Z.I. Mahmud’s essay on Jonathan Swift’s Gulliver’s Travels

James Beattie’s critical appreciation of Gulliver’s Travels exalts in acclaiming “the keenness of satire, the energy of descriptions and the veracity of language”. Examine the critical appreciation of Gulliver’s Travels spotlighting themes of misogyny and misanthropy.  

Felicity A.  Nussbaum’s stroke of criticism in the vein of the politically naive and inept giant whose masculine authority comically seems to be in jeopardy, “Gulliver himself is a gendered object of satire and his antifeminist sentiments may be among those mocked.” 

Deborah Needleman Armintor critiquing the progression of Gulliver’s milieu from a man of science to a woman’s plaything…toylike and accessible pocket microscope: Swift has Gulliver frequently invoke the sensory (as opposed to the reflective) word nauseous to describe this and other magnified images in Brobdingnag not only to reveal the neurotic depths of Gulliver’s misogyny but also to show how the male nausea can be used as countermeasure against the perceived threats of female consumption. Swift has Gulliver associate these magnified acts of female consumption with the act of “throwing up” —the opposite of and the antidote to the act of gastronomic consumption.” 

Eminent English novelist and journalist William Makepeace Thackray critical reception of Gulliver’s Travels as ‘blasphemous’ can be examined in exploitative ostracization of  humanoid to the brink of dehumanization as dehumanoids. And thus this decadence of human spirit can be sheerness poignancy in ludicrousness and idiosyncrasy. On the contrary, Edward Stones appreciation of the beast fables interwoven in the travel adventures fantasy of Gulliver’s Travels ought to be viewed as comical rather than cynical misanthropical interpretation. Shortcomings of humankind are further allegorised in   Gulliver’s mental malady of exaggerating comical description upon his return homeland from Houyhnhnm Land. Swift delineates satirically for humours effect and horses Houyhnhnms superiority over the inferior humankind Yahoos personifying prudential intellect, judgmental conscientiousness and moral reasoning  are not meant to be taken literally.    

