Literary Qualities of Gulliver's Travels by Jonathan Swift

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Swift's masterful use of satire is what has made Gulliver's Travels the delightfully enduring work that it is. Satire has the advantage of allowing the readers to feel that the ridicule is aimed at everyone but themselves. What normally would be tedious and uncomfortable as a lesson can be enjoyable and satisfying when dished out as satire. This is not to say that Gulliver's Travels is a completely comfortable literary work; readers will most likely be disturbed when they see their own flaws subject to ridicule.

Swift's use of the literary genre of a travelogue is well suited to his satirical observations. Travel accounts were especially popular during the eighteenth century when parts of the world were still unexplored and could conceivably be inhabited by the exotic creatures and cultures that Gulliver encounters. Thus, Swift was free to intermingle reality, fantasy, and satire with relative impunity.

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This section contains 1,210 words
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Buy the Gulliver's Travels Study Guide
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Gulliver's Travels from Novels for Students. ©2005-2006 Thomson Gale, a part of the Thomson Corporation. All rights reserved.