A critique and analysis of R.S. Crane's interpretive essay on Book IV of Swift's Gulliver's Travels
Since its first publication nearly three hundred years ago, Jonathan Swift's satirical prose Gulliver's Travels has been the subject of a wide variety of literary critique and social interpretation. Although many readers, at first glance, take this tale to be simply a fantastic narrative of a common man and his encounters with unusual locations and people
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see that man, that is, European "civilized" man, is not very different than the Yahoo. Swift's opinion, through Gulliver, seems to say that man is one of the most irrational animals who, based on circumstance, evolved to dominate all other animals. Perhaps this is taken to an extreme, although I would have to generally agree with Swift's perspective that man is not as "rational", or civilized, as we like to think of ourselves as being.