عدد المساهمات : 47
تاريخ التسجيل : 31/01/2012
العمر : 28
|موضوع: GULLIVERS TRAVELS 11/2/2012, 4:42 am|| |
Jonathan Swift (1665-1747) is considered until today to be one of the masters of English prose ever. He has written pamphlets, letters, prose, and poetry always distinctively with high effectiveness and economy. He worked as a secretary for a well-known diplomat William Temple. Swift was very ambitious to be a political figure or an influential in the church. He was a harsh satirist, social critic, and a political commentator. His satire is biting; it targets through mocking and parodying the various social evils of the 18th century, particularly England in its relation to Ireland concerning the bad conditions at which the Irish lived under.
One of the most famous essays written by Swift defending the Irish independence and calling for it is “ A Modest Proposal ” in which Swift comments bitterly on the bad socioeconomic conditions of the Irish which lead Ireland to famines .he suggested that the best way out for the Irish is to introduce their children - while at the ages of 1 or 2 - to the English because they make delicious meals!
Swift’s greatest success is “Gulliver’s Travels” which was published anonymously. This novel is like “Robinson Crusoe” it depends upon a whole tradition of travel’s narrative. Like Defoe, Swift takes on the voice of Samuel –the narrator – and presents us with the account that makes up the body of the novel as being the actual actions and words of Captain Samuel Gulliver himself. The novel falls into roughly four parts. The aim is satirical and irregular.
Utopia is the imaginative creation of an idealized or perfect place in laws, government, and social conditions. Originally “ Utopia ” is a Greek word which means ‘no place’ .the most influential utopia ever written in the Greece tradition is Plato’s “ republic ” .the republic is Plato’s imagined social and political indefinite for world that has reached perfection. Through “Republic” Plato is critical upon his contemporaries of Greeks. He creates an ideal republic, which is pure of mistakes and defaults of the states of his time. In the renaissance we have two other visions that are utopian by two English writers: Francis Bacon’s “the new Atlantis” and Sir Thomas More’s “Utopia” Thomas is critical of the new materialism in England. Swift was one of the first writers of the 18th century to take advantages of More’s “Utopia”.
Swift in “Gulliver’s travels” introduces a world, which is presented through the character of Gulliver as if it were a real thing. Swift, influenced by many writers of utopias, makes his point by commenting upon sociopolitical and economical conditions through creating extraordinary and imaginative worlds. These worlds are pure of the faults of his society and government. These are the different settings among which a comparison is made. Each one of the various books of the novel contempt England itself.
The first two parts: Lilliput and Brobdingnag have Gulliver in common. They are opposed to each other .He is a giant in the farmer, and just a tiny creature in the latter. Here we have the theory of relativity. Lilliput has people with petty brain. They make wars for ridiculous reasons, (e.g. egg) and afford great loses and expanses. Swift is mocking the civil and commercial wars in England and Europe. Also, Swift is critical of the damages and loses inflected upon the people of Ireland though the have no interest in wars battled by England .we notice the absurdity of Lilliputians parodying the court of England which is extremely corrupt and selfish. There are conspiracies among the courtesans with the monarch .A courtesan may speak badly to the king about his competitors inside the court. England in the 18th century was divided, as we have such irony. Swift –personally –felt that he was underestimated because he was deprived of many honors and offices which he believed that he deserved since he was a genius because of conspiracies .the focus in Lilliput is on the ridicule of political conditions and mocking upon socioeconomic situations .On the other side, we have the Brobdingnags, they are peaceful giants and wants no wars. However, economy and society will become the issues of this second part. Brobdingnags are corrupt for other reasons than the Lilliputs.
In book three, Swift adopts a different land .he is critical when science loses touch with reality. Science, to some people, is only a theoretical vision .it has nothing to do with real life. People even lose link with each other.
Finally, book four or Houyhnhnms is the bitterest part of the entire novel .in the world of Houyhnhnms no utopian people are extent. Instead, we have charitable, wise, and helpful animals. And in the same world we have the yahoos, disagreeable animals .The first ones are example while the second ones are distinct and animals like beasts which have multi vices and follies. Swift classes the human being into: instinct presented by yahoos, and mind which is presented by the Houyhnhnms .The novel closes pessimistically when the ideal horses say to Swift: “ You are just a yahoo ” Gulliver has nothing to say about human beings .The end is contrary to the cheerful beginning.
