Notes on Gulliver's Travels

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Robert Appelmann
Gulliver’s Travels - Notes
Jonathan Swift:
* Irony – What could Swift be pointing out with this work? * Eating Babies, Ladies Dressing Room, Death of a Late Famous General, etc. * Anglo-Irish of late 1600’s to middle 1700’s
* Classical Period, Enlightenment
Gulliver’s Travels General:
* Gulliver:
* Third of Five Sons
* Never mentions his brothers or any family aside from his Wife and Children * Very unemotional, proper
* Talks little of home or his wife and children
* Intelligent and Curious, European, Surgeon -> Captain, Fickle * Many skills
* Navigation, Surgeon, Music, Math, Fencing, Science, Language * Dynamic Character
* Learns at a faster rate the language of different cultures * Retains memories of previous adventures and draws upon them often * “Travels” – Foster’s Quest
* All the alcohol seems to be good everywhere he goes
* Comment on social life in Europe
* He gets new clothes in all the new places
* Is immersed into their cultures
* Fear controls many of those-involved’s actions
* Description of “necessities of nature”
* Ironic and may point out flaws in European Society
* People of Lilliput:
* Rome
* Rich but could hardly supply Gulliver
* Treat Gulliver as a Monster and Giant (Weapon?)
* Small, Tempers, Proud
* Smaller version of English society to shed new light * People of Brobdingnag:
* Focused on Gulliver’s Government, state of State etc… * Feudalism
* Pages, Knights, Main weapon sword (Gulliver revealed them Gunpowder) * Not overly opulent yet could easily supply Gulliver
* Treat Gulliver as a pet
* Called Barbarians though compared to Europeans by Gulliver (European) * Magnified English
* More easily see flaws in them
* Laputans:
* Focused on Gulliver’s Knowledge of Mathematics
* Renaissance or Enlightenment (Scientific Advancement) * Their Calculations in Astronomy bring to mind Newton, Kepler, and Galileo * Intelligent
* Math, Science, Astronomy, Built Flying City
* Arrogant and condescending
* Humanities
* Art, Superstitious, Astrology, Music
* East Asian
* Their knowledge has little bearing in daily life
* Holyhnhnms:
* Horses
* Rational, Ordered, Peaceful,
* Good and bad side of reason
* No word for Lie
* Harmonious but Droll
* Men are the beasts
* Planet of the Apes?

The Travels:
Lilliput:
* Influence:
* Term to mean something very small
* Computing term Endianess
* Sets off at sea
* Mr. Bates; Ship - Swallow
* Lilliput and Blefuscu
* People are small
* Quantity vs. Quality
* Power in numbers
* Might vs. Right
* They overpowered Gulliver
* Ironic that he was so easily captured by them
* Specific language
* Compared to diversity of languages in Europe
* Tell time based on moon cycles
* Fascinated by watch
* Much talk of using the restroom
* Natural human necessities
* Likely not proper to discuss this in Swift’s time
* Endian: Big – open eggs from big end, Little- open eggs from little end * Computer science term for order of Bytes
* War over such a trivial thing
* Research claims this to be Catholics (Big-Endian) vs. Anglican (Little-Endian) * Gulliver was granted freedom with some rules in place
* He agreed to them likely out of curiosity
* Grappled entire enemy fleet (Blefuscu) and pulled it to Lilliput * Became hero and peaceably ended the war
* Urinated to put out fire
* This became a major argument against him
* Was granted high title (Nardac) so native officials became jealous * Similar to Renaissance political...
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