Swift’suse of parody inGulliver`sTravels
Indeed,Swift applied numerous parodies to explain various philosophicalviews of an ideal society. From Gulliver’s stay on Lilliput, Swiftadopts a simple mode to explain Gulliver’s travels to the strangelands (Greenblatt and Christ 1055). In his travels, Gulliver meetsthe Lilliputians soldiers and the weird Luggnaggians and Laputians. Agreat deal of Swift’s parodies come from his unique twists inexplaining Gulliver’s explorations. For example, Swift concentrateson trivial asides such as arranging when to pee during his very firstnight in Brobdingnag’s giant home. Gulliver’s stay on Lilliputentails underlying sense of humor with numerous jokes and twists thatare distinctive (Greenblatt and Christ 1064). Swift also findsLilliputians assassination method of licking the King’s poisonedfloor inherently funny.
Moreover,the high moral philosophies depicted in Gulliver’s Travels keep thereaders speculating and interested in knowing the outcome ofGulliver’s stay on Lilliput. Remarkably, the above two parodiesdrawn from Swift’s analysis of Gulliver’s travels to the strangelands of the Lilliputians is intended to be an excellent satire onthe ideal English societies. Swift is drawing assertions from therhetoric of validity to explicitly undercut various claims in thestory during his stay on the Lilliput (Greenblatt and Christ 1067).His arguments expose implicit satires as far as the real world andexperiences are concerned. For example, Swift explains the parody inLocke’s explanation of the philosophy of human understanding oftheir external experiences drawing from the voyage of the Lilliput.
FromGulliver Travels, the philosophy of human intelligence is explainedbased on the “material” world with more emphasis on objectivity(Greenblatt and Christ 1056). However, Swift identify the parody inGulliver’s inability to create a secure perspective of the universefrom his stay on Lilliput. This is because there is no cleardemarcation between Gulliver’s moral obligations and externalexperiences. Notably, despite his rich experiences during his voyageand stay on Lilliput, he still fails to delineate the real world fromthe material world. In fact, he develops his moral principles andviews about the world from his interaction with the Lilliputians.
Forinstance, his desire to live with the horses among other strangeviews overshadows his perceived experiences with the external world.Naturally, with such rich experiences, one would expect Gulliver todevelop an innate sense of universal principles and values thatfocuses on positive human interactions. However, according to Swift,the outcome of Gulliver’s voyage and external experiencesareextremeconfusion from the social realities (Greenblatt and Christ 1071).
Swift’sexplorations make fun of Gulliver’s adventure story with greatimitations of the varied experiences. Gulliver’s stay on Lilliputspecifically appeals to the readers’ sense of humor especially withSwift’s criticism of set ideals and expectations of an otherwise aneveryday English society (Chowdhury 51). His stay on the Lilliputalso keeps the readers glued to the story because of the innatedesire to know what may happen next. Swift goal inpresentingthe parodies is to sarcasticallycomparethe Lilliputians to the English political leaders. Swift consider theEnglish politicians to be deceitful and violent-minded, traits sharedby the Lilliputians. Specifically, Swift relates the cruelty of theLilliputians towards Gulliver and their ridiculous insistence onclemency, kindness, decorum and impartiality of kings (Greenblatt andChrist 1075). For example, the king of the Lilliputians plans to showGulliver mercy by blinding and starving him. This is a particularcase of parody with the twist in ideas and perceptions held by theLilliputians that directly contrast an ideal society (Chowdhury 56).
Chowdhury,Romana Rouf. "Swift’s use of satire in Gulliver’s Travels."(2014).
Greenblatt,Stephen, and Carol T. Christ, eds. TheNorton anthology of English literature.WW Norton & Company, 2012.