Jonathan Swift was one of the leading satirists in English literature. In Gulliver's Travels, he satirizes many aspects of literature, politics, religion, and philosophy, even critiquing the "tall tale" or travel adventure story itself.
Swift, who became Dean of St. Patrick's Cathedral in Dublin, was especially concerned with the way that factions within the Church of England and the opposition of the Anglican Church to Roman Catholicism in Ireland had a negative effect on the church's greater mission of spreading Christianity and caring for the poor and oppressed. He viewed many of the theological and liturgical quibbles as silly. This attitude is reflected in his description of the Big-Endian/Little-Endian controversy.
Swift was also satirizing the prevalence of patronage and corruption in politics. When Gulliver first visits Lilliput, he observes a show in which aspiring politicians perform acrobatic tricks to gain political favor. This echoes his feeling that what really should...
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