2Jonathan Swift Swift was born in Ireland in 1667 He received a BA from Trinity College, Dublin in 1686He received an MA from Oxford in 1692He became an Anglican priest in 1695He was granted a Dr. of Divinity degree from Trinity in 1702He was active in the early debates of the political parties in England—Whigs and ToriesSwift is famous for his satires:A Modest Proposal (1729)Gulliver’s Travels (1726)
3Jonathan Swift Gulliver’s Travels 3. Laputa Four books/voyages: Brobdingnag1. Lilliput4. Houyhnhnms
4What does it mean to be a human being? Lemuel Gulliver’s four voyages can be seen as a satirical exploration of the human condition:What does it mean to be a human being?The name “Gulliver” may suggest that he is “gullible”
5Travel NarrativeGulliver’s Travels is a parody of the genre of “travel narrative”During the sixteenth, seventeenth and eighteenth centuries, these tales of voyages of exploration and colonial adventure were extremely popular:Christopher ColumbusAmerigo Vespucci (for whom “America” is named)Sir Walter RaleighCaptain John SmithMore’s Utopia also parodies the genre. Travel narratives are often sometimes “utopian”—Book IV of Gulliver’s Travels also parodies More’s Utopia
6LilliputGulliver encounters a land of tiny people, Lilliput, after being shipwrecked on his first voyage.They are 1/12th the size of the average human, about 6”According to Stuart Sherman,editor of the Longman Anthology of British Literature Vol. 1c:The diminutive citizens of Lilliput represent human small-mindednessand petty ambitions. Filled with self-importance, they Lilliputians arecruel, treacherous, malicious and destructive.(Longman Anthology, p. 2531)
7BrobdingnagGulliver’s second voyage, to Brobdingnag, a land of giants:In Brobdingnag Gulliver is reduced to the size of a Lilliputian. 12X the size of man, about 72’According to Stuart Sherman:He is humbled by his own helplessness and, finding the huge bodiesof the Brobdingnagians grotesque, he realizes how repulsive theLilliputians must have found him(Longman Anthology, p. 2531)
8BrobdingnagWhen Gulliver gives the wise king of Brobdingnag an account of thepolitical affairs of England—which manifest hypocrisy, avarice and hatred—the enlightened monarch concludes that most of the country’s inhabitants must be “the most pernicious race of little odious vermin that Nature ever suffered to crawl upon the face of the Earth.”Throughout Gulliver’s Travels that which is admirable is held up toexpose corruption in the reader’s world, and that which is deplorableis identified with the institutions and practices of contemporaryEurope, particularly Britain.(Longman Anthology, p. 2531)
9LAPUTA, BALNIBARBI, LUGGNAGG, GLUBBDUBDRIB, and JAPAN The third part deals with mainly with his accidental visit to the flying Island, where the philosophers and projectors devote all their time and energy to the study of some absurd problems.He also encounters Struldbruggs, immortals that face the same ailments as everyone else, they just never die
10Houyhnhnms and YahoosGulliver’s crew mutinies and puts him ashore on an unknown islandThe island turns out to be inhabited by the “Houyhnhnms”--creatures who look like horses but are more civilized and intelligent than humans, in Gulliver’s viewThe island also has “Yahoos”—creatures who look like humans but are sub-human in intelligence, savage and disgusting
11The last part is a most interesting account of his discoveries in the Houyhnhnm land, where horses are endowed with reason and all good and admirable qualities, and are the governing class.Contrary to the Houyhnhnms, the Yahoos possess every conceivable evil. They are malicious, spiteful, envious, unclean and greedy. Gulliver admires the life and ways of the horses, as much as he is disgusted with the Yahoos, whose relations remind him of those existing in English society to such a degree that he shudders at the prospect of returning to his native.
12Examination of the Houyhnhnm Express neither grief nor joyDevaluation of love and all emotionRigid SocietyREASON alone dominates all thinking and decision makingNonexistence for rules or lawsRelationships and courtships have no placeMonotonous existence
13Examination of the Yahoo Greed and envySociety of without trustSocial Chaos/AnarchyRage and RevengeSociety without law or orderDevaluation of life and destruction of societyMalicious and cruel
14Examination of the Pedro de Mendez Not fully reasonableValue the principles of conductCapable of ReasonCapable of reasonCharitable and judgingExistence of hypicrosy
15Houyhnhnm – what we could be if we relied solely on reason without any regard for emotion or conduct Yahoo- what we are fully capable of becoming when we let greed, lust, jealousy, rage and revenge dictate.Captain Mendez- exemplifies what we as a society should aspire to become. Spontaneous, generous and charitable.