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Gulliver’s Travel As a Symbolical Work

Jonathan Swift (1667-1745) was a writer, journalist and political activist. He is best known for his satirical novel Gulliver’s Travels and his satirical essay on the Irish Famine, A Modest Proposal. “Gulliver’s Travels” is a book of fantasy, satire and political allegory and is well liked by all ages. He wrote Gulliver’s Travels in 1725 and it was published in 1726. The book was a great success throughout the British Empire and earned him the title of writer and commentator, which earned him a high quality and reputation. In this book, Gulliver, a surgeon on a merchant ship, travels to four imaginary countries. So the book is divided into four parts. His first trip is to Lilliput, whose inhabitants are about six inches tall. His second visit to Brobdingnag, the land of the giants. His third visit to the islands of Laputa and Legedo, inhabited by philosophers and scientists, who preserve their love of music and mathematics. His last visit to the land of the Honyhnhnms and the Yahoos. Horses are rational and civilized, and yahoos are irrational and animalistic human beings, completely dirty.

Before discussing the symbols in Gulliver’s Travels, we need to know something about the literary term ‘symbol’. The word “Symbol” comes from the Late Latin “Symbolum” which means token, sign or emblem. Truly an ornament of literature. The author uses it to honestly reveal any hidden things or the philosophy of the work to the reader, because they may not face any difficulty in understanding. If this were to happen, the work would not be interesting and would not help in the representation of the age. It is clear that Jonathan Swift used symbols to convey his thoughts to the readers, thus making things easier for them. All things considered, we can say that a symbol is something that means something else. Everything in Gulliver’s Travels is different because it was written to criticize contemporary philosophies and customs. Almost everyone in this book stands with a historical figure or an idea.

Let’s review the symbols used in Gulliver’s Travels.

In the first book, Swift recounts Gulliver’s visit to the Lilliputians, the six-inch inhabitants. They represent a symbol of humanity’s extreme pride. The author portrays the race ironically. He finds them to be little creatures, small-minded, but stocks of backsliding and plotting; nevertheless, they consider themselves grandiose. Gulliver is charmed by their vain glory and made credulous by their threats of punishment, even though the race has no real physical power over him. Gulliver learns more about the culture of the Lilliputians and the great size difference between him and the race. This is an open satire of the British government. Gulliver finds that Lilliputian government officials are chosen based on their ability to dance tightrope, which he finds arbitrary and ridiculous. It symbolizes England’s system of political appointments, which is arbitrary. The difference in their size symbolizes the importance of physical strength. Gulliver can crush the Lilliputians by walking carelessly, but they do not notice their own insignificance, which represents their pettiness. They tie up Gulliver, believing they can control him. Swift symbolizes humanity’s hollow need for power and significance.

Swift is very careful when using satire and symbols. The articles signed by Gulliver to gain freedom have formal and self-important language, symbolizing the meaningless and self-contradictory piece of paper because Gulliver is a symbol of great strength and power. You can violate all bonds for your own safety. The story of the conflict between Lilliput and Blefuscu is ridiculous. High-heeled and low-heeled shoes symbolize the Whigs and Tories in English politics. Lilliput and Blefuscu symbolize England and France. The violent conflict between the Big Endians and the Little Endians symbolizes the Protestant Reformation and centuries of warfare between Catholics and Protestants. So European history is like a series of brutal wars over pointless and arbitrary disagreements. The conflict, “how one decides to crack an egg” is a symbol of stupidity and triviality. It is ridiculous and unreasonable to conclude that there is no right or wrong way to worship. Swift suggests that the Christian Bible can be interpreted in several ways. It’s ridiculous how people fight over how to interpret it when someone isn’t sure their interpretation is right and others are wrong.

The Lilliputian emperor is a symbol of tyranny, cruelty, and corruption, and is obsessed with ceremonies that present an unchanging symbol of bad governance. Also biting satire on George I, King of England (1714 to 1727), for most of Swift’s career. He is not a fan of the king. Empress of Lilliput means Queen Anne, who blocked Swift’s advance in the Church of England because she took offense at some of his earlier satires. Gulliver’s urination in his quarters represents Swift’s “A Tale of a Tub.” The Empress’s disgust at Gulliver’s urination parallels Queen Anne’s criticism of Swift’s efforts to limit Swift’s work and outlook in the Church of England. In fact, his urination symbolizes his ability to control the Lilliputians. It illustrates the importance of physical strength. Gulliver disobeys the Emperor’s order to destroy Blefuscu’s fleet, indicating his responsibility to all creatures. Gulliver finds himself in a position to change Lilliputian society forever. Among Lilliput there is a reference to the army, and Blefuscu symbolizes their patriotic glory by marching the armies so proudly. The Lilliputian emperor’s request to Gulliver to serve as a sort of temporary triumphal arch for the troops to pass through is a pitiful reminder that their grand procession is extremely foolish. The war with Blefuscu is a symbol of the absurdity born of wounded vanity. Therefore, the Lilliputians symbolize lost human pride and this indicates Gulliver’s inability to diagnose correctly.

