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Writing that uses humor to expose and ridicule human vice and folly. This type of writing can be good humored or bitter in its attack on what is harmful, evil, or just plain foolish. Although satirists like to unmask evils, they also mask their targets in order to avoid the dangers involved in naming real people, places, or beliefs. Swift uses masks like these:

-Imaginary lands like Lilliput and Brobdingnag

- Made-up characters, like the King of Brobdingnag

-Fictional conflicts of belief, like that between the Big Endians and Little Endians

About the Selection:

Swift sends Gulliver to Lilliput to do a job he probably could never have done so well at home; make fun of the religious conflicts of his day. By exposing the conflict of the Big-Endians and the Little-Endians over which end of he egg to break, Swift, through Gulliver, comments with wry wit on the religious and political absurdities over which people do battle.

In "A Voyage to Brobdingnag," Swift satirizes English attitudes and modern warfare. TO do so, he sends Gulliver to Brobdingnag, a place in which people are twelve times as tall as Gulliver. There, Gulliver is treated almost as a pet by the royal family, who expresses their amazement and horror at his tales of his life in his native land.




reason earnestly with


division of a group into factions


device used in an emergency


make used to


hateful; disgusting

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