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Word Count: 1,422
It is human nature to strive for paradise but is it actually attainable There have been countless attempts to establish utopian societies yet ultimately all have failed In his work Gullivers Travels Swift recounts the journeys of Gulliver to various fantastical lands Each land is vastly different from our own but also more similar than would ostensibly appear In all the lands but the last Gulliver finds that the other societies also experience much the same problems that plague human society In the final land however that of the Houyhnhnms human problems do not exist instead there is a much deeper more profound problem - a complete lack of the very emotion which defines us as human By placing Gulliver in various environments in which his perspective and relation to his surroundings change drastically Swift is able to delineate through the use of satire the shortcomings of each society as well as those extant in ours - shortcomings that cause us to fall short of a utopian ideal On his first journey Gulliver travels to the land of Lilliput where the inhabitants are a fraction of the size of humans Despite this obvious difference in size however the society of the Lilliputians shares many attributes with that of humans For instance their politics are very similar to that of the Europeans In their society the nobles are advanced based on favor earned with the king by performing inane tasks rather than ability in a specific area Gulliver describes this practice saying When a great office is vacantthose rope dancerspetition the Emperorand whoever jumps the highest without falling succeeds the office 28 Swift uses this custom to satirize the manner in which European nobles advance themselves based on favor with royalty rather than ability Because advancement is not based on merit problems in the government ensue thereby precluding a utopian society Swift further ridicules European practices by citing the bitter war being fought between the Lilliputians
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