Jonathan Swift's Political Satire

1243 Words5 Pages
Most works of literature contain writers ideas; often including their social criticism. One of the prominent forms used to bring reform or change in the society or individual is that of satire. Satire can be considered as an essential device to bring out the author’s thought. Jonathan swift produced such literature in which “every line and every detail is vivid by a humour which consists in presenting the most improbable extravagance with an imperturbable gravity and procures belief for them’. Through his magnum opus, the writer discloses the ridiculousness of the religious and political situations of eighteenth century of Europe, especially England. The political satire in the book is exhibited with his encounter with Lilliputians who exemplify…show more content…
The Whigs corresponded to the low heels and were more liberal, while the Tories corresponded to the high heels and were traditionalists and republicans. The author exposes that the difference between these groups is miniscule in the way he makes fun of the internal politics as well as the trivial arguments that changes people’s lives. They would get into heated arguments about every situation because they didn’t like each other as individuals. Similarly, the argument between the two countries, Lilliput and Blefusco, here meant to represent England and France, was of a small…show more content…
Swift was notorious for being misanthrope. He was subjected to this allegation during his lifetime because the critics identified Gulliver with Swift and attributed Gulliver’s blunders to Swift. That Gulliver becomes a misanthrope is undeniable and indisputable. Prima facie, it appears that by developing a negative view of mankind, he starts preferring horses to men. In last voyage, the protagonist happens to get the land ruled by animals. There are two types of animals Yahoos-ugly and repulsive brutes, Houyhnhnms- better and nice looking ones. He firstly confronts with Yahoos and they give him such a nasty and obnoxious treatment that culminates in disliking for them, which is converted into hatred owing to their disgusting appearance and mischievious way of life. Meantime, the Houyhnhnms behave outstandingly with him. This develops into fondness towards them. When he is so enamoured of Houyhnhnms, he starts hating man or equating Yahoos with men, over idealizing them. He finds Yahoos as slave of emotions and sensuality and Houyhnhnms lack of emotions and free from corruptions. Naturally he attributes whole of man’s corruption to emotions and sentimentatlity. As a remedy he starts hating emotions. He mis-idealize Houyhnhnms, due to their pure intellect, somehow establishes a subjective ideal before him, and he thinks that the only remedy for doing away with man’s corruption is to get rid of all kinds of emotions. In fact this ideal is perfectly erroneous.
Open Document