Gulliver's Travels

rational vs. irrational

Explain how Gulliver's Travels is a book about rational vs. irrational, and not the conclusions Swift would have us draw from his work.

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Many beliefs that people hold would be considered irrational by the people around them. For example, on the island of Laputa, those "scientists" who have their heads in the clouds seem to lack common sense. They consider themselves rational, yet those who view them from the outside see them as irrational. All of the behaviors that the various characters in the various lands exhibit are behaviors that seem rational to people performing them but irrational to those outside the "circle." Rather than focusing on each example of a certain behavior, all behaviors can be categorized as irrational by those who stand back and obvserve the behavior.