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Trip as the Way of Searching the Reality


The journeys all over the world, which people retort to, are generally aimed to find the new, better life. People try to find other cultures, ways of life, wisdom that will never be met in the motherland. They may simply search for adventures if life is too calm. But anyway, traveling offers the widening of the outlook and gaining of life experience.

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The aim of the paper is to analyze and compare the books of two outstanding travelers, who lifted up the curtain of the other lives, and other peoples, Gulliver and Rasselas.

Trip, as the way of searching the reality

Gulliver’s Travels unreservedly imposes the query of whether physical strength or moral virtue should be the leading factor in social being. Gulliver undergoes the benefits of physical power both as one who has it, as a giant in Lilliput where he can beat the Blefuscudian navy by the asset of his huge size and as one who does not have it, as a tiny visitor to Brobdingnag where he is annoyed by the immensity of everything from bugs to household pets. His first stumbling with another society is one of trap when he is bodily tied down by the Lilliputians; later, in Brobdingnag, he is enchained by a farmer.

In Johnson’s story, Rasselas and his friends leave Abyssinia in order to complete some wishes different from the sense which must be pleased before they can be content. They wish to find true happiness, and trust a change in geographical position, may offer them greater happiness. As Nekayah states, this may be because of “the state of life,” where “none are happy but by the expectation of change.” They change positions several times, and in their trips, find lots of replies revealing the way to gain happiness. These replies are illustrated by the means of Johnson’s arguments about happiness.

Like lots of narratives about trips to nonexistent lands, Gulliver’s Travels reveals the notion of utopia – an imaginary model of the perfect society. The notion of a utopia is an antique one, going back at least as far as the account in Plato’s Republic of a city-state governed by the shrewd and expressed most notably in English by Thomas More’s Utopia.

Swift dips to both works in his own narration, however, his approach toward utopia is much more cynical, and one of the key components he points out about famous historical utopias is the propensity to privilege the societal group over the personality. The children of Plato’s Republic are grown collectively, without knowing their biological parents, in the realization that this system improves social equality. Swift has the Lilliputians likewise raise their children cooperatively, but the outcomes are not precisely utopian, since Lilliput is torn by plots, resentments, and backstabbing.

Critics have mentioned the strange attention that Gulliver devotes to clothes all through his trips. Every time he gets a tear in his shirt or is obliged to adopt some local garment to replace one of his own, he narrates the clothing details with great accuracy. Readers are narrated how his pants are falling apart in Lilliput so that as the army walks between his legs they get quite an eyeful. Readers are informed on the mouse skin he wears in Brobdingnag, and how the luxury silks of the land are as thick as blankets on him. In one sense, these depictions are obviously an easy narrative tool with which Swift can chart his protagonist’s sequence from one culture to another: the more teased his clothes become and the stranger his new clothes, the farther he is from the consoles and conferences of England.

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Gulliver’s Travels was a contentious work when it was first issued in 1726. Ever since, editors have undergone lots of the passageways, chiefly the more caustic ones dealing with corporeal purposes. Even without those passages, however, Gulliver’s Travels provides a sharp satire, and Swift guarantees that it is both humorous and dangerous, continually attacking the British and European community by the means of its accounts of imaginary states.

Happiness and Rasselas’ travels

Rasselas and his companions research the happiness level of various groups of people all through their journey. They examine whether or not various ways of living impact people’s happiness. One way of living, that Rasselas and his sister consider the pleasure of, is matrimony. They argue whether or not marriage makes people happier, and consider whether marriage is best for everybody. Both make some worthy points in their dispute.

One argument offers that when people encourage each other, they often find “themselves anxious when they are separately, and consequently decide that they shall be happy together.” Human origin finds relief in that which is recognizable and is often afraid that which is not. This calmness practiced in fluency often is mistaken for happiness. This may be the situation for Rasselas and his friends. Their return to Abyssinia may be because of their wish to feel comfort and firmness again, and in their conclusion to return, they suppose it will offer them more content.

It seems that people are never totally satisfied with their current life. They always expect something more, and in these expectations find happiness. One idea offered in the text supports humans to “live according to nature, in compliance to that collective and permanent law with which every heart is initially impressed.” It may seem as if the end of the story contraries to this submission in that the characters are constantly unhappy with what origin has offered them in the current. Nevertheless, it is debatable that by looking for happiness and searching out replies to their questions, they live in accordance to their own human origin, which inquires.

Moreover, this suggestion to “live according to nature,” Johnson also imposes the dispute that men do not sense their “own contentment but when it may be contrasted with the sadness of others.” This is related to the end of the story. Only after Rasselas and his friends have contrasted the state of living in the happy valley, to the state of those who live to another place, do they choose to get back to Abyssinia.


The examples of these two plots show, that by searching for happiness, people are ready to any surprise, offered by destiny, and to bear all the challenges in order to achieve the adjusted aim.


Greenblatt, S. The Norton Anthology of English Literature. 8th. ed. Vol. 1. New York: W. W. Norton, 2006.

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Johnson, S. The History of Rasselas: Prince of Abissinia Oxford University Press, USA, 1999.

Swift, J. Gulliver’s Travels Signet Classics Publisher, 1999.

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