In Swift's classic satire, the adventure-prone naval surgeon Gulliver finds himself repeatedly stranded in strange lands, where he meets the tiny Lilliputians, the giant Brobdingnagians, the ivory tower intellectuals of Laputa, and the superhuman intelligent horses, the Houyhnhnm. In the process, again and again he is confronted with the inexplicable base depravity of the human race, never more bitingly than in his encounter with the virtuous Houyhnhnm, for whom the men who live alongside them, the disgusting Yahoos, are a byword for foulness and a source of considerable perplexity.

Gulliver's Travels is often treated as a children's story and, apart from the modern dismissive attitude towards fantasy, it is difficult to imagine why. Swift's contempt for prideful, fallen humanity can only be described as Brobdingnagian. In the eighteenth century, this was understandably the source of considerable controversy, now, for some reason, it is only commented upon when Swift focuses his ire on the female of the species.

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