What social issues in Gulliver's Travels mirror our own?

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Gulliver, in being thrust into situations where the size differential between himself and others is exaggerated, becomes the Other: a person who is an outsider and does not conform to the thoughts and values of society. This theme may not have been Swift's main intention in the Lilliput and Brobdingnag sections of the book, but it's at least a side effect of his other messages. Swift felt himself an outsider in his own life, so it would be strange if he didn't have at least an unconscious sense of himself as Gulliver.

The episode in which Gulliver, as a giant, puts out a fire by urinating on it is especially important. Though the effect is comical, it makes a serious point. Gulliver is only trying to do good, but he's criticized by the Lilliputians for public indecency. The incident is a symbol of the misunderstandings among people because of prescribed codes of behavior. This has been an endlessly repeated problem in human society. So are disputes about trivial matters in religion,...

(The entire section contains 2 answers and 618 words.)

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