Get help from the best in academic writing.

English Society and Jonathan Swift’s Gulliver’s Travels

English Society Exposed in Gulliver’s Travels

In Gulliver’s Travels, Swift takes us to many places that serve as a looking glass for the foibles of English society, but none of the places are as severe a censure of men as Houyhnhnmland. Here Swift has made a clear division of pure reason, embodied in the Houyhnhnms (maybe he was refering to “horse sense”), and raw passion, embodied in the Yahoos (which are “coincidentally” very manlike). Here Gulliver has to make the choice between Houyhnhnms and Yahoos, reason and passion. He initially rejects the Yahoos because of their repulsiveness to him, but at the same time he doesn’t embrace the Houyhnhnms either. He still wants to cling in many ways to his English heritage, but his discussions with his master proves to himself, despite his asserted differences, that he and his English society are really Yahoo!

When I thought of my family, my friends, my countrymen, or human race in general, I considered them as they really were, Yahoos in shape and disposition, perhaps a little more civilized, and qualified with the gift of speech; but making no other use of reason than to improve and multiply those vices, whereof their brethren in this country had only the share that nature allotted them.

Thus Gulliver is faced with this decision again between Houyhnhnm and Yahoo, but now he sees Yahoo as being himself and country. He decides to reject Yahoos and his former self and embrace Houyhnhnms and reason. I believe chapter ten to be the crucial chapter in the book, because Gulliver decides to abandon all things “Yahoo,” and in the same chapter Houyhnhnms and reason decide to reject Gulliver.

In the beginning of chapter ten, Gulliver relates his happy lodg…

… middle of paper …

…f the Satirist. Berne: Peter Lang Publishers, Inc., 1992.

This book focuses on the way Swift employs fictional devices into his satires, and argues that it is this ability that allows gives his literature the great subtelty it posseses.

* Gravil, Richard ed. Gulliver’s Travels: A Case Book. London: The Macmillan Press LTD, 1974.

As the title indicates, this book is a casebook or a collection of pertinent essays concerning the scholarship of Gulliver’s Travels.

* Rowse, A. L. Jonathan Swift: Major Prophet. London: Thames and Hudson, 1975.

This book is a biography of Swift’s life and relations.

* Ward, David. Jonathan Swift: An Introductory Essay. London: Methuen

Catcher in the Rye Essay: Rebel with a Delicate Psyche

J.D. Salinger’s The Catcher in the Rye provides a provocative inquiry into the crude life of a depressed adolescent, Holden Caulfield. Without intensive analysis and study, Holden appears to be a clearly heterosexual, vulgar yet virtuous, typical youth who chastises phoniness and decries adult evils. However, this is a fallacy. The finest manner to judge and analyze Holden is by his statements and actions, which can be irrefutably presented. Holden Caulfield condemns adult corruption and phoniness but consistently misrepresents himself and is a phony as well as a hypocrite.

Holden criticizes phonies although he engages in phony conversations and uses ‘phony’ words. Before he leaves Pencey Prep, in his visit with Mr. Spencer, Holden partakes in an obviously phony conversation. During their talk old Spencer uses the term “grand” (p7) which infuriates Holden, “Grand. There’s a word I really hate. It’s a phony” (p9). But he had already used the word “nice” (p1) and later uses the word “swell” (p124) both of which are ‘phony.’ Later, while he was on the train he struck up a phony conversation with Mrs. Morrow. In order to elicit pity from her, and misrepresent himself, he explained his reason for going home early was not that he was flunking classes (the truth) but, that he had “to have this operation” (p58). Holden deceives others by misrepresenting himself and acting phony.

Holden is a hypocrite because he continually enjoys what he virulently condemns. He proclaims that he hates “the movies like prison” (p29). However, he goes to the movies. He also states, “I don’t like any shows” (p117) and, “I don’t like [the Lunts]” (p125), even though he purposely bought tickets for Sally and him to watch the Lunts. Once in the theater, he expounds, “the show wasn’t as bad as some I’ve seen” (p125). Holden is insolent towards his school, stating it’s “for the birds” (p4). However, once again he contradicts himself by remarking that it has a “very good academic rating” (p8) and “it’s as good as most schools” (p55). Further confirmation that Holden is a phony.

Once in his room at the Edmont Hotel, Holden is quick to become a voyeur to the erotic and carnal activities of others in the hotel. Although he supposedly detests what he sees he does observe a male transvestite for quite a while. Holden says, “the hotel,” which he personally chose, “was lousy with perverts” (p62).

Leave a Comment

Your email address will not be published.