Gulliver's Travels by Jonathan Swift

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What is the general theme of Gulliver's Travels?

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The satirical allegory Gulliver’s Travels was published in 1726 by Jonathan Swift (1667-1745). The book incorporates the author’s vision and criticism of humankind, and is especially savage towards the population of Europe in the eighteenth century. Swift satirizes human foolishness and lack of common sense in his era.

Gulliver’s Travels is not structured like a traditional novel. It is broken down into four voyages during which Lemuel Gulliver’s vessel is cast ashore in many strange lands. Each voyage is a separate tale placed within an overall story. In order to assess the general theme of the work, each voyage containing numerous descriptions and anecdotes should be considered individually. The characters presented possess the attitudes and qualities of Europeans of the time from the author’s perspective.

Voyage 1: Lilliput

The Emperor of Lilliput is equally capable of kindness and cruelty. He can use his status of royalty to spread his beneficence or usurp dictatorial power:

It...

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