What social issues found in Gulliver's travels would be considered important in our present day society? What would Swift say about these present day issues?

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Perhaps one of the most contemporary social issues that Jonathan Swift satirizes in Gulliver's Travelsis the status of the highly educated in society and their usefulness in practical life.

In Gulliver's Travels , Swift satirizes the intelligentsia with the island of Laputa, where Gulliver ventures after leaving the giants...

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Perhaps one of the most contemporary social issues that Jonathan Swift satirizes in Gulliver's Travels is the status of the highly educated in society and their usefulness in practical life.

In Gulliver's Travels, Swift satirizes the intelligentsia with the island of Laputa, where Gulliver ventures after leaving the giants of Brobdingnag. The people of Laputa are very smart, but completely unable to function in practical life; while they are wholly concerned with conceptual problems in math, astronomy, and music, they are unable to build houses that don't crumble, design clothing that fits, or even focus on someone else when they are speaking.

This issue of the distance between the society's intelligentsia and real world problems that need to be solved is one that we deal with in the present day. It is apparent, though, from Swift's dislike of the intellectual elite in Gulliver's Travels that he thinks intellectuals are hopelessly far from reality and useless for everyday life.

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When Gulliver comes into contact with the Yahoos of Houyhnhnmland, in Book 4, Swift appears to satirize humanity in general. The implication is that we are "unteachable" and generally lack "civility" because this accurately describes the Yahoos. They are crude brutes who will kill each other rather than share more than enough food to go around, who will fight violently to catch a shiny piece of nothing. This is a pretty accurate description of people from Swift's time, and I think it, in many ways, still fits us today. We, as a species, tend to be pretty set in our ways, looking out for ourselves, and we often fail to treat one another with civility. Despite the fact that, in the United States at least, so much food is thrown away each day, there are many people who do not know where their next meal will come from. Though there is a great deal of wealth in the country, many people are homeless. We don't look out for one another any more than the Yahoos do. Certainly, Gulliver's social critique holds true today.

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There are a number of political issues that Swift satirizes in Gulliver's Travels that are just as relevant today as they were in his time.  Much of the specific things that he was satirizing, King George, the Spanish, etc., have changed, but many of the principles are still the same.

One of the things that Swift examined critically is the government's role in education.  It mirrors much of the debate over the issue today as it centers around supposed equality that results in practice in much greater inequity and barriers to keep the wealthy and the elite as such and prevent anyone from challenging that dominance.

Swift also spends a great deal of time deriding the corruption and greed of leaders and the way that corrupts what might in fact be a viable political system.  This mirrors much of what is beind discussed frequently today in the United States with the overwhelming majority of the citizenry disapproving of Congress but seemingly unable to change the system in a meaningful way.

Swift also satirizes the feelings of British superiority and the idea that many people have that their own culture is somehow superior and should be adopted over native customs, etc.  Gulliver thinks that the British way is the best but when the other cultures ask obvious and pointed questions about its faults he starts to see how he was deluding himself about its superiority.

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