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 year, human nature changes very slowly, if at all, and th***** accounts for *****e 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 ***** with human beings ***** a different perspective. In ***** first part Gulliver is a "giant" ***** an overview of hum***** behavior, society, ***** laws. We find that ***** loves to play with words and that the book is 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. ***** the third ***** ***** lives first on an *****land 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 magic island where necromancy is practiced and c*****s up the spirits of ***** dead who reveal vice and corruption throughout history. Finally, in the fourth part Swift explores the relation ***** human ***** to the rest of the ***** kingdom ***** Gulliver goes ***** ***** l***** of houyhnhnms where horses are rational beings and Yahoos (***** beings) are inferior animals. As he describes human society to a talking horse, he finds ***** beings to be morally inferior to ot*****r animals. In all four ***** of the book Swift uses fantasy ***** humor to critique ***** worst in human ***** and society's institutions. He does this by forcing us to see them from an alien or unaccustomed standpoint, and he makes us laugh while we're doing it. What might otherwise be very heavy subject matter, the vice and folly of ***** beings, becomes ridiculous and ludicrous. What would be a depressing commentary on human life ***** fun and enjoyable reading.

In Part I about the Lilliputians, for example, he has ***** *****gin by telling us a l*****tle about his *****tory. At a young age he ***** apprenticed to Master James Bates, a surgeon in London. Swift goes to a lot of trouble working up to the joke. He h*****s Gulliver refer ***** his master as Mr. James Bates; then, Mr. Bates, my good master; next, Mr. *****; then, Mr. Bates my master, and fin*****y as ***** Mater Bates (a pl*****y on masturbates). It is *****t a coincidence that he's ***** about his marriage as ***** of the *****: "...***** advised to alter my c*****dition I married Mrs. 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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