I have to write an essay on book 1 of Gulliver's Travels on it being a satire.  How does it relate to Utopia?I need to get a good thesis and my ony source can be my book.  is what obvious ways in...

I have to write an essay on book 1 of Gulliver's Travels on it being a satire.  How does it relate to Utopia?

I need to get a good thesis and my ony source can be my book.  is what obvious ways in the book does it describe a satire. I also want to know how it relates to a Utopia society or not?  Help please?

Asked on by momoffour

2 Answers | Add Yours

amymc's profile pic

amymc | High School Teacher | (Level 2) Associate Educator

Posted on

The author of Gulliver's Travels, Jonathan Swift, is one of the most influential writers of satire in history.  Book One, the Voyage to Lilliput, is perhaps the most popular.  On the surface, it is simply a travel document recounting Gulliver's voyage to the strange land of little people.  However, the voyage is really and investigation into the moral and intellectual smallness of man.

Swift did equate physical size with moral and intellectual bigness.  Thus, the Lilliputians exhibit moral and political decisions which Swift finds laughable.   One such example is the way that individuals advance in politicis. 

When a great office is vacant, either by death or disgrace (which often happens,) five or six of those candidates petition the emperor to entertain his majesty and the court with a dance on the rope; and whoever jumps the highest, without falling, succeeds in the office. Very often the chief ministers themselves are commanded to show their skill, and to convince the emperor that they have not lost their faculty.

 This method obviously does not reward intelligence or virtue, and it may be compared to how the King of England chose is chief advisors. 

Another satirical example is the cause over the war between the Lilliputians and the Blefescuans.  This cause is not due to differences in religious or political philosophy, but in which end of an egg on should crack. 

Which two mighty powers have, as I was going to tell
you, been engaged in a most obstinate war for six-and-thirty moons
past. It began upon the following occasion. It is allowed on all
hands, that the primitive way of breaking eggs

This shows the trivialities of government who go to war and risk lives  quickly over meaningless matters.

The novel relates to a utopia in that Gulliver is evaluating, through each of his voyages, which areas of his travels are worthy of imitating and which aren't.  Satire seeks to make fun of something or someone to make a positive change.  Swift seems to be seeking the best of all worlds to create a type of utopia.

 

everettreish's profile pic

everettreish | Student, Grade 10 | (Level 1) eNoter

Posted on

If you have any connection with the History going on during this book, you'll know they are talking about Colonializm, he is criticizing the English in the way they treat the natives.

We’ve answered 318,959 questions. We can answer yours, too.

Ask a question