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World Literature from 1660

Swift: Gulliver's Travels

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Swift: Gulliver's Travels
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Title of Publication: Travels into Remote Nations of the World, by Lemuel Gulliver

Genre: travelogue

Gulliver's Travels, Book 4: A Voyage to the Country of the Houyhnhnms

Narrator: not reliable, first person narrator. Lemuel Gulliver

What is the role of the letter to Cousin Sympson?

NOTE: Don't confuse Gulliver and his opinions with Swift's opinions

What is the relationship between Yahoos and humankind?

What are the characteristics of Yahoos?

Gender relationships?

Role of economics?

Describe the Yahoos' general personality traits.

Do Houyhnhnms represent an ideal society?

In this utopia (perfect place) reason is presented as being a sufficient guide for a reasonable being.

What are the characteristics of this reasonable culture?

Gender relationships? (Household management)

Role of marriage?

Role of education?

Role of communication? How is the culture preserved in communication?

Role of government?

Role of master-slave?

Role of religion?

Why do the savages attack Gulliver when he leaves?

Are recognizable humans in a native state good and reasonable? Does Swift's idea support the concept of the noble savage?

If humankind really consists of Yahoos, how do we account for Don Pedro, the Portuguese captain who rescues Gulliver and treats him well despite Gulliver's inappropriate and ill-mannered behavior (Is Gulliver being reasonable in his treatment of Don Pedro, in his treatment of his family?)

To Gulliver, what is the function of war, of politics, and of professions such as lawyers and doctors in the British (and the civilized) world?

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