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Voltaire and Jonathan Swift use the travel narrative in their novels "The Candide" and "Gulliver's Travels," respectively, to characterize the journeys of their native characters who, in this case, abandon their familiar surroundings and visit not only strange but also new environments. Both journalists, however, end up heavily attacking both the global and domestic cultures. The writers tell the tales of Candide and Gulliver's adventure lives in "The Candide" and "Gulliver's Travels" by giving a concise account of how the characters traveled around the globe as well as their experiences with various situations (Schoolworkhelper). The authors use a critical tone as well as satire to reveal the fact that the “world is indeed a cruel place” which in this case is a clear depiction of Europe.
The authors use satire as a vehicle or rather as a means to launch all their attacks on not only the Europeans society but also its values. Satire refers to the use of irony, exaggeration, ridicule as well as humor to expose or rather to criticize peoples’ stupidity or their vices, particularly in the social, political and religious contexts. Therefore, both authors constructed the unfamiliar and marvelous in accordance to cultural, economic, religious, political and ideological constraints that existed in Europe during the Enlightenment era. In both stories, Voltaire and Swift use satire to critique the unfamiliar, all which portray specific horrors in Europe during their time. From the stories, it is clear that both authors were extremely dedicated to exposing some of the inherent problems facing the European society and instead of making what can be termed as bold proclamations about the issues the authors applied entertaining texts that applied irony and satire in criticizing unfamiliar places to point them out.
Swift’s Attack on Humans
In part IV Gulliver’s fourth voyage portrays Swift’s attack on the human species in regard to the clear satire of the Yahoos. In his fourth voyage, a case study is presented by Swift whereby, he explores the opposing states of nature whereby, the Yahoo is a representation of the of the argument that man is to a great extent governed by his passions, avoids pain while pursuing pleasures and seeks his own advantage. On the other hand, the Houyhnhnms as presented by the author represents the argument that man to a great extent is governed by reason (Schoolworkhelper).
The author associates humanity with the Yahoos whereby, they are allowed to steal, cheat on the grander scale as well as lie. Moreover Swift asserts that humanity is “strong and hardy, but of a cowardly Spirit, and by consequence, insolent, abject, and cruel" (Schoolworkhelper). Moreover, by attributing some sins to the “due course of things,” the author through Gulliver expresses his conviction that humanity is indeed as the Houyhnhnms believe. Thus humanity is corrupt and ungovernable at heart. However, what is worse is the inability of humanity to see its own feeling as well as recognize the depravity behind false nobility. In Swift's analysis Yahoos are shown as base creatures that are barbaric in nature and possess no aptitude for learning. Swift’s use of the lowly creature to symbolize man is considered as harsh. However, it serves the purpose of enhancing his satire.
Validity of Gulliver’s Travel Narrative
In Gulliver’s Travel narrative, Swift uses vivid description to show and explain to the reader the different things happening thus, giving them a clear picture of the situation in the narrative. When Gulliver was in Laputians, Swift explains that the people there were dedicated to two things which are mathematics and music which made them poor at conducting practical aspects like making good suits, clothes or build houses (Schoolworkhelper). This vivid explanation gives the reader a clear view of the state of the people of Laputian and how they live in shambles.
In Gulliver’s Travels, Swift makes the narrative seem valid by making Gulliver wash up or marooned in different locations because in real life situation during a storm at sea, it was difficult to get marooned in the same place since the sea is vast. During the first journey, Gulliver gets washed up in Lilliput, in the second, he gets washed up in Brobdingnagian and later he is marooned at Laputians (Schoolworkhelper).
Swift makes Gulliver’s Travel narrative seem valid through making some relatable aspects in particular instances in the novel. An example is when Gulliver was washed up on the island of Lilliput where there are tiny people (Schoolworkhelper). Swift shows that the tiny people are organized and have a leader who is the emperor as in the normal world. Swift also shows on Gulliver’s second travel when he is in the Brobdingnagian Island the giants have a lifestyle similar to that of normal-sized people in England like in the giant world there were puppies, monkeys, and pigeons.
Schoolworkhelper. Jonathan Swift’s Gulliver’s Travels: Summary & Analysis (2016). Retrieved From: https://schoolworkhelper.net/jonathan-swifts-gullivers-travels-summary-analysis/
Schoolworkhelper. Voltaire’s Candide: Summary & Analysis (2016).Retrieved From: https://schoolworkhelper.net/voltaires-candide-summary-analysis/
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