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Essay/Term paper: Gullivers travels

Essay, term paper, research paper:  College Papers

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Jonathan Swift wrote Gulliver^s Travels in 1762 with the intent of
entertaining many people. Entertainment through satire is what Swift
had in mind. This was accomplished when Bantam Books first published
his tales in 1962. It was again published by Bantam Books in 1981, New
York, New York being the place of publication.
To fully understand Gulliver^s Travels, one must first reflect
upon the following: the plot, character, setting, theme,
point of view, conflict, climax, resolution, symbolism, and figurative
language. These ideas will help the reader comprehend some of the
ideas portrayed throughout the novel, as well as why Swift wrote them.
The setting plays an important role in all novels, but in
Gulliver^s Travels, one must take into consideration that the
four different parts of the book have different settings. The first
setting is more or less on an island called Lilliput, on November 5,
1699. Gulliver ended up on this island due to a ship wreck. The
setting to the second part of the novel happens to be upon his arrival
to another island that Gulliver wishes to inspect for water. This was
on the 16th of June, 1703. The third part of the book has many
different little scenes. The first of which takes place on Laputa an
island of deformed creatures. The fourth and final part of the book
takes place in the country of Houyhnhnms, in 1711.
The main character, Gulliver, is a well educated sailor. He
has been recommended to be a surgeon. Traveling around the
world, exploring new places, Gulliver meets many new cultures and
civilizations. Gulliver wears clothes not uncommon to the 1700^s. He
has long hair, that sometimes restricts him from turning his head.
Gulliver is a round character. This can be seen when he refers to past
experiences during an adventure. This means that he can compare the
two situations, thus learning from it. There are many minor
characters. Easier referred to by the names of their people. Them
being: the small Lilliputians, the giant Brobdingnags, the creatures
at Lugnagg and Balnibarbi, with the islands of Laputa and
Blubdrubdrib. And finally, the Yahoos and Houyhnhnms. Gulliver^s
stories are told in the first person by himself.
Some very important symbols are used throughout the novel to
depict some very important ideas. One of these symbols would
be when Gulliver relieves himself on the Lilliputians royal castle to
put out a fire. It seems, as though how silly something may seem, it
just might be an answer to an important problem. A second symbol
clearly seen is the relationship to the Yahoos and the Houyhnhnms.
This is easily perceived as a representation of the relationship to
horses and humans. The superiority of the horses in the novel shows
how, although different, they may just be as smart, if not smarter than
the owner.
Some very important themes that the reader may have picked up
on can be very helpful. One of these themes is that no matter
how small something is, it is not inferior. Gulliver stayed with the
Lilliputians for a very long time. The fact that they were only six
inches tall did not mean that he could do anything he wanted around or
to them. Another theme that the reader should have got is that no
matter how large something is, it still has to have a small amount of
brains. The giants in the second part were very tall, but nowhere did
the book say that they were very smart.
There are many different conflicts throughout the novel as
well. Some of these being internal, and others being
external. One of the internal conflicts can be seen when Gulliver is
tied down by the Lilliputians. Gulliver has a chance to snatch up many
of the little creatures, but knows that they will most likely shoot him
with needle-like arrows. An external conflict is between Gulliver^s
crew against nature. Many times Gulliver gets blown off course by a
storm or has his boat overturned by waves. This is an example of human
against nature.
Some of the literary devices that Swift uses in Gulliver^s
Travels are satire and irony. Swift wrote the novel as a
parody of travel books and an indictment of mankind; it is revered as
a charming children^s story. The ironies Swift intended to be
recognized-the small-mindedness of the tiny Lilliputians, the physical
and moral abnormality of the giant Brobdingnagians, and the perfect
animalizing of the filthy manlike Yahoos (far inferior to the placid
horses they work for)-are often ignored or dismissed.
After considering all of this, the reader should have a better
understanding of the novel. Being able to pay a greater
attention to the details of a novel always helps one understand the
greater, more broad ideas following them. Jonathan Swift was a
magnificent author. Without his Gulliver^s Travels, there would be a
great gap in the art of Literature.


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