A Look at Gulliver’s Travels
The masterpiece of fantasy with unforgettable little people, giant people, flying islands, and talking horses, Jonathan Swift creates a new popular genre of realistic novel which is to present plausible details as if they were literally true through the book Gulliver’s Travels.Swift first published the book in London with the title Travels into Several Remote Nations of the World with the alias Lemuel Gulliver.Only a few knew that the real author was Dr.
Swift, the distinguished Dean of the Anglican St. Patrick’s Cathedral in Dublin.
Many people including, Samuel Johnson, remember the novel as a as “a production so new and strange that it filled the reader with a mingled emotion of merriment and amazement. ” Swift arises emotions by comparing and contrasting the church and state in the islands of Lilliput and Brobdingnag. Lilliputians, the small people, are used to bring about state control and religious minimization. They had a strict and concise government often portraying life as complicated and complex.
The inhabitants of Lilliput do not raise their children but instead send them to distant schools near the capital city where the children are raised by teachers and other members of the school system. Parents can interact with their children only twice a year creating a barrier between the relationship between the two generations. However, children of the poor are able to stay at home and share the workload with their parents. The separation between the rich and the poor class depicts the governments view on society and how it should be run.
The governing system of Lilliput attempts to portray equalization and equal opportunities, but, in context of terms and actions one is able to witness the separating factors of class separation and distinction. The power is mainly held in the hands of the emperor who is able to mandate decrees and create laws, although the approval of the people and government officials is also needed. An example would be when the “emperors father published an edict, commanding all his subjects, upon great penalties, to break the smaller end of their eggs. (40)
The government of the Lilliputians is in direct control of the people. They are able to make decisions and regarding every aspect and nature of the Lilliputians- both socially and politically while the church plays no role at all. The mention of a religious organization or association is never mentioned in the novel and the audience is led to assume that their was no major role if their was a church. The state plays a dominating role in the lives of the Lilliputians making it difficult to let any other institution come in the way, including a religious one.
Enabling a religious or church association would put the Lilliputian government at a disadvantage, letting the people have an alternative voice to listen too. In the island of the Borabdingnagians there is a dominant role of the church and a simple and broad role of the government, a contrast to the Lilliputians. The people of Borabdingnag attend Sabbath on Wednesdays displaying their dedication and devotion to the church. The respect and responsibility of the people to attend Sabbath enable the audience to understand the major role of the Church in the lives of the citizens.
Their religious aspect and beliefs shape their morals and in effect play a major role in every aspect of their lives. Unlike the citizens of Lilliput the Church is the dominating organization in which the political government is in accordance with. The government is described as being simple and broad a collaboration of “narrow principles and short views” (135) . The simplicity of the government enables the Church to play a more dominant role and influence the lives of the Borabdingnagians.