Gulliver's Travels

satrical political features of Gulliver"s Travels

chapter 3&5

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Chapter 3 highlights the kinds of commentary Swift makes throughout the novel. By describing a society that chooses its highest officials with silly competitions like seeing who can jump the highest on a tight-rope, Swift is poking fun at the way officials are chosen in England. He is also commenting on the disturbing trend of politicians who are willing to do whatever it takes to gain favor in the court-including humiliating themselves. The danger of ambition is also figured here; jumping badly can lead to death. In Chapter 5 Gulliver realizes that Power proves more important, and it is fortunate that Gulliver uses his reason to decide how to use his power appropriately. (Again one might consider the implications for England as a colonial power.) Check out the GradeSaver link below: