Gulliver's Travels Questions and Answers
by Jonathan Swift

Gulliver's Travels book cover
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Discuss the narrative technique in Swift's Gulliver's Travels.

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Swift presents Gulliver's Travels as a series of first-person travelogue journals. This is done to mimic the style of travelogue books, which were popular during the novel's time of publication. These books often covered the cultures and climates of places that were considered far away and exotic to Swift's European audience.

The narrative style also allows for Swift to present a more acute rendition of his protagonist's psychology. Gulliver initially seems to be an every-man the audience can project themselves onto, but as the story progresses, Gulliver becomes less reliable and more misanthropic, eventually all but worshiping the Houyhnhnms, a horse-like species whose allegedly beneficial rationality condones genocide and mass conformity.

These elements of the narrative style make the satire all the stronger. By making the novel seem like an actual travelogue journal, Swift is emphasizing ridiculous elements of his society and human behavior in general.

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Gulliver is depicted by Swift as...

(The entire section contains 3 answers and 651 words.)

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