Essay - Swift's Use of Humor in Gulliver's Travels Gulliver's Travels is...


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Swift's Use of Humor in Gulliver's Travels

***** Travels is a satire that deals with the human condition.

Although social *****s change from year to *****, human nature changes very slowly, if at all, and this accounts for the applicability of Sw*****t's satire from 1726 when it was first published until today. The book is still funny because we can ***** see ourselves behaving like human beings in it; plus, his humor is often earthy and vulgar and we respond to it.

In each of the four parts of Gulliver's Travels, Swift ***** with human be*****gs ***** a different perspective. In the first part Gulliver is a "giant" with an overview of hum***** behavior, society, ***** laws. We find that ***** loves to play with words and that the ***** is filled with funny names for people and places. In the second adventure Gulliver is reduced to a tiny "**********" with no status--a child's pet--to look at government as the average "little guy" is affected by it. ***** ***** third part ***** lives first on an *****l*****d separate from the rest ***** ***** world with intellectuals, thinkers, philosophers, and scientists who think only in the abstract about the great questions of life. From there he goes to a m*****gic island where necromancy is practiced and c*****s up the spirits of the dead who reveal vice and corruption throughout history. Finally, in the fourth part Swift explores ***** relation of human beings to the rest of the animal kingdom ***** Gulliver goes ***** ***** land of houyhnhnms where horses are rational beings and Yahoos (***** beings) are inferior animals. As he describes human society to a talking horse, ***** finds human beings to be morally inferior ***** other animals. In all four ********** of the book Swift uses fantasy and ***** to critique ***** worst in human ***** and society's institutions. He does ***** by *****cing us to ***** them from an alien or unacc*****tomed st*****point, and he makes us laugh while we're doing it. What might otherwise be ***** heavy subject matter, the vice and folly of ***** *****ings, becomes ridiculous and ludicrous. What would be a depressing commentary on human ***** *****comes fun ***** enjoyable reading.

In Part I about the Lilliputians, for example, he has Gulliver begin ***** telling us a ***** about his history. At a young age ***** ***** apprenticed to Master James Bates, a surgeon in London. Swift goes to a lot of trouble working up to ***** joke. He has ***** refer to his master as Mr. James Bates; then, Mr. Bates, my good master; next, Mr. Bates; *****, Mr. Bates my master, and finally as my Mater Bates (a play on m*****turbates). *****t is not a coincidence ***** he's talking about ***** marriage as part ***** the joke: "...being advised to alter my condition I married **********. Mary Bur*****n" (p. 19). His "condition" is, although it is only implied, that of a man with unmet sexual needs.

This is an example of Swift's

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