Explore and explain Gulliver's Travels as a social and political prose satire.
Explain the geopolitical and historical context and significance of the Swiftian prose satire Gulliver's Travels.
Fantasy is the literal level of Gulliver’s Travels. Discuss.
Gulliver’s Travels was accused of that “it  was full of improbable lies.” Elaborate your views on this statement.
Consider Gulliver’s Travels as a story of fantasy and adventure.
Gulliver’s Travels is a bitter satire wrapped in a fantasy of adventures. Discuss.
Gulliver’s Travels is a blend of fantasy and satire. Do you think so?Justify your answer.
Children enjoying Gulliver’s Travels but, there underlies the bitterest comments on mankind. Elucidate your answer in this context.
‘Scintillating touch of suspense and sheer mindblowing Gulliver’s Travels is Jonathan Swift’s political satire and prose fiction. Examine the 18th century novel in the vein of this commentary.
“...It was only an heap of conspiracies, rebellions, murders, massacres, revolutions and banishments, the worst effects that avarice, faction, hypocrisy, perfidiousness, cruelty, rage, madness, hatred, envy, lust, malice or ambition could produce.” Examine Jonathan Swift’s Gulliver’s Travels in the light of the passage.
“A most pernicious race of the little odious vermins that nature ever suffered to crawl upon the surface of the earth…impotent and grovelling insect…could entertain such inhuman ideas.”  Examine Gulliver’s Travels as a sociopolitcoeconomic allegorical prose satire.
Jonathan Swift’s 1776 Gulliver’s Travels is a prose satire of adventure fantasy and travel journal chronicling the faction partisan vehemence unrivaled even in the vehement and partisan age of the animosity between the Whigs and Tories. Swift was the servant of human liberty, the defender of the poor clergy of the lower gentry, the advocate of the common ordinary men and women and the spokesman for the Irish economic, political and ecclesiastical interests. As a champion pamphleteer and demagogue, Jonathan Swift polemically satirizes the follies and vices, depravities and decadence of humankind as depicted in the Blefuscian and Belfaborac rivalry. His propaganda favored the reign of British monarchy over the parliament, and in this sense, Swift is often caricatured to be a Jacobite for his allegiance to the castaway Stuarts over the reigning Hanoverians in the reign of Queen Anne (1710-14) [Jonathan Swift worked for the St. John viscount of Bolingbroke and Robert Harley Earl of Oxford as well as Tory administration].  Jonathan Swift portrays Gulliver in the vein of Irish anti-catholic Protestant and spirit of Irish nationalist patriotism. 
Swift’s satire on human pride and pretense in Gulliver’s Travels hints pointing insult upon humankind and establishes the author’s stature as archetypal misanthrope. Gulliver, who seemed to be more lovable and humane among Lilliputians appears to be an ignominious and morally insensitive being in contrast with the much more benevolent and enlightened Brobdingnagians. Mountain giant Gulliver was loaded to a cart with provisions of basketful fruits, breads and beer caskets to be pulleyed by nine hundred six inches height Lilliputians and discarded to a dilapidated ruins of a temple. Gulliver damages the fleet of Blefuscu and achieves the monarch’s appreciation and finally extinguishes blazing flame of the royal palace by urination. Spots, pimples and freckles of English lady’s breast looking through magnified glass whilst glancing the nanny's breast -feeding in a farming community’s pastoral countryside cottage. Being Queen’s royal consort upon the Brobdingnagian king’s behest, Gulliver’s was entrusted to Glumdalclitch-the pleasant frolicsome and tender teaser girl. Gulliver’s confrontation with another Dwarfish creature like himself makes him wedging upon cream and dipping into hollow of the bone-marrow. Gulliver is trapped in hailstorm and eventually giant hailstones torments his misery to a further extent. Swift disparagingly criticized the Struldbruggs as decrepit and deranged and dirty and disgusting Yahoos provides atonement for the moral exemplum and divined  poetic justice for misanthropy and misogyny. Anglo Irish allegorical satirist Jonathan Swift exposes the European civilization staked with progressive degeneration through the sorcerers and magicians fantasy of Glubbdubdrib. Gulliver acquaints himself with scientific and mathematical philosophical foundations and appetites of the royal society in Balnabarbi and Laputa such as sunbeams from cucumber’s extracts, recycling human excrements to be converted into edible food, and spinning of spiders’ webs. In 1726 Jonathan Swift’s satirical novel Gulliver’s Travels Struldbruggs are humans of luggnaggs whose caricature depicts the evils of immortality without youth. Struldbrugg’s association intrigued Gulliver to compelled by the alluring enticements of wealth, wisdom and philosophic serenity.  Humanoid and grotesque yahoos portray symbolic misanthropy that is intolerance toward humankind. Psychological distortion and psychological disposition caused the author to satirise the human nature in the novel. Gulliver prefers to endanger his life by drowning and from this metamorphoses springs forth his misanthropic disposition.      
Swift was a Tory who became a champion against the oppression and exploitation of adopted Ireland by the English court and parliament despite his detestation of Irish Catholicism. [I would but conclude the bulk of the most pernicious race of little odious vermins that nature ever crawled upon the surface of the earth.  Religiously different sectarianism of Christianity including the Roman Catholic, Lutheran and Calvinistic Churches, aroused resentment among Jonathan Swifts’ more contemporaries with good reason, that Swift by implication was deviating from the pristine truth of Christianity. Swift became a chief publicist and trusted friend of the Tory administration. In 1713 he was entrusted as Dean of St. Patrick’s Cathedral, Dublin, Ireland.     
          Aspects of economic and financial implications of the satirical novel highlights these following points:
The South Sea Bubble and the Mississippi Crash together contributed to the proposal for establishing a national bank [1720s].
Wolverhampton Metal Manufacturing Company’s William Wood was entrusted and sanctioned to produce copper pennies and farthings to ameliorate the dilapidated and grossly inadequate currency management. [1723-25 controversy]
Furthermore economic instability and financial crises triggered by the debacles of catastrophic famines in the 1727 till mid 1729 contributed to the poor harvests and subsequent critique of ‘A Modest Proposal for Preventing the Children of the Poor People in Ireland from Being a Burden to their Parents Or Country.. 
The Church had undergone depredation and despoilation initiated by Henry VIII, who confiscated the fruits of the Anglican Churches in the form of treasury parish revenues, which Queen Anne had recently restored to the Church of England, creating a funding for the poor clergy known as the Queen Anne’s Bounty. James II threatened the Restoration through political settlement by appointing Catholic to officialdom, eventually provoking the Glorious Revolution of 1688 and thus, forfeiting his throne to the Dutch Protestants William of Orange and Queen Mary. In 1701, Parliament passed the Act of Settlement restricting the throne to the Protestant heirs. Henceforth, loyalties of the Catholic Stuarts or Pretenders, they were called Jacobites, from Latin for James I. Foppery and godlessness following the accompaniment of absolutism and republicanism thence prevailed. Swift was a profound skeptical conservative who placed his trust more in intuitions and stability rather than individual and changes— warfaring and wayfaring Christian. Swift satirizes the Whigs in allegiance of commonwealth republicanism and alteration of the churches. In Gulliver’s Travels, Swift recapitulates his bumbling position as a government employee ascertaining his punishment for unclean expedients: when Gullivers puts out a palace fire by urinating on it, he wins not gratitude but the Queen of Lilliput’s confounded indignation. This maybe Swift’s most ironic commentary on his brilliant career as a government propagandist. The treacherous intrigue against Gulliver has a choice of either destroying the Lilliputians or submitting to the barbarous intentions or fleeing. Gulliver is acclaimed for his sound judgment, morality, uprightness, humility, humanity and Englishness in the first voyage of the narrative.
‘Everyman, as a member of the commonwealth ought to be contended with his own opinion in private without perplexing his neighbour or disturbing the public.’ Swift cherishes this view in Gulliver’s Travels when he assigned a similar view to the wise king Brobdingnag. The War of Spanish Succession as a ruinous lawsuit involving rural neighbours is later satirized: In the same spirit, Swift later literalizes the issue of the standing army presenting, “Gulliver as a one man expeditionary force in Lilliput whose appetite threatened to bankrupt the kingdom. By refusal of enslaving Blefuscudians, Gulliver exemplifies noble generosity and respect for others liberty. Gulliver’s voyage to the Brobdingnagians appears to be more caustic mockery compared to the Lilliputian voyage, Gulliver boasts of what he would have done to the idiosyncratic monkey by unseathing the sword, he glories in the seamanship spirit while he exhibits to court ladies and finally demonstrates his physical prowess in the unfortunate affair of the cow-dung.

