Luggnagg Satire Essays

SATIRE ANALYSIS FORM

 

TITLE OF TEXT: Gulliver's Travels: A Voyage to Laputa, Balnibarbi, Luggnagg, Glubbdubdrib, and Japan.

 

AUTHOR: Jonathan Swift

 

DATE OF PUBLICATION: 1726

 

SATIRIC TARGET: WHO IS BEING ATTACKED OR CRITICIZED?

 In much of this part, especially with Laputa and Balnibarbi, I can see that Swift is criticizing the scientific and mathematical fields for their ignorance of others who believe they are smarter than others for what they do.  More broadly, he seems to be criticizing the prideful who believe they are better than others.

FOR WHAT FOLLY OR VICE?

 They turn up their noses at people who they believe to be on a lower level of intelligence than them and have too much pride in stupid experiments, as seen with the Academy in Balnibarbi.  Swift believes that there are too many people who believe themselves more intelligent than they actually are.  Also, he criticizes those who are intelligent but do not use that intelligent for good use like in Laputa.

WHAT IS THE SATIRIST LIKE?

Gulliver himself strikes me as particularly naive in this particular part.  He seems to believe that the ridiculous experiments being conducted at the Academy actually have a chance of working.  He thinks that all the people he meets in specifically these two countries are very intelligent when really they remind me of people who just say a lot of big words to make themselves look intelligent.

WHAT IS THE SATIRE’S MORAL OR HEALING PURPOSE? WHAT ADVICE DOES IT GIVE? Swift acknowledges that there are intelligent people in this world, but he does not think that they should turn up their noses at others who are not as intelligent.  And if they are intelligent, like in Laputa, they should use that knowledge and intelligence to good use to help others.  With Balnibarbi, Swift is asking people to not look as ridiculous as the Academy in that city, much like the Royal Society in England, and to be content with the fact that they are not intelligent.  If they pretend to be something they are not, they look ridiculous.

 ONE THING YOU HAD TO LOOK UP IN THE NOTES OR IN A DICTIONARY:

 Not so much as look up as a historical oddity that I enjoyed the first time I read Gulliver's Travels.  Swift writes, "The have likewise discovered two lesser stars, or 'satellites,' which revolve about Mars..." Swift goes on to explain their orbits and orbital periods.  To me, as an aspiring physicist and astronomer, this is particularly interesting because Mars was not discovered until 1877, exactly one hundred and fifty years later after Swift published Gulliver's Travels.  More scary to me is the fact that Swift was reasonable in his predictions of their orbits and periods.  It may have just been a coincidence but I find it particularly interesting.  In fact, a crater on one of the moons is named after Swift.

MEMORABLE QUOTE(S):

"He spoke some words, whereupon immediately a young man with a flap came up to my side, and flapped me gently on the right ear; but I made signs as well as I could, that I had no occasion for such an instrument; which as I afterwards found gave his Majesty and the whole court a very mean opinion of my understanding."

"His employment from his first coming into the Academy was an operation to reduce human excrement to its original food, by seperating the several parts, removing the tincture which it receives from the gall, making the odour exhale, and scumming off the saliva."

Luggnagg

Map of Glubbdubdrib, Lugnagg, and other lands east of Japan (original map, Pt III, Gulliver's Travels)

Gulliver's Travels location
Created byJonathan Swift
GenreSatire
TypeMonarchy
Ethnic group(s)Luggnaggians
Notable locationsTraldragdubb or Trildrogdrib (capital)

Luggnagg is an island kingdom, one of the imaginary countries visited by Lemuel Gulliver in the satire Gulliver's Travels by Anglo-Irish author Jonathan Swift.

Location[edit]

The location of Luggnagg is illustrated in both the text and the map at the beginning of part III of Gulliver's Travels, though they are not consistent with each other. According to the map, Luggnagg is southeast of Japan and southwest of Balnibarbi.[1] The book's text states that Luggnagg is located about one hundred leagues southeast of Japan, but northwest of Balnibarbi and gives its position as 29°N 140°E.[2] The page notes refer to Frederick Bracher's “Maps in Gulliver’s Travels” (1944–45),[3] which examines the problems raised by the maps in Gulliver's Travels, especially those accompanying Part III of the book. The map also shows the port of Maldonada in Luggnagg, and the island of Glubdubdrib to the southwest,[4] while the text is clear those places are in Balnibarbi.[5]

Description[edit]

It has two principal ports, Clumegnig on the southeast coast, which is visited by ships from Maldonada (the port city of Balnibarbi), and Glanguenstald in the southwest, which has commerce with Japan. The capital of Luggnagg is Traldragdubb (also pronounced Trildrogdrib).[6][7] A sample of the language of Luggnagg is found in the book, on the occasion when Gulliver has an audience with Luggnagg's king, and is described as being very ugly and clumsy for Gulliver to pronounce.

Notable among the inhabitants of Luggnagg are the struldbrugs, unfortunates who are immortal but suffer the infirmities of old age.

See also[edit]

References[edit]

Sources[edit]

  • Jonathan Swift: Guliver's Travels Oxford World Classics (1986, reprint 2008) introduction by Claude Rawson, explanatory notes by Ian Higgins

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