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Word Count: 775
Although it appears simple and straightforward on the surface a mere travelogue intended solely for the amusement of children Gullivers Travels by Jonathan Swift proves upon closer examination to be a critical and insightful work satirizing the political and social systems of eighteenth-century England Through frequent and successful employment of irony ambiguity and symbolism Swift makes comments addressing such specific topics as current political controversies as well as such universal concerns as the moral degeneration of man While he incorporates them subtly early in the novel these observations and criticisms eventually progress to a point where they may shock or offend even the most unsuspecting reader In order to witness this evolution of presentation one need only observe the development of the works central character Captain Lemuel Gulliver as Swift has designed his novel in such a way that as his aspersions harshen and intensify so do Gullivers actions and attitudes For instance in book one A Voyage to Lilliput when Gulliver finds himself lost in a world one-twelfth the size of his own he proves himself to be quite naive and impressionable Although he is simply too large to perceive them in detail Gulliver judges the countrys inhabitants he meets to be as perfect and innocent as their toylike appearances He refers to the Lilliputian emperor a being not even six inches high as His Imperial Majesty and blindly agrees to perform any demanded service even though he could easily overpower the tiny nation It is only after his services have been exploited and himself banished that Gulliver realizes how cruel and deceitful the Lilliputians truly are and his personality begins to transform In book two A Voyage to Brobdingnag Gulliver faces quite an opposite situation for in this world everything is twelve times its expected size Somewhat hardened by his unfavorable experiences on Lilliput Gulliver approaches the Brobdingnagians from the outset with some degree of suspicion and contempt Although it is apparent to
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