Gulliver's Travels | Critical Essay by Christopher Fox

This literature criticism consists of approximately 23 pages of analysis & critique of Gulliver's Travels.
This section contains 6,846 words
(approx. 23 pages at 300 words per page)
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Critical Essay by Christopher Fox

SOURCE: "The Myth of Narcissus in Swift's Travels," in Reader Entrapment in Eighteenth-Century Literature, edited by Carl R. Kropf, AMS Press, 1992, pp. 89-108.

In the following essay, Fox studies Swift's employment of the masturbation motif, (i.e. Gulliver's apprenticeship to "my good Master Bates") as a metaphor for excessive, myopic self-involvement, and as a retelling of the myth of Narcissus.

This essay begins with a question posed by the late Frank Brady in 1978 and (more recently) by William Kinsley in 1982. What do we make of Gulliver's apprenticeship, at the opening of the Travels, to "my good Master Bates"? Brady noted that it "is easy to find" such "jokes (errors? misstatements?) in Gulliver; what is difficult … is to determine whether they are (1) accidental, (2) incidental (local, restricted), or (3) significant?"1

Let us apply Brady's criteria to the "Master Bates" construct, developed in...

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This section contains 6,846 words
(approx. 23 pages at 300 words per page)
Buy the Critical Essay by Christopher Fox