Gulliver’s Travels by Brian Tippett (auth.)

By Brian Tippett (auth.)

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One effect of Eddy's findings is to accentuate the traditional character of Swift's satirical strategies. Although Eddy shared his generation's distaste for the Voyage to the Houyhnhnms, he shows that unfavourable contrasts between degenerate European civilisations (represented by the traveller) and ideal human commonwealths or superior races of animals are standard features of utopian fictions before Swift and therefore not necessarily indicative of exceptional misanthropy. A steady stream of books and learned articles has over the years identified many additional sources.

Man and Stone are both corporeal substances but Man is animate and Stone inanimate. Man and Plant are animate corporeal substances but Man has feeling and Plant is void of feeling. Finally, Man and Horse are both animate corporeal feeling substances but Man is rational and Horse irrational. Thus, Crane shows, the framework is ready-made for a disorientating satirical reversal by the invention of 'a world in which horses appeared where the logicians had put men and men where they had put horses'.

36). This is a useful reminder, although it may be noticed that the imitation of a particular fool could easily be formalised into a dramatic impersonation, a line of thought which would eventually lead us back to the persona. Another way of correcting the tendency comfortably to insulate the author from his own possibly objectionable meanings by erecting a solid persona as a screen is to point to the psychological strangeness and danger of impersonation. 216). When applied to Gulliver's encounters with the lascivious female Yahoo or with the Brobdingnagian maids of honour the idea of enacting in fantasy may suggest a strange mingling of abhorrence and fascination which leads back to psychoanalytical readings of these episodes.

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