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Gulliver’s Travel’s:

Gulliver’s Travel’s Fierce Indignation

The trouble with satire:

The trouble with satire One danger of satire is that it is so topical and that in a few years, nobody will remember the objects of satire. Is GT too topical or is it still relevant? Why or why not?


Lilliputs Lilliputs are little, literally and morally Schism over which side of an egg to eat Suspicions and rivalries end in the Lilliputs spurning Gulliver Government officials gain jobs by creeping and leaping (i.e. kissing ass or being opportunistic)


Brobdignags Gulliver becomes a Lilliputian in Brogdignag King is wise—sees through shallowness of people, especially G. and his descriptions of Europe Gunpowder King horrified that G. describes destruction in familiar manner insensitively Gunpowder makes it possible to not face your enemy More bang for your buck

The View From a Breast:

The View From a Breast Pp.86-87: G describes what a breast looks like up close— “spots, pimples, freckles…nauseous” Humans are terrifying when you look up close G. sees Brobingnags as Lilliputs saw him Eyes are like microscopes Reduce everything to parts

The Watchmaker God:

The Watchmaker God B/c science (led by Newton) is systematizing the world, the Enlightenment brings with it a new conception of God as a watchmaker. He creates the world, winds it up like a watch, and sets it in motion. Very different than a providential God who intercedes in peoples’ lives Lilliputs are fascinated with Gulliver’s watch and King of Brogdignag wonders if Gulliver is a toy-like contraption Are we just mechanisms/wound up clocks?

Swift’s answer: hopefully not:

Swift’s answer: hopefully not Satire throws a monkey-wrench in the works. Knowledge should be related to moral life, not just objective science. This is the crux of Swift’s satire in Book III.

Laputa and Lagado: philosophical speculation and practical science:

Laputa and Lagado : philosophical speculation and practical science Laputians are like astronomer in Rasselas: their heads are literally in the clouds Flappers are needed to keep them alive b/c they ignore the exigencies of the real world Women prefer to be treated poorly than to be ignored

Flying Island:

Flying Island Flying island:Balnibarbi::ruler:ruled England:Ireland George III:America Countrywide (mortgage industry):homebuyers These relationships are defined by haughtiness, power, detachment and ruthlessness.

Projectors and their silly projects:

Projectors and their silly projects Pp.188-189: universal machine Satirizes shortcuts—the idea that growth and education can come without application i.e. University of Phoenix, mail-order degrees, self-help books

On language:

On language Thomas Sprat wished to reform language so that it would be more empirical—spoke before Royal Historical Society p. 190: projectors propose cutting verbs and participles, or just abolishing words in favor of objects altogether Problem: if you reduce language, you reduce consciousness Corollary: we live in more than one realm—in the empirical world but also in a world of ideas and emotions Rich language and metaphor are necessary to reflect this world


Utopia/dystopia utopia : designates the class of fictional writings that represent an ideal but nonexistent political and social way of life. It derives from Utopia (1515-1516), a book written in Latin by the Renaissance humanist Sir Thomas More which describes a perfect commonwealth. It is a conflation of the two words, “ eutopia ” (good place) and “ outopia ” (no place) dystopia : (“bad place”) applied to works of fiction, including science fiction, that represent a very unpleasant imaginary world in which ominous tendencies of our present social, political, and technological order are projected into a disastrous future culmination

Book 3 as Dystopia:

Book 3 as Dystopia Scientific and political theme are one: future is a nightmare No room for individuality (Lord Munodi) Bureaucracies ossify (harden) Science and politics both become detached from everyday life and the needs of humans

Mocking the Travel Narrative:

Mocking the Travel Narrative xviii: “This volume would have been at least twice as large, if I had not made bold to strike out innumerable passages relating to the winds and tides, as well as to the variations and bearings in the several voyages; together with the minute descriptions of the management of the ship in storms, in the style of silors: likewise the account of the longitudes and latitudes…” p.148: “I thought we were already overstocked with books of travels.”

Swift’s Epitaph:

Swift’s Epitaph Here is laid the body of Jonathan Swift, Doctor of Divinity, Dean of this Cathedral Church, where fierce indignation can no longer rend the heart. Go, traveler, and imitate if you can this earnest and dedicated champion of liberty. He died on the 19th day of October 1745 AD. Aged 78 years.