In what ways do foreign lands threaten or affirm the traveller's sense of identity?.
An identity is something that determines an individual character, often representing "who" and "what" that individual stands for. It is often the case that many aspects of life make up your identity, those including; religion, cultural beliefs and the society in which we live in, all of which contribute towards are own individual perception of life. In this essay my main prerogative is to establish how those foreign lands within the chosen texts, affect the views and attitudes of the travellers persona and if so, how it changes their lives and their understanding of their own original upbringing. If this is the case I also aim to establish how those foreign lands interpret change and if so, do they threaten the traveller's identity or do they merely enforce the traveller's original values and beliefs.
Throughout the novel "Gulliver's Travels", Swift challenges the contemporary values of human nature, using the many visited lands and those creatures within them, to represent every single corner of human progression and the forever changing views in human belief. For example, Swift uses the land of "Laputa" to question the impracticality of human experimentation. He asks why humanity can never get things correct and that when everything in society is inverted, failure is inevitable. .
"He had been eight years upon a project for extracting sun-beams out of cucumbers, which were to be put into vials hermetically sealed" (Page 196, Paragraph 3).
Gulliver perceives this task as pointless due to the fact that it contradicts all scientific knowledge from the society in which he reforms to. To Gulliver this experiment is pointless as it involves lots of effort and produces very little results, which can be interpreted as the "impossible trial". Swift's intentions are quite clear. His aim is to ridicule human development and to mock science, suggesting that people lack "common sense" and "reason".