Literary Analysis Essay: Gulliver's Travels
HUM 3000 Although the textbook uses only an excerpt from part one of the story, the author tells a tale that provides interesting perspectives and symbolism on humanity’s dichotomy of power and servitude.
Using the first person narrative, Swift creates an odd empathy for the story’s hero, Lemuel Gulliver. In the rounding out of the protagonist, Swift creates a wholly relatable character for the reader: an unremarkably average man with an unremarkably average life and an unremarkably average self-image. Within our own minds, we are all hard pressed to see our own lives as anything aside from average, regardless of our spheres of influence. It is this lack of reference that …show more content…
Both literal and symbolic, Gulliver’s experience with becoming shipwrecked upon a strange land brings the reader along on an exposition of the human condition and the eternal struggle with power.
When Gulliver is tossed overboard of the small boat and swims blindly to the haven of dry land, Swift has creates a symbolism representative of humanity’s struggle to reach the safety and stability of something familiar under foot. However, in the act of finding physical sanctuary, Gulliver finds he has a new set of challenges, in the forms of his captors, his obvious physical superiority to said captors, and the self-control (or is it self-doubt?) of that same physical superiority.
Providing the reader with the first true “What if it were me?” scenario, the internal dialog / thought process of Gulliver further rounds out the character as an average man, subject to his acceptance of his station in life. However, it can also be argued the choice made by Gulliver to allow his captivity demonstrates his full understanding of the situation and his newfound superiority. Without his cooperation, he faces having to fend