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TERM PAPER IDEAS

1. Identify the various targets of Swift's satire in the Travels.

2. How does allegory serve Swift in the making of his satire?

3. How does irony serve Swift in the making of his satire?

4. How does the character of Gulliver serve Swift in the making of his satire?

5. Discuss the ways in which Swift manipulates point of view so that the reader at times becomes the target of Swift's satire.

6. Discuss the ways in which Swift gets the reader to accept the fantastical people, places, and phenomena in the Travels. --

7. Discuss Swift's concept of man.

8. Which aspects of human nature does Swift find admirable?

9. Which aspects of human nature does Swift find lamentable?

10. To which sin does Swift consider man most vulnerable?


11. What is Swift's overall opinion of man?

12. Discuss Swift's opinion on the values of reason.

13. Discuss Swift's opinion on the limits of reason.

14. Discuss Swift's ideas on the value of tradition.

15. What criteria do you think Swift would enforce if he were in charge of evaluating government grants for scientific and academic research?

16. Compare and contrast Descartes' notion of man as a rational animal and Swift's notion of man as an animal capable of reason.

17. Compare and contrast the aims of the typical travel book written in Swift's time, and the aims of Gulliver's Travels. Examine the elements of eighteenth-century travel books that Swift satirizes in Gulliver's Travels.

18. Discuss the Yahoos as a symbol of man.

19. Discuss the ways in which Swift ensures that you will believe and side with Gulliver when he wants you to.

20. Discuss the ways in which Swift ensures that you'll be suspicious of Gulliver, be on your guard against him, and be critical of him.

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