Gulliver as Slave Trader: Racism Reviled by Jonathan Swift
McFarland, 2006 M07 11 - 252 pages
The pointed social commentaries of master satirist Jonathan Swift are heavy with irony, but Swift rarely left any doubt about his true meaning. In the case of Gulliver's Travels, however, Swift's meaning has been the subject of debate among scholars for almost 300 years. Here, Elaine Robinson offers a new and fascinating interpretation for this literary classic. Pointing out clues throughout Gulliver, Robinson demonstrates Swift's uses of Everyman, Bernard of Clairvaux, Bonaventure, Boccaccio, Dante, Chaucer, Shakespeare and Milton to define real Christianity as a basis for protesting the African slave trade and racism. In doing so, she illuminates Swift's insight, honesty, piercing irony, and brilliant wit, and calls attention to the disturbing relevance of Gulliver's Travels in the 21st century.
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African slave ship African slave trade allusion animals Aristotle Aristotle’s Atlantic Slave Trade Bernard in Burch Bernard of Clairvaux black yahoos body Bonaventure Brobdingnag captain Christ Christianity condemned conscience Cowley creature curiosity Dante Dante’s death deﬁning deﬁnition di›erence Dutch e›ect Elmina evil example exposes faith ﬁction ﬁeld ﬁnd ﬁrst ﬁve ﬂesh God’s Gulliver says Gulliver travels Gulliver’s Travels hath heart horse Houyhnhnms Ibid identiﬁes Indies Inferno irony Jonathan Swift King Landa Lilliput liver Lord Mannix master Milton’s monsters nature o›er Onesimus philosophy Plato pride in reason protest racist reader reﬂecting Satan satire scientiﬁc Scripture Sermon signiﬁcant slave trade ports slave trade voyage soul of white South Sea Company Spirit Step of Pride Step of Truth su›er supremacist Swift alludes Swift has Gulliver Swift’s depiction symbolic thee things thou tion Tritical Essay unto Van Diemen’s Land vices white people’s white supremacy words