Essay on Oroonoko and Gulliver's Travels

Words: 1162
Pages: 5

Oroonoko and Gulliver’s Travels


Melissa Eason

Mrs. Sarbani Bose
Eng 232-69
February 18, 2011

Oroonoko and Gulliver’s Travels

Gulliver’s Travels and Oroonoko shatter the myth that European culture was more civilized than “newly discovered” savage countries. The most prominent examples in Oroonoko are their treatment of the slaves and how they are punished. In Gulliver’s Travels the evidence revolves around how petty, destructive, illogical, and unreasonable human beings act. Though the authors of these stories differ on many levels from their writing style to the very reason why their story was written they have a common theme. They show glaring evidence that European culture is actually more savage than the countries
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The reasons given for fights were preposterous and outrageous. “difference in opinions hath cost many millions of lives” [p. 364] or another that said, “Sometimes the quarrel between two princes is to decide which of them shall dispossess a third of his dominions, where neither of them pretend to any right”, or “one prince quarrels with another, for fear the other should quarrel with him” [p. 364]. The most revealing reason was, “Sometimes our neighbors want the things which we have, or have things which we want;” [p. 364]. It is beyond obvious that Europeans fight over everything and nothing all at the same time. The thing that is perhaps most disturbing about these quotes is that the people we allow to be in charge only abuse the power that they have been allowed to fulfill their own vices, the rest of the country be damned, it only matters what those in power want and decide to go after. The authors also showed that those claiming to be reasonable and just (Europeans) are actually just brutes that use all the intelligence that we have to destroy. I believe that a quote from Gulliver proves this without a doubt. “I gave him a description of cannons, culverins, muskets, carabines, pistols, bullets, powder, swords, bayonets, battles, sieges, retreats, attacks, undermines, countermines, bombardments, seafights; ships sunk with a thousand men, twenty thousand killed on each side; dying groans,