Satire in Gulliver's Travels

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In Gulliver's Travels, Jonathan Swift makes a satirical attack on society as a whole. He attacks different issues in society such as humanity and western culture, religious perceptions of man through the big and little endians and satirizes politics unremittingly through his depiction of the rival Lilliputian factions. Swift emulates the political scene of his life, with the political scene of Lilliput. The two rival factions in Lilliput, the high heels and the low heels are like those of the two major political parties in Swift’s political scene, the Whigs and the Tories. “That for above seventy Moons past there have been two struggling Parties in this Empire, under the Names of Tramecksan and Slamecksan, from the high and low Heels on their shoes, by which they distinguish themselves" (Chapter IV). The most subtle criticisms were made on religion. Using the Lilliputians and the Blefuscians, Swift satirically portrays the split between Protestants and Catholicism. The difference between the two sects is where they cut their hard-boiled eggs. The Lilliputians cut their eggs at the little end, and are ‘Little-endians’, while the Blefuscians cut their eggs at the big end and are ‘Big-endians’. “..for the words are these: That all true believers break their eggs at the convenient end. And which is the convenient end, seems, in my humble opinion, to be left to every man's conscience, or at least in the power of the chief magistrate to determine” (Chapter IV). The split between these two sects is a matter of small differences, according to Swift. However, these small differences led to many wars between Catholics and Protestants, particularly during the 30 Years War. The effects of these differences can still be seen today in differences of religion all over the world. “Now, the Big-endian exiles have found so much credit in the Emperor of Blefuscu's court and so much private assistance and encouragement from their party here at home that a bloody war hath been...
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