The II. in book (Part II) Jonathan Swift tells about Gulliver’s visit to the island of the giants. Here his walk is not a symbol of danger for the people of Borbdingnag, as during his visit to Lilliput, because the situation is reversed. The people of Borbdingnag represent the English ways. After a short period of work, Gulliver is rescued by the king and queen and lives a comfortable life at court. He spends most of his time learning the language and talking to the king about life in England. The king appears as a fair, merciful ruler, a very sympathetic and humane person. Borbdingnags symbolize the private, personal and physical side of human beings when examined up close. For the Lilliputians, Gulliver symbolized god-like power, but here he is a symbol of the slave and the puppeteer, who shows various tricks to the paying audience. Borbdingnags do not symbolize negative human qualities. The behavior of the Borbdingnags is different and seems more civilized than Gulliver. The Queen’s goodwill towards Gulliver and common sense views can be found. His slavery is virtual, representing the basic humanity of the Borbdingna people. So it is similar to Europeans who like to jump quickly when the opportunity arises. He is a golden doll in their hands and gets a comfortable cradle with protection against rats.

In this book we find a dwarf who is not able to acquire the power that usually comes with large physical size, but is given a distinctive ability that symbolizes the politics of those who try to achieve power not by physical strength, but by their peculiarity, which is precisely immoral and immoral. normal. Ladies and their flaws symbolize imperfection, upon close enough examination. Gulliver’s microscopic image of flies and meat symbolizes the discovery of the microscope. At the end of the seventeenth century, books containing enlarged images first appeared. Such microscopic views have known levels of complexity and error. In his eyes, their moral weakness matches the tiny size of the Europeans. Gulliver’s offer of gunpowder indicates the imperfection of the British. The rejection of the king represents this race as more human than the other races. This means that in this society, crimes are minimized. Although this race has achieved great moral achievement, it is not yet perfect.

Gulliver’s third visit to Lupta, showing Swift’s attack on science and abstract knowledge. Laputans are a symbol of the stupidity of theoretical knowledge irrelevant to human life. During his journey, his ship was attacked by pirates. He spoke to them in Dutch, but later the revelation of pagans being more merciful than Christians symbolized Swift’s religious convictions. In this visit, power is realized not through physical size but through technology. The Floating Island is both a formidable weapon and an allegorical image representing the symbol of the government and the people. In this visit he recounts the Laputans’ rigid commitment to abstract theory, language, architecture and geography symbolizing non-humanity. Scientists are working on extracting sunlight from cucumbers and turning excrement back into food and ice into gunpowder. Representing the scientific society founded in 1660, the architect deals with the design of houses built from the roof down, which symbolizes impossibility and aimlessness. Robert Boyle, Robert Hooke and Isaac Newton were all members of the Royal Society. His main task was to develop the craft, etc., using the new techniques of science. The theorist ruined a country by forcing people to follow their fresh and completely useless methods.

Gulliver’s flight to Glubbdubdrib symbolizes Swift’s attempt to challenge the norms of abstract learning. Overall, the ancient Greeks and Romans were indeed considered virtuous, while Europeans were somewhat depraved. In addition, the Struldburgs of Luggnagg symbolize human desires. They seek eternal life and the primary benefits of old age. Indeed, the wisdom of the ancient times can be used to help humanity, but the immortal Struldburgs are only more prejudiced and selfish. The immense sadness of the Strudbrugs and the emptiness of Gulliver’s desire for wealth symbolize Swift’s condemnation of such self-forgotten goals as the condition of small minds irrelevant to a good society.

Jonathan Swift narrates Gulliver’s fourth journey to Honyhnhnms, representing the ideal of rational existence. Here man has to be a yahoo and is at the mercy of the animals. It means that animals are more civilized or model citizens. Their society is safe from crime, poverty, discord and unhappiness. They are unaware of passion, joy and ecstatic love. Honyhnhnms appeals to reason rather than to any scripture as a criterion of right action. They don’t use force, just strong encouragement. Gulliver’s complete grief suggests that they had a greater effect on him than any other company he visited.

In fact, it is a bitter criticism of human beings. Jonathan Swift chose humanity in all three visits, but here he chose animals. Indeed, the Honyhnhnms represent man’s evil and ostentatious arrogance in the power of reason. Gulliver sews a canoe to collect the skins of the yahoo needed to escape the island, expressing his quick cynicism towards man. If we discuss it further, this is the main weapon of the cynic or satirist for the betterment of humanity, because every satirist is a reformer at heart.

In fact, this is the view of the book in a nutshell. Your work requires more attention and more time. It hides a great treasure of the relevant age. His criticism is admittedly quick and harsh, but he did not exploit human beings but to correct them by picking out their follies.

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