Further Reading and Notes

Cambridge Companion to Jonathan Swift Editorship of Christopher Fox University of Notre Dame Indiana.

Black and white image of Jonathan Swift, a white man with a curly white wig, on sepia toned paper.
Jonathan Swift
Critical commentary of The Voyage to the Lilliputs The Greenhaven Press Literary Companion to British Literature Jonathan Swift’s Gulliver’s Travels  

Elaborate the significance of the discussion of Gulliver’s voyage to the Lilliputs. 

Explain the allegorical satire of the Gulliver’s travels to the land of the Lilliputians,’
Examine a critical study of allegorical significance of Gulliver’s England with the Lilliputian kingdom.

 Gulliver, who seemed to be more lovable and humane among Lilliputians appears to be an ignominious and morally insensitive being in contrast with the much more benevolent and enlightened Brobdingnagians. Mountain giant Gulliver was loaded to a cart with provisions of basketful fruits, breads and beer caskets to be pulleyed by nine hundred six inches height Lilliputians and discarded to a dilapidated ruins of a temple The Emperor issued a commission obliging “all villages nine hundred yards round the City” to furnish victuals necessary for Gulliver’s sustenance. The inhabitants dwrafians would be grduallyh less apprehensive by degrees malevolent alien, and moreover, children from the surrounding clan ventured to come and play “Hide and Seek” amongst gullible Gulliver’s hair.  Gulliver damages the fleet of Blefuscu and achieves the monarch’s appreciation and finally extinguishes blazing flame of the royal palace by urination. 

