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Word Count: 705
SATIRE OF GULLIVERS TRAVELS Jonathan Swifts satirical prose Gullivers Travels is the subject of a wide variety of literary critique and social interpretation Although many readers at first glance take this tale to be simply a fantastic narrative of a common man and his encounters with unusual locations and people through several journeys further inspection reveals Swifts true purpose of creativity--satire Using the contemporary style of the Travel Narrative Swift is able to insert his own personal criticisms of modern life into the experience of Gulliver Swift focuses entirely on satirizing humanity in Book IV of Gullivers Travels Gulliver representing a common man encounters a wide variety of characters along his travels each representing a subject Swift wishes to criticize His satire ranges from relatively simple political criticism in his experiences in Book I and II to a socio-political criticism in Book III to the social philosophical criticism of man in Book IV If Book IV is read literally with no knowledge of satire it appears to be another bizarre journey of Gulliver no more unusual than his other travels It is obvious however that Book IV criticizes the nature of man as a rational being Of interest to the readers of today is Swifts choice of creatures inhabiting this land There is a barbaric man-like creature dubbed the Yahoo and the civilized good-natured horse-like creature the Houyhnhnms Upon the whole I never beheld in all my Travels so disagreeable an Animal or one against which I naturally conceived so strong an Antipathy IV193 His opinion of the Yahoos contrasts with his opinion of the Houyhnhnms The Houyhnhnms think Gulliver is another Yahoo capable of outstanding intellect but Gulliver is offended that they want to classify him as a Yahoo I expressed my Uneasiness at his giving me so often the Appellation of Yahoo an odious Animal for which I so utter an Hatred and Contempt IV 205 Gulliver is able to
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