This story told by swift is a “Narrative” about his voyages but its definitely just Swift making fun of the narratives of his time, like that of Mary Rowlandson’s “Captivity Narrative”. When swift is recounting his time in these fictional places he does so in the style of narratives of his time, very serious and without much expression from himself.
“This diversion is only practiced by those persons who are candidates for great employments, and high favour at court. They are trained in this art from their youth, and are not always of noble birth, or liberal education. When a great office is vacant, either by death or disgrace (which often happens,) five or six of those candidates petition the emperor to entertain his majesty and the court with a dance on the rope; and whoever jumps the highest, without falling, succeeds in the office.”
The Emperor of liliput uses this for people who want to get a really good job in the government, the person who jumps the highest gets the job. This is making fun of the government because someone who is doing something completely unrelated to the job itself will get the job. The liliputian symbolize what is wrong in Swifts society at the time and he uses comedy to express what he considers to be ridiculous. Gulliver is afraid of being seen or portrayed in a certain way, his imagine means a lot to him because that is what is important in the society that Swift lives in and it goes for Mary Rowlandson too, she acted like she was not feeling any kind feeling for her captors when she continued to regard the Indians as barbarians and savages when they had treated her well.
By Karla Nichols