Gulliver's Travels

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what is a satire 

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By definition a satire is a piece of writing which uses language to "make fun of" a particular subject.  Someone like Swift used his satire to criticize governments and their idiosyncrasies, people and their pettiness, and mankind and its complete moral degradation.  All of his various lands (Lilliput, Laputa, the Academy, the land of the Yahoos and Houyhnyms) show this mocking tone.  Often, depending on the subject, the satire can be very bitter in its tone.