Is it possible that Gulliver from Gulliver's Travels is Swift's alter ego?

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favoritethings eNotes educator| Certified Educator

In some ways, this seems like an appealing idea, especially because Gulliver is so terribly flawed and so awfully ignorant at times.  When Gulliver proudly tells the king of Brobdingnag about how wonderful Europe is, horrifying the king with prideful accounts of how quarrelsome, violent, and cruel men could be, we can tell that Swift certainly identifies more with the appalled monarch than the proud traveler.  However, there are other times -- few though they may be -- when it seems as though Swift would actually agree with Gulliver; it's as though such a conclusion is so obvious that even a fool like Gulliver can arrive at it.  For example, when Gulliver discusses the Big Endians and Little Endians who symbolize the Catholics and Protestants, respectively, he concludes that "all true Believers shall break their Eggs at the convenient End: and which is the convenient End, seems, in my humble Opinion, to be left to every Man's Conscience [...]."  In other words, Swift believes that Catholics and Protestants should be free to worship their god as they see fit, as he reduces their difference to such a ridiculous substitute and makes their conflict seem so unnecessary, a view echoed by Gulliver.

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Gulliver's Travels

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