Distopia is the exact contrary to Utopia .It is an awful world. George Orwell’s “1984” novel is a major example. Distopia speaks about a coming point in the future where things will reach its worst condition if human follows a certain path or continue to practice some pernicious actions. According to Orwell, in his novel, the intelligence agencies will put every citizen under supervising, and will restrict all forms of freedom in the year 1984.Jonathan Swift died as a mad man .In his last years he was losing his mind gradually. “ Gulliver’s Travels ” was an instant success. Book one at the end, becomes a classic above England literature .It become an archetype mainly for children despite the fact that the novel was originally intended to mock the human creature bitterly, and to uncover his black nature and vices. Book one becomes a universal symbol, it is very unique in English literature.
MATERIALS & SOURCES
I.The tradition of travelling:
In England there were an entire body of works that deal with the accounts of various travelers who went to sea as adventurers .in their travels, Europeans met for the first time different and new birds, animals, tribes, and even cannibals. They found them strange and exotic. What Swift tried to do is to describe and create imaginary places inhibited by freak creatures.
II.The classical epic:
The second background beginning with Homer’s “Odyssey” where the protagonist Odysseus, after the God of sea gets angry of him and puts obstacles to prevent him from going home back from the Trojan War, meets strange creatures throughout his wandering from one island to another. Swift combines the above two traditions.
III.The Utopian literature:
Beginning by Plato’s “ the Republic”, and continuing in Sir Thomas More’s “Utopia”, and others … in “Gulliver’s Travels” Swift takes the notion of creating an imaginary world that allows him to criticize, satirize, and comment on the political conditions of England during the 18th century.
For example, the emperor in Lilliput presents the English monarch himself, George I. This emperor is a tyrant who loves to show and display his power .So Swift is making a joke by pointing out to these accepts of the monarch. Politics in Lilliput (as in England) is conspiratorial. This mirrors the bad diplomats. Swift believes that many wars can be avoided since they are caused by ridiculous reasons. (E.g. eggs’ break). Wars are driven by a lust for power. Swift is depicting a court around the king in England itself .In the court he has two interesting characters: Flimnap and Bolgolam, and Swift becomes the subject of their conspiracy after having an intimate relationship with the emperor, and they succeed in departing him from the island although by his own choice. Flimnap represents Sir Robert Walpole, the first minister of the Whig party, and Bolgolam parodies the Earl of Nottingham of the Tory party. Book I is significant for the political satire, and the sense of humor that Swift creates a frivolous world, and his readers find it very funny. Swift sees politics and politicians through black binoculars: Nepotism is a recurrent convention, power corrupts, groups have interest only in their own benefits, narrow mindedness of governors sacrifice the citizen, conspirators inside the court, and so on. Politics is like a chess game .The enemy of today is the friend of tomorrow, and nothing is constant except interests. Swift is very bitter man who poured his mirth on his society and court that underestimated his talent (as he believed) through his sarcasm to both of them. Swift regards himself not hypocritical enough to gain a powerful status or office. Concerning Gulliver, as a narrator in Book I there is an excessive agrees of self-confidence. Gulliver even becomes arrogant. His arrogance is fused upon his inability to understand that his capacities are only great because he lives in a world of Lilliputians. And this is one of the moral defects of this character.
In the next setting (Book II) this will alter Swift reverses the situations, and Gulliver himself becomes a Lilliputian. His adventures in Brobdingnag continue the satire on politics, money, and trade. Gulliver becomes a worthy investment to the farmer. Swift is critical of marshal tendencies. Swift’s failure in attracting women, and in sex led him to hate women; he never got married .He believed if one looks at a women closely she will be repulsive and disgusting .In “ A Voyage to Brobdingnag ” the person who is good is not Gulliver but he is the king. Gulliver becomes an announcer of the institutions of Europe .The king is almost Swift’s Utopian ideal for a ruler who really cares for the interest of his own people. Swift is negatively critical of the politics that were spread throughout Europe in the 18th century. Machiavelli’s “ the Prince ” is the best example of the extent of cruelty that European politics arrived at to Machiavelli. “The end justifier the means” and “ right and wrong are relative.” if a monarch is obliged to do evil actions in order to preserve his throne, or extend his dominions so let it be .Yet for Swift there is a strong relation between politics and morality. Unfortunately, Gulliver himself does not subscribe to that view.