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Jonathan Swift and "Gulliver's Travels"
Transcript of Jonathan Swift and "Gulliver's Travels"
Chelsea Silva The Restoration, the 18th Century, & Jonathan Swift's "Gulliver's Travels" Some Historical Background:
the Restoration & the 18th Century Works Cited Jonathan Swift Overview of "Gulliver's Travels" Gulliver encounters the Yahoos.... Part 4: Chapters 1-4 A look at Yahoos and Houyhnhnms... Swift does the following in "Gulliver's Travels":
alludes to political/social/cultural events/failings during his time (can also be
applied to contemporary society - “human failings and the defective political,
economic, and social institutions” which Gulliver’s Travels calls into question
○ applies satire - “adopts an ancient satirical device: the imaginary voyage” (2487).
Overview of Gulliver’s Travels:
● Protagonist = Lemeul Gulliver - He is a “ship’s surgeon, a moderately well educated
man” and he is described as “kindly, resourceful, cheerful, inquiring, patriotic, truthful,
and rather unimaginative” (2487)
● The “everyman” with which most readers can identify with
● Goes on 4 different voyages: 1.Lilliput 2.Brobdingnag Born in 1667 to English parents in Dublin, Ireland.
Educated at Kilkenney School and Trinity College in Dublin.
James II abdiction & invasion of Ireland caused him to move to England.
1689-1688: lived with Sir William Temple (friend of King William)
1696-1697: Wrote satires on politics and religion ("A Tale of a Tub" & "The Battle of the Books"). Both were published in 1704 with a fifth edition in 1710.
Swift was a "clergyman, a spirited controversialist, and a devoted supporter of the Anglican Church" (2465).
1724 - "leader of Irish resistance to English oppression" (2465).
False name - M. B. Drapier - published "famous series of public letters that aroused the country to refuse to accept 100,000 in new copper coins" (2465).
Suffered from Meniere's disease - "affects the inner ear, causing dizziness, nasuea, and deafness" (2465).
In 1739, at 72 years old, he could no longer serve as dean. 1742- guardians appointed to "administer his affairs" (2465).
Friends with many influential men. Joseph Addison, Alexander Pope, etc.
Educated Sir William Temple's daughter and exchanged secret letters and poems with her ("The Journal to Stella); secret marriage or any marriage at all is unknown/highly debated (2465).
Controversial: he was thought to be a misanthrope - "though he loved individuals, he hated 'that animal called man'" (2466). Gulliver is shipwrecked in the land of Lilliput. Lilliputians are tiny, almost toy-like whereas Gulliver towers over them like a “giant” (2488).
Gulliver’s first encounter with the Lilliputians:
“I attempted to rise, but was not able to stir: for as I happened to lie on my back, I found my arms and legs were strongly fastened on each side to the ground; and my hair, which was long and thick, tied down in the same manner [...] In a little time I felt something alive moving on my leg, which advancing gently forward over my breast, came almost up to my chin; when bending my eyes downwards as much as I could, I perceived it to be a human creature not six inches high, with a bow and arrow in his hands, and a quiver at his back” (2494).
This “visit” with the Lilliputians and their empire ends disastrously - although Gulliver is amused with the Lilliputians and their tiny empire, he soon discovers that they are “malicious, ambitious, vengeful, and cruel” (2488). 4. Land of Houyhnhnms 3. Laputa Gulliver is “abandoned by his shipmates” in Brobdingnag (2586).
Brobdingnag is a land of Giants (unlike Lilliput where Gulliver towered over the Lilliputians, Gulliver is equal to the size of the Lilliputians in relation to the giants of Brobdingnag).
Gulliver initially believes that the Brobdingnagians might be cruel and brutish due to their size, yet the opposite proves to be true upon further investigation (2488).
The land is “something of a utopia, governed by a humane and enlightened prince who is the embodiment of moral and political wisdom”(2488).
Gulliver “pridefully” discusses his homeland (England) with this enlightened prince; the prince, however, continuously asks him questions which reveal the differences between “what England is and what it ought to be” and reduces Gulliver to silence (2488).
Basically, the prince exposes England for what it currently is rather than what it is assumed (by patriotic Gulliver) to be (2488).
