This week I thought I am going to read something am quite familiar with. I have known Guilder’s Travels since I was a child. I also watched many films based on this novel. I’ve always taken this book a sheer entertainment for kinds and their families. But now I know that I am totally wrong. In part 1 of Guilder’s Travels, I am finally able to see what the author, Jonathan Swift, is really trying to convey to the readers. In the land of the Lilliputian, see the stupidity of human being overestimated of their power and importance in the world. Swift let us know that the power and importance are just relative.
We see the small Lilliputian and the huge Guiltier met at the beach. The Lilliputian think that they are normal and Guiltier is freakish and Guiltier probably thinks in the same way. However how can something be freakish and normal at the same time? It is just the point Of view that shapes our understanding of the world. This is a very important concept but think most of us just neglected it. If everything is relative, we should try to put down our position. Think this is the key to a more effective communication and thus educe possible misunderstandings or even a fight.
When I read that the Lilliputian are trying to tie up Guiltier to a tower, I really think that the Lilliputian are silly. To Guiltier, he is the mighty giant who can destroy the Lilliputian effortlessly. The Lilliputian again overestimated their power. In the history, we see many incidents like the killing of the Jews and the slavery of the Africans. I think all this are the extreme cases of our pretense of believing that we have the power and being superior to others. I think this silly pretense is part of the human nature. There are the good side and bad ides of the human nature.
We should never have too much pride in ourselves or the ugly part of the human nature will reveal. This week of reading give me a more in depth understanding of what the book Guilder’s Travels really wants to convey. It is really different from my understanding of the book. I am looking forward to reading the next two parts of the book. However I hope this will be the last thing I ever read by Swift. He is a cynical man to me and I think too much reading on cynical works is going to have bad effect on me.