at the time period. People go hungry in the streets, while the court and parliament are full of corrupt officials that feed of the people. Real English society during the time period was not so elegant, orideal. Society during Jonathan’s time period was full corrupt English ministers, and England had been in constant wars for the last few centuries.
Swift created Gulliver to be a person that would be easily admired by an eighteen century audience. (Marlowe 1) As Marlowe points out; Gulliver is,” a decent sort of person: hopeful, simple, fairly direct, and full of good will. He is a scientist, atrained doctor, and, as any good scientist should, he loves detail. His literal-minded attitude makes him a keen observer of the world around him. Furthermore, he is, like another famous novel character of the eighteenth century—Robinson Crusoe—encouragingly resourceful in emergencies.” (Marlowe 2) He is a character that everyone grows to like because of his confidence, and good nature, but he hasRubio 3
serious flaws. He is blinded by his goodness, he did not see the evil in the world around him, and as a consequence never did anything to help it.
During his travels throughout the world, Gulliver meets many characters that challenge,...