Response Paper 1

Submitted By snehpatel27
Words: 1034
Pages: 5

Response Paper 1 (Jonathan Swift) “The thirst I had of seeing the world, not withstanding my past misfortunes…”(Swift 163) shows the scientist’s interest in exploring the world. This was the only motivation behind his voyage not something silly as greed for money. So even when he was deserted on a small canoe in a middle of ocean, he had a defiant urge to explore the surrounding. The journey begins with exploring small islands in the vicinity. He then encounters a place called laputa that had nothing in common with the islands he had explored before. It seemed to be a flying island with the flat reflective bottom. As he approached the island, he saw signs of life-form which gave him some hope of survival. He tried to draw attention of his presence on the island to the people above. When he got himself noticed, the people facilitated his transfer on the island. He was then brought to the king. There he noticed a peculiar type of language used for the communication among the people. This wasn’t the only thing that was peculiar; their physical formation seemed different too. Their heads were all reclined either to the right or to the left; one of their eyes turned inward and the other directly up to the zenith. Their garments were adorned with the figures of suns, moon and the stars, interwoven with those of fiddles, flutes, harps, trumpets, guitars, harpsichords and many more instruments of music unknown to Europe (Swift 169).
The author speculates that the people there had terribly short attention spans, so they carried around "Flappers." These were used to address the others and also in arousing other people during conversation so as to keep them focused. His reasoning arrived from their state of mind which was filled with intense speculation and hence been so taken that they could neither speak nor attend to discourses without being roused. A man was sent to teach Gulliver the language so as to reduce the language barrier. This assignment shows the typical hierarchy found among our culture. Gulliver learned their language, adapted to their food habits. The food he ate was all based on mathematical shape. To get further involved among the laputian the narrator changed his look by wearing the same clothes they wore. Gulliver narrates that the Laputian houses were built very poorly and with no right angles. This was odd because the men here were obsessed with mathematics. The people here never had any peace of mind. They were constantly worrying about dangers such as the possibility that the sun might go out. The women here were very sexual creatures who often cheated on their husbands, especially with their preferred men from Balnibarbi, but the men were so wrapped up in mathematics that they did not notice. The King of Laputa was not remotely interested in the government of England. Swift tries to tell the readers that the Laputans are speculative and rationalistic philosophers. And they are dismal failures — as philosophers, as reasoners, and as men. They are devoted to the most ethereal of abstract disciplines — music and mathematics — but cannot play music well or figure accurately enough to build houses or tailored clothes. They are completely incompetent in practical affairs and don't even notice that their wives are notoriously unfaithful. Swift uses the wives of the Laputans as the example to suggest that immorality accompanies abstract, proud reason. Gulliver learns that Laputa was floating above Balnibarbi, the island on which he landed his canoe. Laputa was spread across 10,000 acres and was perfectly circular. It was able to move about the surface of Balnibarbi but not beyond its borders; also it could move upward and downward because of its magnetic forces. When a town from Balnibarbi rebelled, the King moved Laputa directly above it so that it can receive no sun or rain. No one from the Royal family was allowed to leave Laputa. Swift fills his reader's mind full of reminiscences of scientific speculation