Finding Wisdom In Jonathan Swift's Gulliver's Travels

1016 words - 5 pages

Finding Wisdom in Jonathan Swift's Gulliver's Travels

A wise man once said, "That which does not kill us only makes us stronger". Jonathan Swift obviously made good use of the moral of this quote when writing his book, Gulliver's Travels. In this book, Swift tells of Lemuel Gulliver's travels to fantastic nations that exist only in Swift's own imagination. However, as Gulliver journeys to these new places, his attitudes about the state of man and his morals gradually change. In every stage of his travels, Gulliver sees a new side of mankind that makes him pity the state of his kind, while allowing him to see the light and become a better individual himself. So as Gulliver progresses ...view middle of the document...

Though seeing his culture's petty differences illustrated in front of him made Gulliver see the error of his ways and this realization allowed him to be ready to benefit from the Utopia he would visit next.

In Brobdingnag, Gulliver is in sorrow because he sees what people can become if only they try. Brobdingnag represents a Utopia, the ideal government, the ideal people, and the ideal society. This is not to say all the people are perfectly pure and noble, they exists cruelty and jealousy among them, but this is made up for by the fact that all the highest administrators are noble and have no serious detrimental faults. One may ask why being is such a wonderful place can cause a person to feel sorrow. Gulliver is enjoying his stay in this land of giants, until the king begins to criticize Europe and England as places of corruption when compared to his own perfect kingdom. Gulliver is angered by this since he knows that what the king is saying is true. He suffers a moral shrinking and becomes resentful of all he sees around him. However, when Gulliver makes his departure, he sees the error of his people's ways and realizes that the Brobdingnags would be positive examples for the people of England to follow.

In Gulliver's third journey, his experiences in Laputa and the nations around it cause him to turn on the actions of human beings. In Laputa he sees people in a society where they continue to research and make discoveries that seem to lead from nothing to nowhere. They study the stars and mathematics and invent things that seem to serve no purpose. Gulliver also sees the corruption in the government in Laputa. He exposes the king as tyrant and shows that he tries to crush all of his opposition with his harsh acts. This makes Gulliver feel sorry because he sees that human talent is being wasted with useless inventions...

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