What are tips for trying to analyze Gulliver's Travel's from the perspective of literary theory with some emphasis on M. M. Bakhtin?I have been looking at "Dialogism, Bakhtin and his World" by...

What are tips for trying to analyze Gulliver's Travel's from the perspective of literary theory with some emphasis on M. M. Bakhtin?

I have been looking at "Dialogism, Bakhtin and his World" by Michael Holquist; and "The Dialogic Imagination" by M.M. Bakhtin.

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Karen P.L. Hardison | College Teacher | eNotes Employee

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When analyzing a work from a literary criticism perspective, you must approach the work from the ideology of the particular theory being used. For instance, an analysis of Gulliver's Travels from the perspective of Russian Formalism, which is interested in structure and literary devices, would yield a very different result than would an analysis from the perspective of Marxist criticism, which is interested in the dynamic between the ruling and working classes and the resultant oppressions.

Since your intended analysis will place some emphasis on the theories of Bakhtin, your analysis will focus on Bakhtin's dialogic principle; on the heteroglossia that he identifies as the diversity of language (meaning: "other languages"); on the sense of distance and the reduction (or elimination) of it; and on the other principles important to Bakhtin's theory. So, when Gulliver is embroiled in political situations, which are otherwise identified as satire of society, your analysis will examine the dialogic nature of the exchanges between the speakers (dialogic: relationship between the one or the text expressing thought and the addressee(s) who is/are attending to the message, then adding more to the dialog).

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