In the novel, Gulliver’s Travels, Jonathan Swift addresses many things wrong with the society around him. His portrayal of English society shows how much he saw evil in it. He mainly addressed five issues throughout his book: war, government and politics,economy, society, and mankind as a whole.
The Lilliputians uncover the idiocracy of war in our society. The Little-Ender and Big-Ender war all started on the debate of which way to break an egg. It didn’t matter that the entire reason of the war was ridiculous--no one knew that reason. They just fought because they knew that they fought long ago, and guessed that it should have been for a good reason.
Gulliver himself even showed the absurdity of war when he explained the reasons England would fight to Mistress or the Queen of Brobdingnag. His justifications to fight were simply because the enemy was weaker and they wanted more land. This shows Swift’s sympathy for Ireland at that time.
Swift believed that politics and government were games. The “election” of “leaping and creeping” of the Lilliputians was the basis of choosing their government officials. The government was ran with people that could go under or jump over a stick. The entire notion of classes and ranks seemed to be stupid to Swift.
The island of Brobdingnag portrayed Swift’s idea of a perfect society. Everyone was equal, and everyone got an equal share. There were no taxes and everyone got a say in how to deal with problems that arose.
When Gulliver explained English society to the queen of Brobdingnag, she no longer regarded the little man with wonder. She proclaimed that the crimes of his society were lying and swindling, and the English were horrible vermin. When Gulliver decided to show the queen a wonder of his society, he seemed to further alienate himself because he showed her the destructiveness of his world.
Swift probably knew...
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