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Gulliver's Travels Part 2

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Stephanie Womick

on 4 April 2013

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Transcript of Gulliver's Travels Part 2

Lilliputian Law (pgs. 2517-2519)
Gulliver says, "If they were not so directly contrary to those of my own dear country, I should try to say a little in their justification."
What are some of these Lilliputian laws?
In what ways are the Lilliputian laws different ["contrary"] to those of England (supposing 18th century British law is similar to 21st century American law)?
What could be said in their justification? Lilliputian Education (pgs. 2519-2520)
What do the Lilliputians believe about parents and children?
What distinctions do the Lilliputians make between classes and genders in education?
Supposing that Gulliver/Swift finds the Lilliputian way better, what English practices seem to be condemned? The Essay Assignment: Things to Remember 1) Your thesis must be an argument. It should interpret the literature, rather than being just a statement of fact. Ask, could someone reasonably argue the opposite of what I am saying? 2) Even if you agree with the critics, you must add something new to the conversation. 3) Avoid plot summary 4) Show the connection between the quotation and your argument. 5) Integrate quotes gracefully. Ways to add something new:
1) Change the perspective: if the critic focuses on one scene or character, see if the argument could be applied to a different scene or character.
2) Find new evidence. Use quotations that the original critics overlooked. "Swift satirizes eighteenth-century politicians in Gulliver's Travels."
vs.
"Swift uses the body as a primary means of satire. Natural bodily functions (even urination) are associated with honorable behavior, while unnatural bodily functions (the creeping, crawling, jumping, and other acrobatics) are associated with the corruptions of politicians." In Lilliput, those who would like to hold an office must demonstrate how agile they are. They dance upon ropes, to see "whoever jumps the highest without falling" (2505). Even the chief ministers have to demonstrate their abilities. Flimnap, who is a representation of Robert Walpole, jumps the highest, but he also fell and would have broken his neck if he had not landed on a cushion, a reference to George I's mistress, who supported Walpole. The language used to describe the political acrobatics underscores its unnatural nature. For example, Gulliver relates that it is "only practiced by those persons who are candidates for great employments" and that these candidates have been "trained in this art from their youth" (2505). Clearly this behavior is not a natural part of life in Lilliput and is an artifice that must be learned. Gulliver also emphasizes the dangerous nature of this behavior, the "fatal accidents" and the broken limbs (2505). Gulliver says, "Very often the chief ministers themselves are commanded to show their skill, and to convince the Emperor that they have not lost their faculty." The rope-dancing is very dangerous and a clearly unnatural behavior. Gulliver says, "Very often the chief ministers themselves are commanded to show their skill, and to convince the Emperor that they have not lost the faculty," indicating that even after their position has been established, these politicians must continue to hone their unnatural abilities. Indeed, the more senior the minister, the more excellent his skill, demonstrating that power in Lilliput is directly proportional to unnatural bodily behavior. In his essay, King argues, "Anticivilization emotions don't go away, and they demand periodic exercise" (350). In other words, King believes that the pent up feelings most people harbor could lash out in negative ways if they don't find a safe release. In his essay, King argues,"Anticivilization emotions don't go away, and they demand periodic exercise" (350). In other words, King believes that the pent up feelings most people harbor could lash out in negative ways if they don't find a safe release. Remember to only use the part of the quote that you need. Quote from the Text: "It was now daylight, and I returned to my house, without waiting to congratulate the emperor; because although I had done a very eminent piece of service, yet I could not tell how his Majesty might resent the manner by which I had performed it: for, by the fundamental laws of the realm, it is capital in any person, of what quality soever, to make water within the precincts of the palace" (2516)

Explanation: Gulliver considers himself to have committed a very natural and honorable act in putting out the fire in the palace. However, having lived among the Lilliputians and coming to understand their unnatural relationship with the body, he has reason to fear for his life. Although Gulliver associates natural bodily functions with honorable behavior, the Lilliputians abhor these natural functions--satirically representing prissy English aristocrats who disliked Swift's earthy writing. Example 1: Gulliver relates his fear: "I could not tell how his Majesty might resent the manner by which I had performed it: for, by the fundamental laws of the realm, it is capital in any person, of what quality soever, to make water within the precincts of the palace" (2516). Gulliver considers himself to have committed a very natural and honorable act in putting out the fire in the palace. However, having lived among the Lilliputians and coming to understand their unnatural relationship with the body, he has reason to fear for his life. Although Gulliver associates natural bodily functions with honorable behavior, the Lilliputians abhor these natural functions--satirically representing prissy English aristocrats who disliked Swift's earthy writing. Example 2: Gulliver considers himself to have committed a very natural and honorable act in putting out the fire in the palace. However, having lived among the Lilliputians and coming to understand their unnatural relationship with the body, he has reason to fear for his life, as "by the fundamental laws of the realm, it is capital in any person, of what quality soever, to make water within the precincts of the palace" (2516). Although Gulliver associates natural bodily functions with honorable behavior, the Lilliputians abhor these natural functions--satirically representing prissy English aristocrats who disliked Swift's earthy writing. Quote from Text: "But the danger is much greater when the ministers themselves are commanded to show their dexterity; for by contending to excel themselves and their fellows, they strain so far, that there is hardly one of them who hath not received a fall" (2505)

Explanation: The unnatural contortions of the body by the chief ministers corresponds to what Swift sees as the unnatural manipulations performed by eighteenth-century politicians. Just as the Lilliputians are in danger of a literal fall, the eighteenth-century politicians are in danger of a fall from grace. AVOID using the words "quote" or "quotation". Even avoid explaining a quote by saying, "This shows...." Never leave a quotation dangling--it must always be part of a sentence you have written. 6) Use good transitions. Between sentences, ideas, paragraphs. We must see how everything is connected.
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