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Literary Devices of Gulliver's Travels
Transcript of Literary Devices of Gulliver's Travels
designed by Péter Puklus for Prezi
There are many settings in Gulliver's Travels such as: England, Lilliput, Brobdingnag, Laputa, Balnibarbi, Luggnagg, Glubbdubdrib, Japan, and Houyhnhnm's Land.
In Lilliput he describes town as a "painted scene of a city in a theatre"(I.ii.35). This could give you the image of a beautiful town that is no bigger than a theatre. Swift gives good detailed descriptions of each of the settings which helps you feel that you are there with him.
Point of View
The point of view is first person because it is told by Gulliver himself.
"I should have lived happy enough in that country, if my littleness had not exposed me to several ridiculous and troublesome accidents, some of which I shall venture to relate"(II.v.120). In Brobdingnag he expresses his thoughts that if he wasn't little in this country he would like it here and would avoid accidents. The point of view affects the readability of this book because when he is telling the story from Gulliver's point of view, it helps understand his thoughts and feelings about his adventure.
Swift uses characterization to help introduce new characters in the story that Gulliver meets.
"My mistress had a daughter nine years old, a child of forward parts for her age, very dextrous at her needle, and skilful in dressing her baby... To her I chiefly owe my preservation in that country: we never parted while I was there; I called her my Glumdalclitch, or little nurse"(II.ii.100-101). Swift introduces Glumdalclitch not just as the daughter of the master who likes playing with dolls, but the one person who truly helped take care of Gulliver in Brobdingnag. She plays an important role in teaching Gulliver the language of her people, which helps play a key role in being purchased by the Queen of Brobdingnag.
Swift uses personification in Part IV to give the Houyhnhnms human-like characteristics even though they are horses.
"I heard the word Yahoo often repeated betwixt them...and repeating the word hhuun, hhuun"(IV.ii.230). Swift gives the Houyhnhnms human-like characteristics to talk to each other and teach their language to Gulliver. The Houyhnhnms play a key role in the ending of Gulliver's adventure because he cannot stand the sight or smell of another human after learning the ways of the Houyhnhnms
Swift uses imagery in Gulliver's Travels to help give us a clear picture of what the people and setting of the story look like.
"Their heads were all reclined either to the right, or to the left; one of their eyes turned inward, and the other directly up to the zenith"(III.ii.162). Swift gives the reader a good description of what the Laputans look like and helps the reader get a clear picture of a Laputan in their mind. Imagery in Gulliver's Travels helps make it easily readable by catching the reader's attention with certain visuals and sounds that are described in the novel.
Gulliver in Lilliput
The Houyhnhnm talking to Gulliver
Swift uses satire to compare humans to the Houyhnhms. Swift says that they are rational creatures while humans are "brute." This satire changes the outcome of the story by making Gulliver hate humans.
"I dwell the longer upon this subject from the desire I have to make the society of an English Yahoo by any means not insupportable; and therefore I here entreat those who have any tincture of this absurd vice, that they will not presume to come in my sight"(IV.xii.295). From satire you can see that Gulliver has turned from the human race and wants to never see them. He points out human flaw, but yet no person is perfect, so it is a little too extreme to not ever see another human being.
I miss you guys!
Gulliver wishes to be back with the Houyhnhnms
Gulliver's Travels was published in 1726. Swift may have shown symbolism in part one when comparing the Lilliputians and the Blefuscu Empire. Back then the English and the French did not get along due to past wars and beliefs such as religion.
The war between the Blefusu and Lilliputians started because of "the primitive way of breaking eggs before eating them"(I.iv.54). The endnote refers that the "breaking of eggs" suggest the break from Catholocism to Protestant. The English were Protestants and the French were Catholics. They had differences and did not get along. That is what I believe is symbolic about about this war in part one.
England vs. France
For most of this story, I would say the tone would be calm because Swift is not just telling us a story, but talking to us. He says" It would not be proper, for some reasons, to trouble the reader with particulars of our adventures in those seas"(I.i.26).
At the beginning of the adventure he is a bit frightened about what he sees, but goes back to that calm tone. In the last chapter of the novel, the tone changes to paranoid and a hateful tone because he wants nothing to do with humans. It affects the readability because you are on your toes to know what happens to him when the natives of the islands are going to do with him.
In the novel, Swift often refers to places, events, people, or other literary works that can help us understand and compare to what Gulliver sees in his travels.
At Brobdingnag he uses an allusion to compare the King's oven to the cupola of St. Paul's Cathedral. "The great oven is not so wide by ten paces as the cupola at St. Paul's: for I measured the latter on purpose after my return"(II.iv.119). This allusion gives you a comparison of size that will help the reader understand just how big the oven is. Even though he is around 6 foot in height to compare the cupola of St. Paul's Cathedral which is 112 feet in diameter is describing a huge oven.
Cupola of St. Paul's Cathedral
I believe that Swift's theme for writing Gulliver's Travels is that, "too much pride can cause one to not be open to new ideas." At the end of the novel Gulliver is full of pride to the point that he cannot stand the sight of his wife or kid. He was filled up with so much pride to notice how nice Mr. Don Pedro was to him. He had so much pride in the Houyhnhnm's way of life that it caused him to be blind to the most important thing in his life.
"While I retain in my mind the lectures and example of my noble master, and the other illustrious Houyhnhnms, of whom I had so long the honour to be an humble hearer"(IV.xii.290). Gulliver is so focused on following the ways of the the Houyhnhnms that he cannot stand people. He did buy two colts and spend a lot of time with them and hoping that one day he can be back in the society of the Houyhnhnms.