Gulliver Travels

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Kim Wong
CN English 3
Essay 3- Critical Analysis
Crazy, out of the world adventures. Each filled with a statement mocking the corruption of the English government. The author, Jonathan Swift, makes sure each place Gulliver visits is inhabited by a curious, flourishing monarchy, with flaws parallel to those of his native England. The ridiculousness of each of these countries is the heart of the story, which is a rather unforgiving satiric analysis of the often less-than-glamorous English royal court. The exaggerated, wacky lands that Gulliver visits in Jonathan Swift’s Gulliver’s Travels satirize and criticize the corruption of the English government. Swifts criticism begins on Gulliver’s first adventure, when he enters a land filled with tiny people. Just like England, Lilliput's illustrious history contains many culturally defining events, the greatest of which being the Emperor's grandfather's accidental cutting of himself while cracking an egg. "It is computed that eleven thousand persons have, at several times, suffered death, rather than submit to break their eggs at the smaller end". Swift's point here is that monarchs don't always wield their powers in responsible ways, and instead of being held accountable for their ludicrous actions, they are supported by sections of the public, opposed by the rest, and civil unrest becomes the apparent result of their pointless, self-serving decisions. Upon his stay, Gulliver soon found out that, "Candidates petition the Emperor to entertain his Majesty and the court with a dance on a rope, and whoever jumps the highest without falling, succeeds in the office". An absurd ritual to be sure, but the behaviors of the Lilliputian government act as a mocking mirror to England's political senselessness and corruption. The comment Swift makes is that the way the system works, no thought is given to who might make the best leader, or who, based on personal merit, might be most deserving of the job....
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