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 conditions change from year to *****, human nature *****s very slowly, if at all, and th***** 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 still 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 ***** w*****h ***** be*****gs ***** a different perspective. In ***** first p*****rt Gulliver is a "giant" with an overview of human behavior, society, and laws. We find that ***** loves to play with words and that the book ***** filled with funny names ***** people and places. In the second adventure Gulliver is reduced to a tiny "animal" with no status--a child's pet--to look at government as the average "little guy" is affected by it. In ***** third part ***** lives first on an *****land separate from the rest of the world with intellectuals, thinkers, philosophers, and scientists who think only in the abstract about the great questions of life. From ********** he goes to a magic island where necromancy is practiced and c*****s up the spirits of the dead who reveal vice and corruption throughout history. F*****ally, in the fourth part Swift explores ***** relation of human beings to the rest of the animal kingdom ***** Gulliver ***** to the land of houyhnhnms where horses are rational beings and Yahoos (human beings) are inferior animals. As he describes human society ***** a talking horse, he finds ***** beings to be morally inferior ***** ot*****r animals. ***** all four *****s of the book Swift uses fantasy ***** humor to critique ***** worst in human nature and society's institutions. He does this by forcing us to see them from an alien or unaccustomed st*****point, and he makes us laugh while we're doing it. What might otherwise be ***** heavy subject matter, the vice and folly of ***** beings, becomes ridiculous and ludicrous. What would be a depressing commentary on human life becomes fun ***** enjoyable reading.

In Part I about the Lilliputians, for example, he has Gulliver begin by telling us a little about his history. At a young age ***** was apprenticed to Master James Bates, a surge***** in London. ***** goes to a lot of trouble working up to ***** joke. He h*****s Gulliver refer to his master as Mr. James *****; then, Mr. Bates, my good master; next, Mr. *****; *****, Mr. Bates my master, and fin*****y as my Mater Bates (a pl*****y on masturbates). It is ********** a coincidence ***** he's talking about ***** marriage as part ***** the joke: "...***** advised to alter my condition I married Mrs. Mary Bur*****n" (p. 19). His "condition" is, although it is only implied, that of a man with unmet sexual needs.

Th***** is an example of Swift's


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