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ID 412
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A Lump of Deformity : ガリヴァ リョコウキ ニオケル ビョウキ ニツイテ
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A Lump of Deformity : Diseases in Gulliver's Travels
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Departmental Bulletin Paper
This paper examines diseases and deformities of the body and mind in Gulliver's Travels. Although Gulliver generally maintains his health in the remote nations, he is injured in many accidents. The book itself abounds with accounts of various diseases and deformities. Gulliver encounters many creatures whose bodies and/or minds are severely deformed. Among them are the Yahoos, the Laputans, the Projectors in the Grand Academy of Lagado, and the immortal Struldbruggs. Their deformities are exaggerated for the effects in the satiric narrative. Conversations between Gulliver and his Houyhnhnm Master are also full of descriptions of diseases and abnormalities in the human race in general. In particular, the satire of the medical profession is very severe and effective. As Gulliver is a surgeon, his satirical description of the physicians is more convincing. Besides, a surgeon would be appropriate as an author of such a book as Gulliver's Travels, in which injuries and diseases are treated as weapons for satirizing man. At the end of the book, Gulliver seems to have gone insane. He cannot live an ordinary life because of his narrow outlook on the human race. Even if the human race and the Yahoo race can be regarded as the same species, human beings do not have the same nature as the Yahoos. His problem is that he pays attention exclusively to the Yahoo nature of man. But one possible outcome of Gulliver's recovery from madness and his return to human society is implied in his anxiety about whether he might again be corrupted by his Yahoo nature. This outcome is indicated by his changing attitude toward his own family. Various diseases and deformities depicted throughout the book as well as Gulliver's unstable and unhealthy state of mind at the end may suggest the fact that the human race is always afflicted with various diseases and destined to live with them. Swift tells the world that man should hope to avoid such maladies and live a healthy and normal life.
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Integrated Arts and Sciences