Gulliver also finds the bodies of the Brobdingnagians repulsive: each flaw on their bodies are multiplied by 10 (since they are 10 times the size of the average European):
“There was a woman with a cancer in her breast, swelled to a
monstrous size, full of holes, in two or three of which I could have
easily crept, and covered my whole body. There was a fellow with
a wen in his neck, larger than five woolpacks, and another with a
couple of wooden legs, each about twenty foot high. But the most
hateful sight of all was the lice crawling on their clothes. I could
see distinctly the limbs of these vermin with my naked eye, much
better than those of an European louse through a microscope”
(2550). Here, Swift “is chiefly concerned with attacking extremes of theoretical and speculative reasoning” (2488).
His main focus/criticism is on “science, politics, [and/or] economics” (2488).
This voyage is essentially an “allegory of political life under the administration of the Whig minister, Sir Robert Walpole” (2488). The Fourth and Final voyage = Houyhnhnms (race of intelligent horses) who “live entirely by reason except for a few well-controlled and muted social affections, and their slaves, the Yahoos” (2488).
Gulliver encounters these horses as well as the Yahoos; he is absolutely shocked as to what he discovers.... Chapter 3 "A period of political stability and unprecedented commercial vigor" (2177). Great Britain becomes a single nation Act of Union (1707)
Scotland joins England and Wales Charles Stuart (1660)
James II (1685)
William & Mary (1688)
George II (1727) Whigs
Tories Restoration of the Anglican Church
Evangelism distrust of old dogmas inspires new thinking Man's role within the natural world God as a watchmaker Incorporation of science into religion Court becomes Feminism Mary Astell & the feminine loyalty Chapter 1 Politics Charles Stuart (1660)
James II (1685)
William & Mary (1688)
George II (1727) The (English)
Bill of Rights Limits the power of the Crown
Reaffirms the supremacy of Parliament
Guarantees (some) individual rights -Gulliver was home for 5 months before leaving his pregnant wife alone for another journey
-The job he accepted was to be the captain of the Adventurer, "a stout merchantman of 350 tons" (2587).
- Gulliver is a great navigator, which is why he accepts the job. IMPORTANT
MONARCHS Whigs vs.
Tories Science & Religion Religious Movements Restoration of Anglican church
Evangelism Baconian legacy Man's role within natural world God as watchmaker NATURAL PHILOSOPHY Society Overthrow of Cromwellian dictates Feminism &
Advocacy collective vs.
identity Septemer 7th 1710 -Ship departs from Portsmouth September 14th - the crew met up with "Captain Pocock, of Bristol, at Teneriffe who was going to the ay of Campechy to cut logwood" (2587). September 16th - the two ships were separated by a storm.
- only one cabin boy survived from Captain Pocok's shipwreck - Gulliver was forced to hire shipmates from Barbadoes and the Leeward Islands
- 50 members turned out to be pirates who took Gulliver prisoner.
- They ordered Gulliver to trade with the Indians in the South-Sea and discover all that he could
- The Pirates wanted to steal from the Spaniards, but they needed more men. They hoped to find more people in Madagascar. Pirate Invasion May 9th, 1711 - James Welch sent Gulliver ashore because of the captain's orders.
- Gulliver was sent ashore with:
- his best suit of clothes
- a small bundle of linen
- no arms (weapons) except for a hanger
- they didn't search his pockets, so he was able to keep some money and other small items Foreign Land - Land was divided by rows of trees - naturally growing
- fields of oats
- tracts of human feet and some cow tracts -- mostly horse tracts visible
- animals climbing trees:
- heads and breasts were covered with hair
- beards like goats
- long ridge of hair down their backs
- hair on front of legs and feet
- brown skin
- no tails
- no hair on their butt
- climbed trees like a squirrel would
- strong claws
- Females are smaller than males
- long hair on their heads
- no hair on their face
- hair color differed from brown, to red, to black, to yellow. Magical Horses - The horse looked at Gulliver as if he was a strange creature
- Gulliver tried to pet the horse, and he kicked back at him and shake his head.
- Gulliver believed that the horse was speaking a mystical language
- "...like persons deliberating upon some affair of weight, but often turning their eyes towards me, as it were to watch that I might not escape" (2589).
