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Gullivers Travels Essay Prompts

Part I, Chapters 1-4
1. Discuss Gulliver’s progress from chained alien to important ally of the Lilliputians.

2. Define satire and describe how it is used in these chapters, using examples from the text.

3. Discuss the transitions in the tone of these chapters, from travel book to description of an alien society to satire on English politics.

4. Discuss the relationships between Gulliver and the Emperor of Lilliput, Skyresh Bolgolam, and Reldresal.

Part I, Chapters 5-6
1. Discuss the decline of Gulliver’s fortunes in Lilliput in Chapters Five and Six.

2. Define irony, and how it is used in Chapters Five and Six.

3. Discuss Swift’s facility of changing from one narrative style to another, and discuss how these changes fit into the plan of the book.

4. Discuss the changes in Gulliver’s relationship with the people of Blefuscu.

Part I, Chapters 7-8
1. Discuss the total collapse of Gulliver’s position in Lilliput and its causes.

2. Discuss Gulliver’s disillusionment with politics.

3. Discuss the literary techniques by which Swift describes in a relatively few pages Gulliver’s transition from condemned criminal in Lilliput to returned traveler in England.

4. Discuss elements of political satire, satire of the human condition, and satire of the traveler’s tale in these chapters.

Part II, Chapters 1-2
1. Discuss the way Swift uses the difference of scale between Gulliver and the Brobdingnagians to literary effect.

2. Discuss the way changes in tone advance the narrative in the first two chapters of Gulliver’s second voyage.

3. How does Swift ironically comment on human frailty in these chapters? Discuss.

4. Discuss the changes in Gulliver’s relationships with the Brobdingnagians in these chapters.

Part II, Chapters 3-4
1. Discuss the attitude of the King of Brobdingnag to England, and Gulliver’s attitude toward it, as satire of human frailty.

2. How does the description of Brobdingnag in Chapter Four use the difference in scale between Gulliver and the Brobdingnagians? Discuss.

3. How does Gulliver’s trouble with the dwarf satirize human frailty?

4. How do Chapters Three and Four deepen the reader’s understanding of Brobdingnag in general? Discuss.

Part II, Chapters...

(The entire section is 1018 words.)

In his novel Gulliver's Travels, Swift succesfuly uses satire to portray man's pride and folly. Gulliver's pride is displayed when he enters the island of Liliput and becomes the pocket-sized peoples savyor. However, his folly is revealed when he gets a huge wake up call after entering Brobdingnag. Through his use of satircal writing, Swift tells the story of how Gulliver reacts and responds to these completely opposite societies.

After abandoning ship and swimming to an unknown shore, Gulliver hardly expected to find himself tied down by a society of people half a foot tall. The Lilputions had seen nothing like Gulliver before. Appropriately, they give him the title of Man-Mountain and grant him is freedom in exchange for his loyalty. Gulliver began to feel a sort of self-importance, being much larger than everyone else in Liliput. Swift creates Liliput to mirror the English court. The Liliputians and the Blefuscudians are enemies because one group wants to break the egg on the small end and the other wants to break it on the big end. Just like the English, the two miniscule societies are fighting over insignificant issues. When told to destroy the Blefuscudians fleet he instead picks up the men and brings them to the Liliputions to form a peace treaty. After saving the Liliputions from an attack , Gulliver's confidence was at an all-time high. Needless to say, being a colossus gave him rank and importance very flattering to his pride. The Liliputions consider Gullivers attempt of kindness as a form of treason and sentence him to have his eyes gouged out.

After nine months of living in Liliput, Gulliver has had enough and leaves right as the Liliputions are deciding how to execute him. Not long after getting home, Gulliver embarks on his next journey. He spends almost a year at sea before entering Brobdingnag, the land of the big people. The tables have turned, and Gulliver is scared out of his wits. To the Brobdingnagians, Gulliver is six inches tall and poses no threate. All though harmless, Gulliver is thought to be a freak of a creature. His glorious title of Man-Mountain has been denounced to an animal; his pride has turned into his foolishness.

While living with the Queen, Gulliver tries to explain to the King how wonderful his country is. He describes England's ways of democracy and the inventions his country has created. However, the King is far from impressed about Gulliver's society. He is disgusted with its corruption and lies and gunpowder. He is so apauled that he threatens Gulliver with death if he mentions gun powder another time. While Gulliver thinks he is the best thing to come into Brobdingnag, everyone else considers him rat like and completely unimportant.

Through Gulliver, swift explores human shortcomings through two different perspectives. He shows Gulliver's over exceding pride while on Liliput and his humbleness in Brobdingnag. His pride and folly.