Pettiness In Gulliver
’s Travel Essay, Research Paper
Petty is defined as something having little importance. The act of being petty could be described as making a big deal out of a matter that contains little importance. The idea of pettiness is discussed as well as corruption in political situations through out the selections of Jonathan Swift’s Gulliver’s Travels. The majority of these issues are unveiled in the form of symbolism, and can also be inferred as having similar meaning pertaining to issues today.
Pettiness is shown through out the Lilliputian portion of Swift’s Gulliver’s Travels. The Lilliputian society is made up of two political parties, the Tramecksan, High-Heels, and the Slamecksan, Low-Heels. Although both parties claim mutual dislike for one another, in the end the only difference between them is the height of their heels. Even in modern day society the majority of political beliefs held by politicians are very similar. So in the Lilliputian society even the heir to the thrown “hobbles” towards the median of High-Heel beliefs and those beliefs held by the Low-Heels. These parties refuse to even dine with each other simple because they are too stubborn to understand the pettiness of their dislike. Another petty trait is seen through the way they eat eggs. At first it was traditional knowledge to crack the egg at the big end, but in an attempt to do so the heir cut his hand. So later it was determined that you shall crack the eggs at the smaller end, and if you did not you will be killed. They killed many people over this minute matter which lead to prophet Lustrog to state that how an egg should be cracked should be determined by the individual.
Corruption was a subject discussed in the interpretation of how the Lilliputians functioned as a society. The fact that the leaders and representatives were selected through physical tasks, such as tight rope walking, shows that the representation of the peoples best interest cannot possibly be made by people petitioning to compete for the majesty’s amusement. Also it seemed as though you had to be well liked by the majesty in order to receive a try out for the position to hold a political office. So all of the political positions were tainted whether you wore a high or low heel.
Pettiness is used through symbolism, and is Swift’s way to satirize the political parties in England in his present day. He also displays to us that political corruption has existed for hundreds of years, and the old clich comes to mind; it is not what you know, but rather whom you know.