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Lecture 2

Week 20: Gulliver's Travels

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Helen Hatton

ENG202Y1 Week 20 22811 Gullivers 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 everyones face BUT their own -> thats 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 Gullivers 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 orderhierarchy -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 cant just read a book + expect it to transform individual + society -names main character GULLIVER -> person we cant really relate to
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