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 year, human nature *****s very slowly, if at all, and this accounts for the applicability of Sw*****t's ***** 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 beings from a different perspective. In ***** first part Gulliver is a "giant" with an overview of human behavior, society, ***** laws. We find that Swift loves to play with words and ***** the ***** ***** 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. ***** ***** third ***** ***** lives first on an isl***** 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 m*****gic 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 the relation ***** human beings to the rest of the animal kingdom when Gulliver ***** to ***** l***** of houyhnhnms where horses are rational beings and Yahoos (human beings) are inferior animals. As he describes ***** society to a talking horse, ***** finds human beings to be morally inferior ***** other *****. In all four ***** of the book Swift uses fantasy ***** ***** to critique the worst in ***** ***** and society's institutions. He does ***** by forcing us to see 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 human beings, becomes ridiculous and ludicrous. What would be a depressing commentary on ***** ***** *****comes fun and enjoyable reading.

***** Part I about the Lilliputians, for example, he has Gulliver begin ***** telling us a l*****tle about his *****tory. At a young age he was apprenticed to Master James Bates, a surgeon in London. ***** goes to a lot of trouble working up to t***** joke. He h*****s Gulliver refer to his master as Mr. James Bates; then, Mr. Bates, my good m*****ter; next, Mr. Bates; *****, Mr. Bates my master, and fin*****y as ***** Mater Bates (a ***** on m*****sturbates). It is not a coincidence that he's ***** about his marriage as part ***** the *****: "...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.

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


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