Monday, 15 May 2017

Best reads of Summer time - “”Gulliver travels by Jonathan swift”

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           Summer fetches with itself some leisure time for Everyone. Reading can be a best hobby at any age.  Taste and selection of books may vary, but the enjoyment up to some extent is lauded by all. In general, vacations are mostly synonymous with travels. If one can’t make a travel trip, they can at least go through the travels & experiences of Gulliver.

LORD LYTTON on Gulliver travels: “”And lo! The book, from all its end beguiled, A harmless wonder to some happy child.

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Gulliver Travels was published in 1726. The book combines in a measure the interest of Robinson Crusoe and the that of the fairy tale; its style is objective, the narrative is simple, and the matter appeals strongly & can be read with profit by the child as well by the young man or woman of mature years.
Travels into several remote Nations of the world in four parts. By Lemuel Gulliver, first surgeon, and then the captain of several ships, better known simply as Gulliver’s Travels, is a novel by Irish writer & clergy man Jonathan Swift that is both a satire on human nature & a parody of the “travelers’ tales” literary sub-genre. It is swift’s best known full length work, &a classic of English literature.
The book became popular as soon as it was published. John Gay wrote in 1726 a letter to Swift that “”It is universally read, from the cabinet council to the nursery””, since then, it has never been out of  print.

In terms of story- telling & construction the parts follow a pattern;
*The cause of Gulliver’s misadventures becomes more malignant as time goes on- he is first ship wrecked, then abandoned, then attacked by strangers, then attacked by his own crew
*Gulliver’s attitude hardens as the book progresses- he is genuinely surprised by the viciousness &politicking of the Lilliputians but finds the behaviour of the yahoos in the fourth part reflective of the behaviour of people.
*Each part is the reverse of the preceding part – Gulliver is big/ small/ wise/ ignorant, the countries are complex/ simple/ scientific/ natural, forms of government are worse/ better/ worse/better/ than England’s.
* Gulliver’s viewpoint between parts is mirrored by that his antagonists in the contrasting part- Gulliver sees the tiny Lilliputians as being vicious & unscrupulous, and then the king of Brobdingnag sees Europe in exactly the same light; Gulliver sees the Lilliputians as unreasonable, and his Houyhnhnm master sees humanity as equally so.
* No form of government is ideal- the simplistic Brobdingnagians enjoy public executions and have streets infested with beggars, the honest and upright Houyhnhnms who have no word for lying are happy to supress the true nature of Gulliver as a yahoo and are  equally un concerned about his reaction to being expelled.
*specific individuals may be good even where the race is bad-Gulliver finds a friend in each of his travels and, despite Gulliver’s rejection and horror toward all yahoos, is treated very well by the Portuguese captain, Dom Pedro, who returns him to England at the novel’s end.

Gulliver’s Travels is a very modern and complex novel. There are subtle shifts throughout the book, such as when Gulliver begins to see all humans, not just those in Houyhnhmn- land as yahoos.
Also, although Gulliver is presented as a common place “’every man’, lacking higher education, he possesses a remarkable natural gift for language. He quickly becomes fluent in the native tongue of any strange land in which he finds himself, a literary device that adds much understanding and humour to swift’s work.
Despite the depth and subtlety of the book, it is often classified as a children’s story because of the popularity of the Lilliput section as a book for children. One can still buy books entitled “’Gulliver’s Travels’’ which contain only parts of the Lilliput voyage.

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