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 Lilliput

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Minimoosey

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PostSubject: A VOYAGE TO LILLIPUT   Fri Jan 12, 2007 4:50 am

Jonathan Swift wants us to enjoy this book. He makes it an easy read. Gulliver's background is told and we find out that the places he travels will be compared to good ole' Europe. I learned that this was written during a time when Europe was dominant in the world. With their expanding fleet they were able to expose the worlds goods and culture with Europe. That's why I think that Gulliver's Travels was written at a convenient time.

I read in the Spark Notes analysis that Swift chose to use physical size as a way of differentiating cultures. He also used this physical size to emphasize power.

Gulliver's first stop is to Lilliput. He had no choice in the matter, but he was a gentleman. In Lilliput he is the "giant." Swift demonstrates in his writing that size and power are relevent.

Swift was the "giant," but he had to earn trust to gain freedom and power.
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Kelley
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PostSubject: Lilliput   Sun Jan 14, 2007 4:22 am

This section is for comments and conversations re: Lilliput.
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Minimoosey

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PostSubject: Re: Lilliput   Mon Jan 15, 2007 12:46 am

Boy was I way off. I read Part I first and then went back to the intro (I think they give too much info in the intro). Swift really wrote this book about his love for history.

The book took place "from execution of Charles I in 1649 to the crisis of the Tory ministry." I agree with the Spark Notes, Swift has a problem with the English Society. This book was written when The Great Awakening took place in the American colonies. This was his way of "expressing" himself.
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PostSubject: Lilliput   Mon Jan 15, 2007 4:35 am

After reading the first part, and then following it with the sparknotes information, I think that I would better understand some of the satire, if I had a better understanding of the politics of the time.

I did see however, that the High heels v. Low heels, and the Big-Endians v. Little-Endians, could show how disputes can turn into feuds and wars. Especially disputes that have no black and white "right" answer, such as politics and religion.

I also noted that Swift portrayed some of the Lilliputians customs in a beneficial light, occassionally comparing their ways to England's. I found it interesting that even in today's society, we have a system of reward and punishment, with out real rewards as incentives.

The importance of size=power seemed to be pretty evident in this section, although I do have to agree that the Lilliputians never seemed to observe their lack of power. And Gulliver seemed to allow them the sense of security they needed in believing they had some control over him. Does this show us that sometimes power that comes from strength or threat alone, does not always reap the results we desire??
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Minimoosey

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PostSubject: Re: Lilliput   Tue Jan 16, 2007 1:02 am

OK the politics was over my head too. Kelly we will rectify that. LOL. I don't think we are looking at a war scenerio, but a treasonous situation. Everyone wanted to break away from the Church of England, including Gulliver, and Swift portrayed this in his writing by using Gulliver's voyaging urges as Swifts real-life urges for religious freedom. (How's that for a response.

Regarding the "reward and punishment" comment - I disagree - the Lilliput's are petty, backbiting creatures with excessive pride. They are not going to "reward" Gulliver for all the good he does. They charge him with treason because he wants to leave. Gulliver on the other hand has helped the Lilliputs with a lot of things that only "giant" people can do. So the Lilliputs are not nice creatures.

The Brobdingnagians, on the other hand, are governed by a sense of justice. They reward Gulliver with the best accomodations and resources. Gulliver did have to start the politeness first though. They at least reciprocated.

Size and Power hmmmmm - I think we are comparing the people of Lilliput against one man. If that is comparison OK. Gulliver does not use his power that he really does have. Gulliver is remembering his values and manners that he apparently grew up with. The Lilliputs have the excessive pride thing going on. They think they are superior from the beginning. My take on this is that the Lilliputs are too into themselves and I give them a thumbs down.
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PostSubject: Section I Chapter 6   Tue Jan 16, 2007 1:35 am

Section I Chapter 6

"Although we usually call Reward and Punishment, the two hinges upon which all government turns; yet I could never observe this Maxim to be put in practice by any Nation, except that of Lilliput. WHoever can there bring sufficient proof that he hath strictly obeserved th laws of his country for 73 moons, hath a claim to certain priveleges, according to his quality of condition of life, with a proportionalbe sum of money out of a fund appropriated for that use....it a prodigious defect of policy among us, when I told them that our laws were enforced only by penalties, without any mention of reward."

I think that this section is a direct comparison of what Swift believes the justice system should be, compared to what it currently is. In my opinion, this area is more of political statement by Swift, then any kind of bearing on the culture and qualities of the fictitious Lilliputians.
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PostSubject: Re: Lilliput   Tue Jan 16, 2007 1:45 am

I don't think that this is what Swift believes. The Lilliputs punish harsher for someone who accuses, than someone who actually did the dirty deed.

Part I
Chapter 6
Of the Inhabitants of Lilliput

They look upon Fraud as a greater Crime than Theft, and therefore seldom fail to punish it with Death; for they allege, that Care and Vigilance, witha very common Understanding, may preserve a Man's Goods from Thieves, but Honesty has no fence against superior Cunning: and since it is necessary that there should be a perpetual Intercourse of Buying and Selling, and dealing upon Credit, where Fraud is permitted and connived at, or hath no Law to punish it, the honest Dealer is always undone, and the Knave get the advantage.

I don't think that Swift is putting all his "own" beliefs into the writing. This point of punishment and reward is awful harsh. That's why he left. Don't you think that the Lilliputs are "The Church of England." You don't need to know much about it historically to realize that being persecuted for religion is what Swift is running from, and therefore that is Lilliput.
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PostSubject: Reply   Tue Jan 16, 2007 1:49 am

I think that you make some good points. I don't think that Swift puts all of his own beliefs into this chapter, but does utilize the Lilliputians laws, to emphasize flaws in the English system, be it religious or political.
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PostSubject: Re: Lilliput   Tue Jan 16, 2007 1:57 am

I agree with you about the Lilliput laws.

Maybe this book is using each island as a major point Swift wants to make regarding his religiously political views. I have read a couple more Parts and am seeing this trend. Swift (as you will read in the intro) is writing during a time of controversal upheaval.

I think in PP listing the characters and a little ditty about them was a good exercise for me. In this book, I am trying to write all the traits that I can come up with on each island or on one island a situation.
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