Abby Felch 3˙ Second Quarter
Book Title and Author: Gulliver's Travels by Jonathan Swift.
Setting: Takes place in the early 1700's in different lands such as the Island of Liliput, Brobdingnag, Laputa, Balnibarb, Glubbdubdrib, Luggnagg, Japan, and the country of the Houyhnhnms.
Plot and Characters: Gulliver is a man who starts his journey as the sole survivor of a shipwreck, washed up on the shore of an unknown island. There he meets the miniature people of Liliput which he lived with for a short time until he decided he must escape and get back home. After he sails back home, Gulliver has an inescapable urge to travel the world and find new adventures. He sails to many new lands and meets strange peoples, such as the yahoos and Houyhnhnms. This book in not only an adventure, but also a satire on the Patriarchy of the era it was written while also slipping in jokes about governments and human tendencies.
"So What?" Gulliver's Travels is an important book because not only is it a good adventure story with humor and cleverness, it also comments on the politics and society of the era which still relates to today's society. It does this by using an allegory of the fiction and adventure aspect of the story to relate to the real world and people. An example of the author making fun of government is when Gulliver arrived in Liliput and a committee was created by the people there to search his pockets, but failed to find everything he had in his jacket. This scene was used to show how useless and ineffective bureaucratic committees can be, and how the government is not always efficient and righteous. Another large aspect of the book that matters the most is the different types of humans Gulliver encounters on his journey–from the Brobdingnagians who are self obsessed and repulsive to the Yahoos who are filthy, human-like creatures who sat around in trees and put prices on worthless rocks. Gulliver realizes that "animals" are better creatures than humans when he travels to the land of the Houyhnhnms, who are beautiful horse-like creatures that respect each other and live lives full of peace and harmony–exactly what the humans think they are like despite them being very opposite. Gulliver was accepted by the Houyhnhnms and lived happily with them until he was overtaken by human nature and stole stones he planned to sell when he returned to England. The Houyhnhnms saw through to his Yahoo-like nature inside him and banished him from their land because they knew he could never escape his human tendencies to be like…