Monday, December 26, 2016
The Briefest Of Notes On Gulliver's Travels
I'm rounding the club house turn with Gulliver's Travels. He's back in England for a titch before he leaves for his fourth and final voyage to the land of the Houyhnhnms.
Is there anyone who hasn't zoned out in parts while reading Swift's frequent descents into various lists and physical descriptions of things?
I've tended to.
But regardless, one of the ways I'm approaching this reading is try to trace as the book goes ahead how Gulliver himself changes.
I thought that after he learns the scuzzy truths of apparently great personages and events of history in Glubbdubdrib: ..."I was chiefly disgusted with modern History"...he would be disabused of his reverence for the kings and lords he still meets. But in Luggnagg, and then Japan, he still shows that reverence for those in high and royal place.
I'll have to see how this aspect of things--changes in Gulliver--finally resolves itself in Part 4, concerning the Houyhnhnms.
As a p.s.: what Gulliver reveals of himself when first encountering the Struldbruggs and before he learns the awful truth of living forever is fascinating.
He's ready all of a sudden to ditch his desire to get back to England and his family and is prepared to spend the rest of his life with whom he imagines the Struldbruggs to be in their eternal longevity. He thinks they must be the repository of th greatest learning and wisdom and he goes on about all the glorious good he could were he have the gift of eternal life.
His idealistic, innocent naïveté is very apparent here.