Gulliver's Travels

The Failure of Paradise in Gulliver's Travels

It is human nature to strive for paradise, but is it actually attainable? There have been countless attempts to establish utopian societies, yet ultimately, all have failed. In his work, Gulliver's Travels, Swift recounts the journeys of Gulliver to various fantastical lands. Each land is vastly different from our own but also more similar than would ostensibly appear. In all the lands but the last, Gulliver finds that the other societies also experience much the same problems that plague human society. In the final land, however, that of the Houyhnhnms, human problems do not exist; instead, there is a much deeper, more profound problem - a complete lack of the very emotion which defines us as human. By placing Gulliver in various environments in which his perspective and relation to his surroundings change drastically, Swift is able to delineate, through the use of satire, the shortcomings of each society, as well as those extant in ours - shortcomings that cause us to fall short of a utopian ideal.

On his first journey, Gulliver travels to the land of Lilliput, where the inhabitants are a fraction of the size of humans. Despite this obvious difference in size, however, the society of the Lilliputians shares many...

Join Now to View Premium Content

GradeSaver provides access to 933 study guide PDFs and quizzes, 7487 literature essays, 2119 sample college application essays, 310 lesson plans, and ad-free surfing in this premium content, “Members Only” section of the site! Membership includes a 10% discount on all editing orders.

Join Now

Already a member? Log in