Influence Of Gulliver's Travels

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Historical Influence of Gulliver’s Travels
The eighteenth century, better known as the Age of Enlightenment, sparked a period in which people were gravitating more towards science and reason rather than religion. Governments during this time were power hungry and ruthless. As a result of this, the lower class greatly suffered and became incensed and irate. One man in particular spoke out against the injustice he felt by means of the written word. Jonathan Swift challenged the government of his time by writing and publishing the satirical novel Gulliver’s Travels.

Jonathan Swift was born on November 26, 1667 in Dublin, Ireland. He became a dean/priest in an Irish Catholic church in which he remained for thirty years. He is a principle prose
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However all of them seem to be inward and outward reflecting. One theme that is greatly apparent throughout the novel is the battle between moral righteousness and physical power. During his travels Gulliver experienced both ends of the proverbial spectrum. He felt the triumph of absolute power and also the fear of being completely powerless and at the mercy of others. It was enough to make him question the struggle between the powerful and powerless within his own country. One of the more cerebral themes of this book was the topic of self-understanding. Gulliver at first was extremely lacking in both self-reflection and self-awareness. He offers us neither his thought nor his feelings he simply recounts the events as they occurred. It is not until the king makes his opinion about England known that Gulliver seems to reflect. At that moment he really felt vile and insignificant. He also started to question the system of government for his home country. Furthermore, another important theme in this book if the limits of human understanding. It’s essentially the idea that humans aren’t really mean to know everything and that all knowledge has a natural limit.(source 3) For example, the Lilliputians seems to greatly value knowledge yet they constantly fight amongst themselves and don’t really solve their problems. Contrastly, the Brobdingnagians don’t seem very …show more content…
It was not only the Age of Enlightenment, but it also marked the dawn of ever changing technology like the Industrial Revolution.As a result of this, many countries were trying to procure as much land as possible. Empires arose and the crowning jewel among them was Great Britain, whose dominion was so vast it was said that the sun never set on it. While their imperialism was impressive, the conquered were filled with bitter anger and a thirst for vengeance. Among them were the hot-tempered and volatile Irish. Being adjacent to Great Britain they felt the British reign and oppressiveness the most. Swift published Gulliver’s Travels during the 1720s, it was during this time that Great Britain force a certain piece of legislature that infuriated the Irish. Great Britain had passed the Dependency of Ireland on Great Britain Act, declaring the right of Britain to legislate for Ireland and denying the appellate jurisdiction of the Irish House of Lords.(source 4) Britain had exerted complete power over Ireland, and although some of the Irish tried to rebel they were put in prison. The impoverished people of Ireland were suffering at the hands of the British government and this compelled Swift to write Gulliver’s Travels. The book became popular as soon as it was published. John Gay, an Enlightenment poet and balladist, wrote in a 1726 letter to Swift that, “It is universally read from the cabinet council to the

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