What are the allegorical representations in Gulliver's Travels in general and in part one in particular?

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amy-lepore | High School Teacher | (Level 1) Educator Emeritus

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Gulliver's Travels is a parody of the travel journals famous during Swift's time.  In the story, divided into four book, he satirizes everything from British government to science, politics, religion, and society's vanity in general.

An allegory is a story when a character or event in the story represents both itself in the literal sense and something else in the figurative sense.  It could be actual people, events, ideas, or places that it represents.

In Book I of Gulliver's Travels, many places, people, and events represent actual things in Swift's time.  For instance, Lilliput is England and Blefescu is France. The arguements and silliness of the Low Heels and High Heels represent political factions of the Whigs and Tories.  The disagreement between the Big Enders and the Little Enders over which end of the egg is the proper end to break represents actual problems between the Protestants and Catholics at the time.

There are also definite correlations between particular characters in the Lilliput community with political figures in the British political system.  These connections take a little work for us to figure out today, but to Swift's audiences, these would have been as obvious as the objects of editorial cartoons are to us.  They would have been a source of much laughter.

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