2022 年 52 巻 p. 1-22
This paper explores Jonathan Swift’s view of nature as represented in his satirical and utopian work, Gulliver’s Travels (1726). It is well recognised that Swift’s book holds a significant place in the tradition of anti-utopian narrative. This socio-political satire utilizes certain forms of literary and rhetorical trope inherited from Thomas More, such as first-person narration and the seemingly realistic account. It remains uncertain, however, whether Swift’s book can be recognised as an ecological, utopian work. This paper attempts to examine Swift’s rhetorical approach in this regard and appraise the text’s ecological views.
After careful consideration of the rhetorical and the ecological elements in the author’s book, it is argued that Swift adopts a narrative technique that makes the story deliberately complicated to encourage readers to participate in a discussion of utopian and anti-utopian systems. As such, there are three different viewpoints developed in the work: the views of a sane but immature Gulliver, an insane but also more mature Gulliver, and finally Gulliver as accomplished narrator. Through analysing these transitional stages, the text’s views on ecology involving pastoral, agricultural landscape and simple lifestyle surrounded by non-artificial ‘nature’ are shown as an embedded and integral part of the author’s satirical and utopian vision.