Jonathan Swift Misanthrope Quotes

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In his novel, Gulliver’s Travels, Jonathan Swift frequently satirizes the flaws of human nature by exaggerating them in the cultures of his fictitious nations. Each country described by Swift shows an over-exemplified behavior that’s used to criticize our own. Although Swift is commonly labeled as a misanthrope due to his censure shown throughout the entirety of his novel, there is evidence that he has more hope for humanity than he’s given credit for. The Lilliputians, Brobdingnagians, Laputans, and Houyhnhnms are evidence of Swift’s misanthropy, while Pedro de Mendez shows how not all people fit into his stereotyping. Gulliver’s first expedition leaves him shipwrecked on the Island of Lilliput, where the other inhabitants are only six inches…show more content…
Instead, he is rescued by a Portuguese ship that’s captained by Pedro de Mendez. Even though Gulliver tries to jump off the ship and escape, Pedro realizes how distressed he is and does everything he can to help. Although Swift could have ended his novel by leaving Gulliver marooned on an island, he chose to include Pedro in the story. The purpose of Pedro’s inclusion was not only for the plot, but it showed that there was still hope for humanity. Although Swift was against almost every aspect of human nature, there were still people who could do good in the world. Even though it was irrational, unnecessary, and difficult to get Gulliver home to England, Pedro did much more than he needed to. Instead of dropping Gulliver off at the nearest port, Pedro took Gulliver to his home, dressed him in his finest clothes, and took him back to his family in England. Even though Gulliver’s Travels shows that Jonathan Swift was against nearly every part of human nature, Pedro de Mendez is proof that Swift isn’t entirely a misanthrope. He uses four different fictional nations to ridicule his grievances with England, but a single character to show how it’s possible to transcend instinct to become a positive influence on
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