The book Gulliver’s Travel is a parody of science fiction. The witty dialogues and storyline created a subtle plot that mocks the vices human behavior. It deals with political ambitions of man, physical attributes, intellectual and moral aspects. As such, this story is a comedy masterpiece that tackles about stupidities of humanity. Mainly, the whole storyline was a satire itself, inspired by Swift’s pitiful social life. During his time, England was ruled by two opposing political parties of Tories and Whigs.
His father was an Englishman who died upon his birth, after that his own mother abandoned him. He solely became dependent on his uncle to have a decent education and became the greatest writer of satirical fiction. Another interesting feature of this novel are the satirical comments incorporated by Swift to criticize the prevailing tradition amongst European courts during his time; for example, the Emperor of Lilliput would hold a stick for the honorary candidates to jump and creep on it. Swift argues that honor must not be bestowed on the people not worthy of having it, just because they managed to amuse the ruler of the land. Below is an excerpt from Part 1 of Chapter 3:
“Whoever performs his part with most agility, and holds out the longest in leaping and creeping, is rewarded with the blue-colored silk; the red is given to the next, and the green to the third, which they all wear girt twice round about the middle; and you see few great persons about this court who are not adorned with one of these girdles.” (Swift and Manis 29-30)
The King of Brobdingnag made a powerful comment based on his presumptions towards Englishmen after listening on Gulliver’s tale, as cited the from Part 2, Chapter 6.
“I cannot but conclude the bulk of your natives to be the most pernicious race of little odious vermin that nature ever suffered to crawl upon the surface of the earth.” (Swift and Manis 120).
Furthermore, Swift also mocks the educational system of his time through Gulliver. After his visit from the Lagado Academy, he noticed how the teachers are engrossed in their pursuits of to seek wisdom. Many people are starving in hunger whilst residing in old, ruined buildings without anything, whilst the philosophers tried futile attempts to uncover hidden knowledge. Their selfish intentions made them totally blind on the outside suffering surrounding them. Classicreader.com provided an excerpt of Part 3, Chapter 6.
“There is nothing so extravagant and irrational, which some philosophers have not maintained for truth.” (Swift and Manis 170)
In addition, as seen in Part 4, Chapter 5, Swift makes a candid political remark about corruption in the society, its negative impacts on the government and to its own citizens. Contrary to the laws of England, Houyhnhnm uses its laws to provide people with decent living. As cited from classicreader.com, the author states that:
“I said there was a society of men among us, bred up from their youth in the art of proving by words multiplied for the purpose, that white is black, and black is white, according as they are paid. To this society all the rest of the people are slaves.” (Swift and Manis 227)
The whole novel itself was a product of artistry and personal experiences by which the addition of such fearless comments and insights adds more meaning and realism to the novel.
Swift, Jonathan and Jim Manis. Gulliver’s Travel. Pennsylvania: Electronic Classic Series, 2013. 29-30, 120, 170, 227, E-book. < http://www2.hn.psu.edu/faculty/jmanis/swift/g~travel.pdf>
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