.. ference to all those involved with science at the time. Mr. Bates can also be interpreted on a deeper level. Masturbation is of course a means of self-satisfaction.
Swift felt those involved with science were too self-absorbed that they could not possibly be aware of the world around them. The modern mind was a self-interested mind. It did not care for the interest of other individuals nor did it share in their passions. They could not possibly seek and find satisfaction from other individuals. Any satisfaction could only come from their own progress or what they termed as progress.
When Gulliver is stranded on shore by a storm a farmer takes him in. Gulliver describes the inhabitants of this strange land and compares them to his native England. One of the more striking descriptions is of a nurse milking a child. Swift could have used many ways to draw out a comparison between women, but he used a description that he knew would elicit a reaction. He used the breast. Gulliver describes the nurse’s breast as Monstrous.
He continued: It (the breast)stood prominent six foot, and could not be less than sixteen in circumference. The nipple was about half the bigness of my head, and the hue both of that and the dug so varified with spots, pimples, and freckles, that could appear more Nauseous: for I had a near sight of her. A bare breast would offend any proper gentlemen or women; yet, Swift realizes that there is a curiosity, even in the most reasonable of individuals, in a description of the private anatomy. There is an inner desire in every individual to know what others are hiding under their clothes and Swift plays on this desire because reasoned creatures are not suppose to have such thoughts and are ashamed to admit if they do. Swift also amuses the reader with Gulliver’s scientific description of the breast.
A normal male might respond with such a reply as: Wow! Get a load of those huge knockers and those silver dollar nipples. Others might describe them as robust. Gulliver has to use numerical comparisons. Swift is mocking the modern minds scientific approach to describing every facet of life, even the most intimate. It was not long after Gulliver’s description that he tells the readers that the mistress of the farm led him into nature where he discharged the necessities of nature.
He later remarks: I hope the gentle reader will excuse me for dwelling on these and the like particulars, which however insignificant they may appear to groveling vulgar minds, yet will certainly help a philosopher to enlarge his thoughts and imagination, and apply them to the benefit of public as well as private life, which is the sole design in presenting this and other accounts to the world; wherein I have been chiefly studious of truth, without affecting any ornaments of learning or of style Swift could not have used a more grotesque and offensive representation of his view of scientific advancement than that of excrement. While many readers may chuckle at such an image, a scientist would be overwhelmed with rage. Gulliver is telling the world, in a serious tone, that his deification in nature will help enlighten the world. Swift realizes that no individual takes a serious interest in another man’s bowel movement and would rather that person keep such happenings to themselves. Swift is poking fun at the seriousness by which scientist approach their study.
Swift believes these men are consumed by minute facts that will in no manner bring about a revelation in truth or thought. Swift’s most piercing jest occurs when Gulliver declares that a study of his feces is a study of truth. Scientist appear to be more ridiculous when Gulliver explains to the reader that it is the grovelling vulgar minds that find such incidents to be insignificant. Gulliver is telling the reader that it is the vulgar and uneducated minds that take no interest in such repulsive study as that of the study of feces; yet, the scientist takes great interest and will ensure that they will share their findings with enlightened ones around the world. Swift managed to transform the prestigious study of science into the laughable pursuit of inconsequential facts with one vulgar description. Swift continued his ridicule of scientist with another tale involving Gulliver’s excrement.
Using modern math, Gulliver calculated the quantity of water he would need to consume to extinguish a fire. With a sense of pride and satisfaction, he managed to extinguish the fire in three minutes. Swift is turning the scientific world and its exploits into a comedy that should be performed on stage. Urinating contests are for junior high boys expressing their testosterone levels during bathroom breaks, not for mature intellectuals. In a vulgar and witty way, Swift is again calling into question the relevance of scientific study.
This incident can also be viewed on a symbolic level of what Swift believes the modern world is doing to society, particularly feeling and emotion. The waste of the modern mind, which Swift would label as science and math, is extinguishes the fires of passion, emotion, and imagination. These were the fires that raged in the ancient world and Swift believes they should have raged during his time. Gulliver and the scientist, however, were of a different mindset and continually see their excrement as progress not destruction. Swift also uses perverse images in Gulliver’s Travels to express the lack of lust, feeling, and emotion in the modern world.
The handsomest among these Maids of Honor, a pleasant frolicsome girl of sixteen, would sometimes set me astride upon one of her nipples, with many other tricks wherein the reader will excuse me for not being over particular. but I was so much displeased that I entreated Glumdalclitch to contrive some excuse for not seeing that young lady any more. Through Gulliver, Swift is mocking the modern world’s lack of lust for pleasure and the exotic. He is not necessarily condoning widespread eroticism, but he is noting the lack of passion and emotion in the world. Most men fanaticize about a beautiful naked woman caressing them.
Gulliver does not because these ladies are not like the proper girls in England. Gulliver finds such erotic and passionate acts as repulsive. The graphic and perverse images that Swift leaves for his readers in Gullivers Travels not only excite the attention of the reader but they also leave the reader with a very pessimistic impression of the modern world. If Gulliver had left a description of a pile of soil instead of his urination procedure, the reader would perhaps view his work as boring, but not as comedic or repulsive. The tales would have lost their derogatory tone, their satirical edge, and their comedic nature had Swift not used such images. Such images and language are a unique element of satirical writing.
Satirist wanted to attack the vices of the community and impress an image on their readers. They, however, could not accomplish this through bland social commentary. Every literary style has certain tools to capture its audiences. The romantics used fruitful language and supernatural images. The realist used images and words that photographed how life really was. The satirist used wit, irony, sarcasm, as well as crude images and language.
If they failed to use these tools then their attacks were not heeded and their words were not remembered. Rochester and Swift did not fail to use their satirical qualities and their impression on the literary world remains to this day. English Essays.