Here is the answer and explanation to the question What are some themes in “Gulliver’s Travels”? I have to write a three page paper on Gulliver’s travels can someone give me ideas on what the themes…
What are some themes in “Gulliver’s Travels”? I have to write a three page paper on Gulliver’s travels can someone give me ideas on what the themes are within the novel? i know one of them is satire what are other ones?
Swift’s own description of the novel was:
Upon that great foundation of Misanthropy is the whole building of my Travels erected; And I will never have peace of mind until honest men are of my opinion.
Satire is not a theme as much as it is a style of writing. Gulliver’s Travels is, indeed, a masterwork of satire but the principle theme of Gulliver’s Travels, one that runs through each section of the book, is misanthropy.
In the tale, Lemuel Gulliver, a middle-aged English doctor on a Royal Navy ship that washes up on the shores of various fictional countries. The first voyage in Lilliput, where the principle dispute is between the little-enders and big-enders (whether one should break an egg on the small side or the big) is intended to poke fun at the religious and political debates of the seventeenth and eighteenth centuries where the contentious issues were often as ridiculous as those in Lilliput. In the second voyage, the history and politics of England are held up for ridicule. The third voyage satirizes philosophers and scientists who waste their time on absurd projects such as extracting sunbeams out of cucumbers, turning ice into gunpowder and making cloth from cobweb. In the final voyage to the land of the Houyhnhnms, we are shown that the horses are humane, learned and gentle creatures whereas human-like creatures, called Yahoos, are coarse and stupid. The fourth voyage brings out, most clearly, Swift’s misanthropy.
You’ll find a discussion of the themes in this wonderful book in the section of the eNotes study guide focusing on the themes (https://thcslequydoncaugiay.edu.vn/gullivers-travels/themes ). However, let us review some of them here. Start with your point about satire. Because this is a sweeping satire, many of the other themes emerge as subjects of satire. For example, Gulliver visits several different lands and all of them have rulers. Government and social organization are therefore themes…which he treats with satire. Science is another theme—what it can do, what it can’t do, etc. Even the structure of the narrative is like a traveler’s account, which were part of the emerging sciences of the day. At the bottom, though, is the theme of what it means to be a person and how people should live.
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