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Gulliver's Travels

Gulliver's Travels

by Jonathan Swift

Analysis: Narrator Point of View

Who is the narrator, can she or he read minds, and, more importantly, can we trust her or him?

First Person (Central Narrator)

Gulliver is it for this novel: not only does he tell the story, but he's also the only character who doesn't appear completely flat. Gulliver's Travels is a mix of sly insults, dirty words, and big ideas, a lot of which come directly from Gulliver. Gulliver provides the filter through which we see what Swift is trying to say about England, morality, and mankind. But he's also the only character available to sustain our interest in Gulliver's Travels as a novel. Gulliver doesn't just tell us his story; he also animates it for us. We could never sit through Swift's lengthy morality lessons without the entertaining liveliness of Gulliver to lighten them a little.

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