Gulliver’s mountain giant expeditionary force stands out as the stark foible of the England’s Spanish Succession’s ruinous lawsuit leading to the bankruptcy followed by financial crisis during the reign of Queen Anne through James I and Charles II. Gulliver’s insurmountable gluttony satirizes the vehement appetite causing bankruptcy and his association with Big Endians and Little Endians alludes to the banishment of the Catholics by the Protestants after the Reformation springsforth numerous religious disputes and fanaticism. Wolverhampton of Metal Manufacturing Company’s William Wood was entrusted to the functionary of the dilapidated and instable currency controversy of 1723-25 after the proposal for the establishment of a national bank and treasury for the management of South Sea Bubble and the Mississippi Crash.  

Docility, gentleness and modesty personifies Gulliver’s triumph of the bloodless fleet over the Blefuscians. The Emperor’s ambition is thrown into relief by the innocence, generosity, magnanimity, clemency, humility, humanitarianship and humaness of Gulliver’s attitude: the most idealistic of the Roman Republicans or the Humanists. The ambassadors from Blefuscu hails appreciative praises in Gulliver’s valour and generosity in in opposing the Lilliputian Emperor’s military expedients 

With his humanistic attitude, Gulliver is willing to fight even the Emperor and the country against invaders ( he shall not “force Consciences or destory Liberties and Lives of the innocent People”); but he will not pursue the war for glory to be got at the cost of enslaving free people. The parallel to the Tory attitude toward {English general considered among the history’s greatest military leaders] Marlborough’s continental campaigns against France is clear, the Tories were the “Lovers of Peace”, Swift believed.

The Queen’s  palace caught on fire and Gulliver’s attempt to put off the fire earned the Queen’s wrath and this act of indecency was condemned. Her Excellency Queen Anne’s Bounty Act of 1703 was an act of the Parliament of England granting in perpetuity the revenues of the First Fruits and Tenths for the support of the poor clergy in England. Gulliver’s seditious activities pertaining to the treason of staking the innocent Blefuscians of their liberties and Queen’s Palace contaminated by urination allegorises articles of impeachment brought by the writ of the courtiers of the Emperor such as Skyresh Bolgolam and Flimnap, who privilege far resourcefulness and zestfulness in murdering their benefactor-the government pamphleteer and political propagandist. Starvation aftermath of blinding as a retribute justice was compromised by Reldresal’s intervention amidst the malice of injustice’s viciousness.     

Discuss the main points of the plot in the II part of the voyage of the Brobdingnagians by experienced by Gulliver.
Critically examine the satire of the second voyage in Gulliver’s Travels.
“The steady Torry of the I Part became the war crazed of the II Part.” Elaborate from the context of both voyages to the Lilliputians and the Brobdingnagians. 
Nicholson argues “A Voyage to Brobdingnag” serves as one of many examples of the covertly and overtly microscope oriented fiction, drama and periodical literature of the Enlightenment. When read together as a genre, Nicholson argues, these texts demonstrate how the figure of the microscopist and his fascination with little worlds made large was a popular object of both satire and awe in the age of Enlightenment. Describe the significance of the Voyage to Brobdingnag,    

