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What does Gulliver's Travels say happiness is?What does Gulliver's travels, an essay on...

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birdsong | (Level 1) eNoter

Posted July 28, 2010 at 8:13 PM via web

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What does Gulliver's Travels say happiness is?

What does Gulliver's travels, an essay on man, and rasselas, as a whole, say happiness is in the 18th century?

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kapokkid | High School Teacher | (Level 1) Educator Emeritus

Posted July 29, 2010 at 1:50 AM (Answer #1)

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I've read and enjoyed the book and I don't know that Swift actually comes out and tells people what happiness is.  In his rather biting commentary on human nature, he certainly points out quite often what it isn't, and many of the things we think it would be or that people appear to think it is.

It isn't hedonistic and it isn't in amassing wealth and power, but he suggests that by thinking carefully about our behavior and modifying it to be more thoughtful and caring and concerned with community that we could gain more happiness and more healthy existences thereby.

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