Literary Analysis on Gullivers Travels by Jonathan Swift

2021-04-21 03:13:01
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Literary elements are part of the works of a narrative fiction. This fiction is important in the case of verbal storytelling and written ones as it differentiates them from literary techniques (Allen et al., pg 889). According to Hui, Haifeng, and Lei Fan (32), Examples of literary elements include plot, character, themes, point of view, and tones. Literary elements provide critical analysis of s particular piece of literature. The themes that are discussed in the Gullivers Travels are evident in the character and behavior of Gulliver. Gulliver has the character of a very naive person who does not have a firm response to the situations that he encounters. Being the dominant character in the story, he is always naive when he is shipwrecked, and held captive by the farmer. Generally, most of the characters portray themselves as flawless which is not the case. Their logical reception of Gulliver cannot be counted as a sympathetic way because their intention was different. The desire of Gulliver to leave his family and explore other areas turns out disastrous, as he does not achieve what he originally wants to. The naivety and vanity of Gulliver is demonstrated in many ways in the story. The character that Gulliver displays is that of an indecisive person who is full of fear. Specifically, this paper will be concerned with the character of Gulliver and point of view as the literary elements.

The novel of Gullivers Travels by Jonathan Swift mainly contains the characters of Gulliver, the Houyhnhms, or the King of Brobdingnag. Gulliver, who is the protagonist in the story, is personally a very flawed individual (Swift, 5). In this regard he is so naive and vague in his travels. In the first paragraph the novel, he begs for forgiveness before the reader even understands what he had done. Gulliver starts out the novel as a very smart person who has a profession to practice. Specifically, he is so educated for anyone to think that he can turn out to be a hater of humankind. In this regard, being a qualified surgeon would have meant that Gulliver would become engaged in his line of profession. In fact, by reading the first paragraphs of the novel, one might be satisfied that the story will have a successful conclusion. This display of naivety in the beginning of the novel provides one of the literary themes that can be observed throughout the story. The other character that is seen in the behavior of Gulliver is that of vanity. In this regard, he moves from one area to the other without any particular reason to do so. Not until he is shipwrecked does Gulliver realize that what he was doing was in vain.

The cooperation that Gulliver displays in all the cases that he is involved in further displays his naivety. Specifically, when he was captured by the miniature Lilliputians, he befriended the Houyhnhnms. What this displays is an act of cowardice. At worst, the character of Gulliver is that of a gullible individual. Although what was in front of him was a serious situation, he should have acted more decisively. The befriending of the Houyhnhnms was meant to secure his release and that of the ship that he served as the captain. In real scenarios, Gulliver would have realized that the situations that he was encountering are absurd and funny. Additionally, he should have made connections about the nature of the foreign land and the home place that he had left. Although the miniature people were less than six inches tall, they were still able to tie Gulliver with the tiny threads of the Lilliputians. His naivety is displayed where he is poked and mocked by the people without any response.

According to Marshall (40), the other actions of naivety and vanity that are displayed by Gulliver are when he puts off a fire in the palace by urinating on it. Because of urinating in the palace, Gulliver- who was then defenseless because of his naivety is tried and convicted of treason. The sentence for this conviction was a shot in the eye and consequently being starved to death. However, due to his naive nature, he does not even defend himself by saying that he was putting out the fire, instead, he admits to the charges. The only luck that he had was the escape that he made via a boat to his native home in England.

After his stay in England for around two months, the naive Gulliver starts his adventurous journey to a place known as Brobdingnag. Here the only living organisms are the giants, which are referred to as the brobdingnagians. Due to his naivety and lack of decisiveness, he is taken by a farmer who places him in a cage. Additionally, as if endorsing the actions, Gulliver is starved by the farmer without him offering any single resistance. As if that was not enough, Gulliver is sold to the queen by the famer after he had been completely exploited. There, he is given the work of entertaining the queen with his sweet melodies.

The other literary elements that this paper discusses is the point of view, in this regard, the story uses the first person. Specifically, Gulliver, the protagonist of the novel, narrates his story. As such, he is able to tell the audience what he really went through to his satisfaction (Marshall, pg 41). This act of telling the story in the first person is important in the novel since it outlines the events as they happened. This means that Gulliver owns the story and therefore has a better understanding of the happenings in the novel. Additionally, it provides a chronological flow of events from the beginning of the first voyage to the end of the adventurous journeys. However, the fact that the orator is the main character creates some biasness in the story.

To conclude, literary elements help in the flow of the story. The Gullivers journey is a novel that talks about the adventurers journeys of Gulliver, who doubles up as the narrator of the story. This study has looked at the literary elements of character and point of view. On the characters, it was mostly focused on the naivety and vanity of Gulliver. When he is shipwrecked, he does not object to the insults of those who took him captive. Additionally, his naivety is displayed when he is taken to the palace. In this case, he urinates on the fire with an intention of putting it off. When he is prosecuted for treason, he offers no defense due to his naivety. The other element is that of point of view. In this regard, the story uses the first person to narrate the story. This ensures that the contents are well articulated because the owner of the ideas brings them out. However, the personalized point of view might be biased.

Works Cited

Allen, Corville Orain, Scott Robert Carrier, and Eric Woods. "Detecting Literary Elements in Literature and Their Importance Through Semantic Analysis and Literary Correlation." U.S. Patent Application No. 14/094,889.Guides, S., Travels, G., & Essays, C. (2015). Gulliver's Travels Essay - Critical Essays - eNotes.com. eNotes. Retrieved 14 December 2015, from http://www.enotes.com/topics/gullivers-travels-jonathan-swift/critical-essays

Hui, Haifeng, and Lei Fan. "Words Not in the Story: Paratextual Analysis of Moral Education in a School Edition of Gulliver's Travels in China."International Research in Children's Literature 8.1 (2015): 31-44.

Marshall, Ashley. "Gulliver's Travels by Jonathan Swift (review)." The Scriblerian and the Kit-Cats 47.1 (2014): 40-42.

Swift, Jonathan. Gulliver's travels. Broadview Press, 2012.

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