Swift satirizes the metaphorical shrinkage of the fate of microscopes —the worst symbolic castration from   a sizeable and relatively inaccessible tool of male dominated society transforms into feminized commodity —plaything —-a portable pocket microscope by the upper and middle class women and ladies of the English society as Gulliber is taken to be fit inside the travelling closet beside the windowsill by gigantic female owner Glumdalclitch. In the close reading of the wasp stinger incident Gulliver is only in a position to observe these enormous specimens in magnified detail.The baby’s attempt to consume Gulliver, followed by the breastfeeding scene further satirizes the devolution of the microscope and microscopist from participants in the elite masculine world of the Royal Society to consumable objects in the world of women and children. Deborah Needleman Armintor argues, “Swift has Gulliver frequently invoke the sensory (as opposed to the reflective) word nauseous to describe this and other magnified images in Brobdingnag not only to reveal the neurotic depths of Gulliver’s misogyny, but also to show how male nausea can be used as a pathetic countermeasure against the perceived threat of female consumption. Swift has Gulliver associate these magnified acts of female consumption with the act of “throwing up”-----the opposite of and antidote to the act of gastronomic consumption.   
Many ladies in colorful dresses and peacock feather hats surrounding a boat in a pond with a small man inside.
Four large men in colorful patterned robes staring bemused at a tiny man with a sword.
Part II of the voyage to Brobdingnagians the inferiority of European culture has been exposed to familiarize readers, if not demystify the entire narrative plot of the travel adventures.  Swift has managed Gulliver’s transition into a new world of wonders with extraordinary physical and psychological imagination. Gulliver overcomes from ‘Grief and Despair’ in the harvest seasons of the cornfield to be picked up by reaper farming community in a manner as if he wouldn’t scratch or bite the giant forty feet people, which might be comparable to the translocation of Weasel of England. 

Monster midget Gulliver was a subject of puppetry to the exhibiting Rabble of the House of the entertainment fair by the exploitative farmer. Later on, the Queen of Lorbulgrud purchases him from enslavement and keeps him as the Court Jester under the caregiving supervision of the farmer’s nine-year-old daughter Glumdalclitch In contrast to the Lilliputians the Brobdingnagians have no military crises even though there are trifle dissensions between monarchs and nobles. Society and government have been the matter of utmost important discourse between the midget monster Gulliver and the giant king of the Brobdingnagians. 

Gulliver was exploited to humiliations and frustrations while he was pantomiming for spectators and marshaling in defensive feedback loop.  Humorous stream of episodes develops satirically and tragically with the encountering of birds and beasts and even the Court Dwarf throughout the second part of the narrative. 

Swaggering Dwarf was a deplorable stigma to Gulliver’s conscience and this prompted Gulliver to wrestle in wrangle with the repartees of being addressed in mockery of ‘littleness’. Afterwards the woman with  cancer in her breast swelling to freckles of pimples and bumps, horrifying cliff hanging revelations including the limbs of the vermin and the fastidious Queen’s feasting. Best-looking and frolicsome maid of honour astride upon one of her nipples enchants Gulliver’s wonderment to awed feelings. Gulliver’s interviews with the Brobdingnagian Monarch pertaining to the party faction in polity and clergy envisioned the conclusion to be mostly quoted passage of the whole travels, “I cannot but conclude the Bulk of your Natives to be the most pernicious race of little odious vermins that Nature ever suffered to crawl upon the Surface of the Earth” and this discovery was the result of the aftermath in the words, “an heap of conspiracies, rebellions, murders, massacres, revolutions and banishments…the worst effects that avarice, faction, perfidiousness, hypocrisy, cruelty, rage, hatred, madness, envy, lust, malice or abhorrence could produce.” 

Standing armies, war, taxes and national debts were also coverage of the conversation featured in this voyage. Mercenary expeditionary standing army of Britain and the instability of the currency system and sunken debts of national treasury are satirized henceforth. Gulliver stormy and fiery temper evokes the protest of “narrowness of thinking” ….”wholly secluded from the rest of the World” justifies the viewpoint of an ignominious and morally insensitive being in contrast the more enlightening and benevolent Brobdingnag. 

His rejection of the commonwealth cause can he cited as exemplary manifestation in this regard despite the king’s proclamation for stability and organization, “Every man as a member of the Commonwealth ought to be contended with his own opinion in private without perplexing his neighbor or disturbing the public.” This is an ironic reversal of Gulliver’s adopted views of the “Effect of narrow principles and Short Views!”      

 In the end, Gulliver is rescued the swoop of an eagle’s flight to be disembarked upon the deck of an English Vessel. His Evil Destiny was safely recused with a providential deliverance of six shillings from the English Captain. Meanwhile he feels like a giant and everyone else seems to him like a pigmy.  Compare and contrast the world of diminutive Lilliputians and the monstrous Brobdingnagians in Jonathan Swift’s satirical allegory Gulliver’s Travels.