Honors English III
3 November 2011
Might vs. Right
In Jonathon Swift’s Gulliver’s Travel there are many characters who have power over others, some of these characters abuse it other characters do not. Swift gives many details and examples of how the character uses or abuses his or her power. Swift relates many of his characters to real life people of his time
The first occurrence of this theme happens when Gulliver washes up on the island of the Lulliputains after his boat was capsized by a huge storm. Gulliver awakens to his arm, legs, and body tied down and is unable to move. He is surrounded by a abundance of miniature like people. Though Gulliver showed no sign of aggression the Lulliputains, despite their small size, still took full advantage over Gulliver and attack him with arrows. The emperor who rules Luptin thinks he can control Gulliver and has him chained and guarded by soldiers. “The emperor is both a satire of the autocratic ruler and a strangely serious portrait of political power.”(Sparknotes.com). Swift uses The Emperor to represent King George I. Just like King George, The Emperor abuses his power and hires his ministers on how well he likes them rather then their suitability, wisdom, or virtue. The Emperor of Luptin also loves war and wants to use Gulliver’s size to enslave the neighboring island Blefuscu. Although Gulliver refuses to do so, this can be compared to King George I war on Spanish Succession.
The Brobdingnagians could dominate with their superior size if they wished but for the must part they do not. Gulliver is taken by a farmer when he lands on the island of Brobdingnag who Gulliver estimates is around seventeen foot tall. The farmer at doesn’t take advantage of his great size but he eventually uses Gulliver as a display around Brobdingnag for money. In General the Brobdingnagians do not abuse their power. The King of Brobdingnag is offered the secret of gunpowder but he refuses to take this, even though...