Friday, July 19, 2019

Comapring Naivete and Satire in Jonathan Swifts Gullivers Travels and

Naivete and Satire in Jonathan Swifts' Gulliver's Travels and Voltaire's Candide       A child has the ability to make the most critical and objective observation on society and the behavior of man. How is this possible? A child has yet to mature and lacks proper education and experience. However, it is for this very reason that a child would make the perfect social scientist; his or her naivete may provide an excellent means of objective criticism and most often satire. A child's curious nature and hunger for knowledge would bring about an unbiased questioning of social structures, minus the brainwashing of these very institutions, and his or her vulnerability would expose any societal dangers present. This child-like scientist would see the truth as it is.    This same premise may be applied to literary works. A naive character or narrator may be used as a child-like scientist, who reveals social truths to the audience through his or her naivete. As Maurois has noted, in writing about Candide, by Voltaire," It was novel of apprenticeship, that is, the shaping of an adolescent's ideas by rude contact with the universe" (101). Jonathan Swift also takes this approach in his work Gulliver's Travels, where Gulliver, the main character, provides a naive point of reference.    The satires Gulliver's Travels, by Jonathan Swift, and Candide, by Voltaire, both make use of naivete to convey satirical attacks on society. In both works, litotes [understatements] are made of extremely absurd situations, which further illuminates the ridiculous nature of a situation. Characters in each novel are made vulnerable by their overly trusting natures. This is taken advantage of, and these characters are left e... ... Ideas. New York: D Appleton and Company, 1929. * "Introduction to Gulliver's Travels." Norton Anthology of English Literature, The Major Authors. Ed. M.H. Abrhams et al. Sixth ed. New York: W. W. Norton and Company, 1995. * Lawler, John. "The Evolution of Gulliver's Character." Norton Critical Editions. * Maurois, Andre'. Voltaire. New York: D. Appleton and Company, 1932. * Mylne, Vivienne. The Eighteenth-Century French Novel. Manchester: University of Manchester Press, 1965. * Pasco, Allan H. Novel Configurations A Study of French Fiction. Birmingham: Summa Publications, 1987. * Quintana, Ricardo "Situation as Satirical Method." Norton Critical Editions: Jonathan Swift Gulliver's Travels. Ed. Robert A Greenberg. New York: W. W. Norton and Company Inc., 1961. * Van Doren, Carl. Swift .New York: The Viking Press, 1930.   

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