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Gulliver's Travels part 1

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Stephanie Womick

on 1 April 2013

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Transcript of Gulliver's Travels part 1

Gulliver's Travels In Laputa, "Swift is chiefly concerned with attacking extremes of theoretical and speculative reasoning, whether in science, politics, or economics. Much of this voyage is an allegory of political life under the administration of the Whig minister, Sir Robert Walpole." The Houyhnhnms "live entirely by reason except for a few well-controlled and muted social affections, and their slaves, the Yahoos, whose bodies are obscene caricatures of the human body and who have no glimmer of reason but are mere creatures of appetite and passion." Brobdingnag: "something of a utopia, governed by a humane and enlightened prince who is the embodiment of moral and political wisdom" 1) How is the story framed? What does Swift do to make Gulliver's history seem realistic? Why go to all that trouble to make a clearly fictional story seem grounded in truth? 2) What kind of person is Gulliver? How is he characterized? 3) What does Gulliver admire about the Lilliputians? Is his admiration justified? or is he naive? (perhaps compare him with the narrator in the General Prologue of The Canterbury Tales). Religion
What religious disputes is Swift satirizing? What conclusion does he seem to draw about how religious differences should be handled? How does this compare to the biographical information concerning his religious views? What do the Lilliputians believe Gulliver worships? Why do they believe this? What might Swift be satirizing here? Politics
Describe the political structure of the Lilliputians. How do individuals gain political office? What is Swift satirizing about English politics? The Body
Why does Swift show so much interest in describing bodily details? How do the Lilliputians view Gulliver's body? Why are the Lilliputians represented as tiny people--what is the satirical point being made? War and Nationalism
How is the Lilliputian military represented? What do the Lilliputians believe about their country and their enemies? What is the satiric point here? Gulliver as Hero
Is Gulliver a reliable narrator (do we believe he understands what's going on)? Are his actions in any way heroic? Is he a good representative of Britain? What qualities are admirable about Gulliver? Is Gulliver a complex, realistic character or a flat, allegorical character?
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