Understanding Gulliver 's Travels in the Perspective of Utopia

Topics: Utopia, Gulliver's Travels, Thomas More Pages: 3 (1030 words) Published: December 20, 2010
The Search of Utopia in Dystopia in Gulliver’s Travels
Utopia, the word invented by Sir Thomas More for his 1516 book Utopia, describing a fictional island in the Atlantic Ocean, now is generally considered as a world which tends to be perfect, a world of equality, without conflicts. Utopia is a name for an ideal community or society possessing a perfect socio-politico-legal system (Smith, 2010). Although the word “utopia” was invented by Thomas More, people in western world had begun their search for it long ago. Most consider Utopia is largely based on Plato's The Republic. The Republic has a great cultural influence on the future utopian literature (Moreana, 1990). It is a perfect version of Republic wherein the evils of society, for instance, poverty and misery are all removed. It has few laws, no lawyers and rarely sends its citizens to war, but hires soldiers from among its war-prone neighbors. The society encourages tolerance of all religions (“Utopia,”2010). Besides Plato, looking into the western literature works, it’s not hard to find that many has a desire for the existence of Utopia, and large amount of works have a utopian thought in them. Jonathan Swift's Gulliver’s Travels is a typical one of these utopian works. The use of journeys, strange new societies and peoples, and a potentially mendacious narrator have made Jonathan Swift's Gulliver's Travels an obvious subject for those interested in the development of the utopian mode of discourse in the eighteenth century (Rielly, 1992). Jonathan Swift's Gulliver's Travels is sometimes linked with utopian (and dystopian) literature, because it searches and founds the good (and bad) societies. Gulliver's Travels is both a thorough parody of the travel tale and a book of several competing Utopias. Man's restless search for the perfect society is a perpetual theme of literature. Swift's book gives us four or five to choose from, with he added spice that because of his ironic technique we can never be...
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