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Lecture 2

Week 20: Gulliver's Travels


Department
English
Course Code
ENG202Y1
Professor
Helen Hatton
Lecture
2

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ENG202Y1
Week 20 – 2/28/11
Gulliver’s Travels
Robinson Crusoe
-overcoming obstacles through hard work + industry
-idea of divine providence= > Robinson Crusoe comes to understand it as he understands
his place on the island
-> inner voice (God)
-life has a plan: how does it manifest + reveal to you in life?
-life = novel; there is a shape (divine plan) behind it
-> individual life = providential nature
-ambiguity: does God actually speak to Robinson Crusoe, OR he is just talking to
himself?
-> idea addressed by Swift: how do we know if individual experiences, separate
from outside thoughts, is appropriate?
-Robsinson Crusoe leaves old world + joining new one
-> leaves father who wants him to stay home, and makes a fortune
Swift + Compassion
-Swift: satire = mirror or glass -> beholders discover everyone’s face BUT their own ->
that’s the only way it becomes acceptable
-literary mode in which folly + abuse is clearly ridiculed; often makes use of irony,
exaggeration, lampoon; ethical goal of exposing corruption.
-Swift has great compassion for outsiders
-when died, left $$ to insane asylum
-Esther Johnson -> attachment w little girl (daughter of household servant)
-Battle of the Books:
-compares ancient learning to BEES: gather a bit of nectar (sweet knowledge)
from each flower. Modern learning = SPIDERS: spin around and around a certain
knowledge that comes from ourserlves; can be entrapping
Gulliver’s Travels
-published as though it was a real account of his life
-humour comes from JUXTAPOSITION w human failings + eternal, true, immutable
-reflects how, historically, people are losing sense of social order/hierarchy
-bottom of 2325: does not expect ppl to be affected by book
-> idea that the book itself cannot change ppl or society; ideas in it of themselves
PRECEPTS stories + statements without context with which they have meaning
-against Defoe: we can’t just read a book + expect it to transform individual + society
-names main character GULLIVER -> person we can’t really relate to
www.notesolution.com
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