Essay Satire in Jonathan Swift´s Gulliver's Travels

Essay Satire in Jonathan Swift´s Gulliver's Travels

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In the early eighteenth-century, Irish writer Jonathan Swift produced one of the most printed novels known to date. The novel, Gulliver’s Travels, not only received recognition for being reprinted an immense amount of time, but also for the satire found within the novel. Swift intended his novel to be used as a scapegoat in which he would reveal his opinion on the English society. Swift was able to demonstrate this satire through the four part plot of Gulliver’s Travels. Each part of the novel told the journey of the protagonist and focal character, Lemuel Gulliver, to an unknown island. Lemuel Gulliver spent a majority of his life bouncing around from place to place until settling in London as a practicing doctor. Once Gulliver’s business in London failed due to the death of his partner, he made the decision to travel at sea for the following six years. Gulliver’s restlessness caused his crave for adventure, leading him on a journey to various islands. Gulliver tells the story of these journeys to the islands as the narrator. Swift uses Gulliver’s journey to three islands Lilliput, Brobdingnag, and Laputa to scrutinize and satirize humanity, often referring to England, and with Gulliver’s encounters with the habitants of these islands, Swift is able to construct Englishness.
Swift wrote Gulliver’s Travels at a time when England was embarking on a journey it had not been on before. During the five years Swift wrote Gulliver’s Travels, he was able to observe the changes England was encountering and connect his story to the story England was creating for itself. England’s fleet gave the small country dominance over the rest of Europe, giving rise too not only military power, but economic as well. This rise in power gave England a ch...


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... backbone for his satirical novel. Through the adventures of the main character, Lemuel Gulliver, Swift was able to comment on the English society through the use of satire. As the novel progressed, the audience learned that Gulliver journeyed to several islands encountering unfamiliar groups of people and cultures. Swift would connect the experiences Gulliver encountered to different aspects of the English society. The unfamiliar societies Gulliver became acquainted with represent the new countries and their communities that England colonized. The way the communities of Lilliput, Brobdingnag, and Laputia treated Gulliver imitates the way the English treated an unfamiliar face, and it was only through each island’s society and Gulliver’s experiences that Jonathan Swift could create a parallel to England constructing satire in his famous novel Gulliver’s Travels.





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