Gulliver as Slave Trader

Racism Reviled by Jonathan Swift

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About the Book

The pointed social commentaries of master satirist Jonathan Swift are heavy with irony, but Swift rarely left any doubt about his true meaning. In the case of Gulliver’s Travels, however, Swift’s meaning has been the subject of debate among scholars for almost 300 years. Here, Elaine Robinson offers a new and fascinating interpretation for this literary classic.
Pointing out clues throughout Gulliver, Robinson demonstrates Swift’s uses of Everyman, Bernard of Clairvaux, Bonaventure, Boccaccio, Dante, Chaucer, Shakespeare and Milton to define real Christianity as a basis for protesting the African slave trade and racism. In doing so, she illuminates Swift’s insight, honesty, piercing irony, and brilliant wit, and calls attention to the disturbing relevance of Gulliver’s Travels in the 21st century.

About the Author(s)

Elaine L. Robinson is a retired English literature instructor.

Bibliographic Details

Elaine L. Robinson
Format: softcover (6 x 9)
Pages: 252
Bibliographic Info: notes, bibliography, index
Copyright Date: 2006
pISBN: 978-0-7864-2586-0
Imprint: McFarland

Table of Contents

Acknowledgments      vii

Introduction      1

1. The African Slave Trade      25

2. Malignant Aggression      67

3. “Flagitious and Facinorous Acts”      92

4. Repository of Abominations      126

5. Black Superiority      154

Chapter Notes      227

Bibliography      235

Index      239