Political Satire in Gulliver’s Travels
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Jonathan Swift, being a priest, was most interested in the political and literary activity. In his book “Gulliver’s Travels” he warned people, showed all the muck and horror of stagnation, devoid of ideals life full of meaningless egoism. The people justly called the writer their defender. In conformity with his beliefs, Jonathan Swift was an enlightener. He was a person who believes in the mind, the need for a clever transformation of the world; therefore his literary activity began with good satirical essays on hot topics.
The most suitable weapon in the struggle for freedom and happiness of the people for Swift was satire – a way of artistic representation of reality, which consists in sharp condemnation and ridicule of the negative. Satire, as usual, is directed against negative social phenomena. If we have a satirical composition before us, this means that the author does not like something in the life that he and his compatriots live with, they are not satisfied with those who direct them, and how people fulfill their duties as a citizen of the country. The author does not speak the direct text.
His readers are clever and should get to the idea that there is no forgiveness for those who live and creep before the authorities, and every day meet on their way ignorance.
The most striking satirical work was the novel “Gulliver’s Travels.” The novel is built like a story about unsuccessful sea voyages. The work consists of four parts: the first is a trip to the land of the Lilliputians, the second is a trip to the country of the giants, in the third the hero departures to the aerial island of Laputa, and the fourth to the country of extraordinary horses that created the republic of good. The author leads his hero through the labyrinths of different political systems, emphasizing the comic inadequacy of political candidates and revealing human nature. Only in the utopian society of giants and virtuous horses, Gulliver finds reasonableness, compliance with fair laws and ethical norms.
The horse society does not stand the severe test, as it cannot overcome the evil, change the habits of the lower creatures, which are so similar to people. In Lilliput, Gulliver exposes the insatiable desire of conquest and enslavement of free nations by the ruling upper classes of society. The ruling apparatus of Lilliputia makes impossible any protest against the actions of the Emperor. Pompous, arrogant people, limited in their own “I” live in Lilliputia. The author is disappointed that clever, talented, decent people are forced to submit to fools.
In Laputa, everything has a more expressive character. The false appearance of the King and his entourage on the air island fully responds to the actions of the government, which led the people to discontent. This alternation of images has a profound meaning. Swift together with the hero Gulliver argues, drawing the attention of the reader to the fact that the evil is continuously increasing.
The story of the rebellion of the Lindalino population, which decided to completely change the state structure of Balnibarbi is an important moment in the formation of the ideal of Swift. This is the desire to transform the world. Unlike other enlighteners, Swift did not think that a person is kind by nature. Good should be won and approved. The way to it lies through the fight against injustice.
The very form of the state, to the thought of Swift, may be one that Gulliver saw in Brobdingesi. It can be a monarchy or a republic. The main thing is the desire of the people. In the conditions of his time, Swift could not advance a clearer program.
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