To this day, the classic Gulliver’s Travels places Jonathan Swift as the master of both parody and satire. Fifteen years in the making, his book was published anonymously due to fear of prosecution. And rightfully so, as it basically made fun of everyone: the State, the Church, Big Science and the Aristocracy. It was an immediate smash hit. If Swift were alive today he’d probably be writing for Southpark.
This tale in four parts depicts shipwrecked castaway Lemuel Gulliver, who encounters the diminutive Lilliputians, the giants of Brobdingnag, the impractical scientists of Laputa, the philosophical horselike Houyhnhnms, and the base humaneseque Yahoos. Besides generating a few unwieldy SAT words (Lilliputian, Brogdingnagian), Gulliver’s Travels delves fantastically into the nature of man: exploring good vs. evil, optimism vs. misanthropy, and whether human corruption is innate or learned over time.
28 October 1726