Pushing European Boundaries Towards East and West: Gulliver in Japan and America

Abstract

Worldwide, in the East as well as in the West, one character has become a part of everybodys childhood, regardless of ethnicity, national or cultural belongings, age and status. The fame of Lemuel Gulliver has survived from early eighteenth century until today, outlasting many other fictitious protagonists in world literature, making Jonathan Swifts Gullivers Travels a real classic. At the mention of Gullivers name, it is immediately and inseparably associated in everyones mind with his travels to Lilliput, an imaginary land. However, two out of four travels are destined to landscapes that are not at all imagined or imaginary. This is a lesser known fact, same as certain details concerning the life of Gullivers creator, above all that Swift was born in Dublin, though of English origin, and even ordained in the Church of Ireland. This factor is very significant, since being the Other in his own life certainly helped Swift supply such extreme examples of the Other in his magnificent work. The meaning of otherness in Gullivers Travels does not refer only to the size of people he encounters, but also to the fact that they belong to other races and ethnicities. It is the purpose of this paper to shed light on otherness in environments at the opposite ends from Europe: Japan in the farthest East and America in the farthest West, in order to prove that this absolute openness to the Other has greatly contributed to Swifts supreme value that persists to this very day.



Author Information
Ljiljana Markovic, Faculty of Philology, University of Belgrade, Serbia
Biljana Djoric Francuski, Faculty of Philology, University of Belgrade, Serbia

Paper Information
Conference: IICAHHawaii2017
Stream: Humanities - Literature/Literary Studies*

This paper is part of the IICAHHawaii2017 Conference Proceedings (View)
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