- Both horses "felt" Gulliver's jacket and hat and hurt his hand. After Gulliver yelled, the horses treated him gently
- Gulliver concluded that the horses were magicians who morphed into horses
- He then talked to them as if they were humans
- The language of the horses often used the word YAHOO.
- The horses then "taught" him HOUYHNHNM; Gulliver couldn't pronounce this one as well, but the horses were amazed that he learned how.
- HHUUN HHUUN is what the horses said when they let Gulliver rest along their journey Chapter 2 - Gulliver traveled 3 miles with the horses to a long building made of timber
- Gulliver prepared his entrance with bracelets to thank the host of the house
- 2 knives
- 3 bracelets
- small looking glass
- bead necklace
- Inside the house there were
whom were not eating, but sitting.
- The horse neighed to the occupants of the house and appeared to be an authority figure
- Outside, Gulliver encountered 3 of the strange creatures that he first saw on the island
- The creatures were eating animals and roots
- The creatures were tied on a leash around the neck
- The largest creature was compared with Gulliver
- the creature had a human figure
- face was flat and broad
- nose depressed
- lips large
- mouth wide
- common differences
- Gulliver noticed that they were very similar except for the amount of hair
- Gulliver learned new words:
- HLUNNH = oats
- Gulliver was on the island for 3 years. -"My principal endeavor was to learn the language" (2594)
-Gulliver sets a goal for himself to learn the
language of the Houyhnhnms.
- His master takes the time to teach Gulliver
the language and how to effectively use it.
- He describes the way they speak, "in speaking, they pronounce through the nose & throat, and their language nearest to the High Dutch or German" (2595)
-"Much more graceful & Significant" (2595)
- In 3 months time, Gulliver is able to adequately
communicate with the horses. - Even though Gulliver is now able to
communicate with the Houyhnhnms,
they still believe he is a beastial Yahoo.
-"my teachableness, civility, and cleanliness astonished him" (2595).
-Gulliver began writing down the English Alphabet
which was foreign to his master because they
did not read books or literature. Chapter 4 Lilliputians Photo:
Yahoos and Horse:
Horses and Gulliver:
Yahoo bowing to horse:
Youtube Video of Gulliver's Travels:
Abrams, Meyer H., and Stephen Greenblatt. "Jonathan Swift." The Norton Anthology of English Literature. 9th ed. New York [u.a.: Norton, 2012. 2464-466. Print.
Abrams, Meyer H., and Stephen Greenblatt. "The Restoration and the 18th Century." The Norton Anthology of English Literature. 9th ed. New York [u.a.: Norton, 2012. 2177-188. Print.
"The Glorious Revolution and the English Bill of Rights." UCLA.com. N.p., n.d. Web. <http://www.international.ucla.edu/cms/files/revolution_english%20bill%20of%20rights.pdf>.
"Oxford Dictionaries Online." Oxford Dictionaries Online. Oxford University Press, n.d. Web. 13 Nov. 2012. <http://oxforddictionaries.com/?region=us>.
Swift, Jonathan. The Norton Anthology of English Literature. By Meyer H. Abrams and Stephen Greenblatt. 9th ed. New York [u.a.: Norton, 2012. 2587-601. Print. <http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=AvlU7KOJOM4> "I made so great a progress, that in five months from my arrival, I understood whatever was spoke, and could express myself tolerably well" (2596) Doubting or Not believing
Lying and false representation
^ Foreign ideals to the Houyhnhnms
His master wants to learn more about "who" Gulliver is His master is asking what "horses" do in the land of the Yahoos
He describes the typical way we we view horses in today's world
- grazing fields in the summer
- indoors in the winter He goes on to discuss the idea of a saddle and getting on the back of the horse, which his master cannot understand.
His master begins picking apart Gulliver's physical appearance and questioning the purpose of his features
"He at last arrived at a competent knowledge of what human nature in our parts of the world is capable to perform" (2601). Questions to Consider... What do you think Gulliver learned throughout his journey? Do you think he was more of a teacher, or a learner? Make a Connection: Between the restoration & the writing of this book Is this book more about individual identity or collective identity? Bridging Ideas How does Swift, allude to political/social/cultural
events/failings during his time?