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I have to write an essay about Gulliver's Travels. Can someone give me ideas?

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rananona | Student, Undergraduate | eNotes Newbie

Posted January 13, 2010 at 5:34 AM via web

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I have to write an essay about Gulliver's Travels. Can someone give me ideas?

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pohnpei397 | College Teacher | (Level 3) Distinguished Educator

Posted January 13, 2010 at 5:43 AM (Answer #1)

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This would depend a lot on how long the essay is supposed to be, what part or parts of the book it is supposed to cover, and other factors.  But here are some ideas to consider:

  • You could talk about Swift's use of irony and how he uses it to convey the major points of his book.
  • You could write on what you think the major points of the book are -- what is he trying to say about his society.
  • You could discuss the various characters in the book -- talking about which ones you think are and are not sympathetic characters.
  • You could discuss the character of Gulliver himself.  What does the book tell you about his personal character -- do you like him?

Those are a few ideas, I'm sure other people will have more.

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mkcapen1 | Middle School Teacher | Valedictorian

Posted January 13, 2010 at 5:44 AM (Answer #2)

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When writing an essay one has to first decide what direction one wants to take and what are the teacher's expectations.  Choosing a specific direction or topic within the book will help you to be able to narrow down and organize your ideas.  In the book Gulliver's Travels Gulliver experiences different points of view as a visitor in the different lands.  He also identifies the politics of the Lilliputs.  You could write an essay on two opposing people's points of view.  Another good topic might be to write about the different hardships that Gulliver experienced. 

What ever you decide to write about, be careful not to make the topic so broad that you can not pull it together. 

 

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coachingcorner | High School Teacher | (Level 3) Educator

Posted January 13, 2010 at 5:52 AM (Answer #3)

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How about writing an essay on one of the themes of Gulliver's Travels by Jonathan Swift? Here are some possibilities for ideas to get you thinking. The political satire of the work would be a good area to explore - also the idea of the sinfulness of man. You could discuss the ways in which the structures of "the establishment" keep the natural sinfulness of mankind at bay. The Lilliputians and their eccentric ways of dealing with things, and the comparison to our own, would be an interesting topic. Jonathan Swift's own political friendships and dealings and the way in which these are reflected in the work would require a little more research but his autobiography is very interesting and could shed some interesting light on his writing.

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lynnebh | High School Teacher | (Level 3) Senior Educator

Posted January 14, 2010 at 6:15 AM (Answer #4)

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You could also discuss some of the symbolism -- what do the cords with which the little people tie Gulliver up symbolize? He is a big man in a tiny place, why can't he break his bonds? Or, what is the significance of Gulliver's watch? Why do the little people think it is Gulliver's god?

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