"Gulliver's Travels" by Swift

Essay by Alex2High School, 12th gradeA+, January 1996

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As a seemingly wise and educated man, throughout the novel Gulliver's Tarvels, the narrator cleverly gains the reader's respect as a thinking and observant individual. With this position in mind, the comments and ideas that Gulliver inflicts upon those reading about his journeys certainly have their own identity as they coincide with his beliefs and statements on the state of humanity and civilization in particular. Everywhere Gulliver goes, he seems to comment on the good and bad points of the people he encounters. Sometimes, he finds a civilization that he can find virtues within, but he also encounters peoples and places which truly diusgust him in their manner of operation and civility. Overall, Swift gives Gulliver a generally negative and cynical attitude towards the manner in which his current day English counterparts behaved cleverly disguised in the subtext of his encounters with other nations that either contrasted the way they lived, or mirrored unflatteringly his contemporaries lifestyles.

In Gulliver's first voyage to Lilliput, his role as the town giant not only put into perspective the selfishness and unrelenting need for power of the human race, but also opened his eyes to the untrusting and ungrateful nature of those aforementioned. When he first arrived in their land, the Lilliputians opted to tie him up, giving him no freedom, which he luckily did not object to. Then, once they had developed a somewhat symbiotic realationship with him, Gulliver was basically forced to abide to their whims and fancies, and ultimately to be their tool in war. At any time, Gulliver could have escaped their grasp, but instead, he opted to stay and observe and oblige to their customs. He was a very agreeable guest. He did tricks for them, he saved their princess from her burning castle, he defeated their mortal enemies,