What political and cultural absurdities found in the land of the Lilliputans have parallels in our own society today?
Consult the Discussion Questions for Swift’s Gulliver’s Travels in the Assignments section and post your one-page response to one of them
Questions to consider while reading Jonathan Swift’s Gulliver’s Travels:
1. How does Gulliver’s character change as he moves from voyage to voyage? Identify his distinctive traits and responses in each culture he encounters.
2. What political and cultural absurdities found in the land of the Lilliputans have parallels in our own society today?
3. What examples can you find of Swift’s distrust of the way science and mathematics have affected human identity and human society?
4. What descriiptions are presented of the human body and what do those descriiptions say about Gulliver’s relationship to his own body? What does Swift seem to be saying about the relative importance of our physical bodies to our overall human identity?
5. What examples do you see of Gulliver’s concern with clothes in the voyages?
6. What examples do you see of Gulliver’s facility with and interest in language?
7. What examples does the work give of perfect or nearly perfect societies? What is Gulliver’s response to these examples of perfection? What is Swift’s view of them?
8. Which of the societies in the third voyage most appeals to you? Which least appeals to you? Why?
9. What are the virtues of the Houynhnhnms in the fourth voyage? What are their deficiencies?
10. What examples do you see in the world around you of humans who act like the Yahoos and what do you think should be done about them?