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An Analysis of Gulliver's Travels

By Nadia9118 Jan 09, 2015 806 Words


Research Proposal
The Analyses of Gulliver’s Travels

MA Zhaoxi
41104018
Class 1101
English Department
December 21, 2013

*The Reason Why I Choose the Topic
Firstly, the story is very intriguing and full of imagination; both adults and children are attracted by its plot. For instance, when Gulliver went to the Lilliput, he became a giant in Lilliputians’ eyes. He was trapped by them and attacked by the spear which is as the same size as needles. Feeling threaten was disappeared, the dwarfs treated Gulliver as a guest. They provided him with plentiful loaves and their largest hogsheads of wine, but for the “giant” is just the amount of one meal. On the contrary, when his voyage to Brobdingnag, he became the dwarf. Gulliver used the king’s beard to make a comb for himself. The exaggerated contrast between the two images amuse a great many of the readers, moreover, the sarcasm to the authority uncover the corruption of the government, which also have significant meaning. That’s the reason why the book absorbs all the generation.

Secondly, the author, Jonathan Swift, have a satirical view of the state of the European government, which have a profound significance in 18 century. Many ideologists were aroused by Swift’s thought, such as Voltaire, his 1750 short story Micromégas, about an alien visitor to Earth, also refers to two moons of Mars was influenced by Swift. And some of the words are used extensively at that time. Like the term yahoo is often encountered as a synonym for ruffian or thug.

Thirdly, Swift uses his ironic and cold voice to expose the humanity—greedy, malicious, spiteful, envious and unclean to the whole world, which deeply impresses the readers. The comparison between the horses and Yahoos give me a deep impression. The horses stand for the good virtue of human beings, while the Yahoos reflect those vices which are despised by the writer. During the Industrial Revolution, the boom of the economy turned people into aloof and snobbish. Individuals thought highly of benefits than any other things. So Swift used the disgusting image of Yahoo to provoke people’s consciousness of anthropic dark side and alarmed people not perverting in that way.

Fourthly, Swift's critique of science is the first such questioning by a modern liberal democrat of the effects and cost on a society which embraces and celebrates policies pursuing scientific progress. Gulliver's Travels was a transparently anti-Whig satire; it is likely that Swift had the manuscript copied so that his handwriting could not be used as evidence if a prosecution should arise, as had happened in the case of some of his Irish pamphlets. In the discipline of computer architecture, the terms big-endian and little-endian are used to describe two possible ways of laying out bytes in memory. The terms derive from one of the satirical conflicts in the book, in which two religious sects of Lilliputians are divided between those who crack open their soft-boiled eggs from the little end, and those who use the big end.

*The Significance of the Research
Theoretically, we can thoroughly understanding the personality of the characters. The research about writing style helps us gasp the gist of the book. The influence of the book shows the book’s historical function, which motivate the development of the history.

Practically, according to the analysis of content of the book and adoption of some comments from critics we can learn more about the skills of researching literature and methodology.

*Methodology of the Research
The combination of text-oriented, author-oriented and reader-oriented methodology.

*Outline
Ⅰ. Introduction
A. About Jonathan Swift
1. Birth date and birthplace
2. Family background
3. Life experience
B. About the book Gulliver’s Travels
A brief introduction of the plot C. The thesis
From three aspects to analyze the book
Ⅱ. Body
A. The analysis of the characters
1. The personality of Gulliver
2. The symbol of the authority in Lilliput and Brobdingnag. 3. The characteristics of the islanders in Laputa
4. The metaphor for the horses and Yahoos in Houyhnhnms.
B. The analysis of the writing techniques
1. Satire
2. Metaphor
3. Hyperbole
4. Symbolism
C. The analysis of the book’s influence
1. Influence to the politics
2. Influence to the literature
3. Influence to ideological emancipation
4. Influence to the computer architecture
Ⅲ. Conclusion

* Bibliography
Allan Bloom (1990). Giants and Dwarfs: An Outline of Gulliver's Travels New York: Simon and Schuster. pp. 47–51. "Belfast Hills" Discover Northern Ireland, Northern Ireland Tourist Board, Retrieved 2007-05-18 Clive Probyn, Swift, Jonathan (1667–1745), Oxford Dictionary of National Biography (Oxford University Press: Oxford, 2004) The Lilliput Legion, Simon Hawke, 1989, Ace Books, New York, NY WU Weiren, History and Anthology of English Literature, (Foreign Language Teaching and Research Press Beijing, 2013) http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Computer_architecture

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Gulliver%27s_Travels#Character_analysis http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/The_Gentleman%27s_Magazine
http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Voltaire
http://www.gutenberg.org/files/829/829-h/829-h.htm

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