Swift’s ‘Gulliver’s Travel’ and Voltaire’s ‘Candide’ are typical literature works during the Enlightenment period. Both authors use satire in their works. Satire is literary form which means irony. Therefore, they have some similarities. They both want to expose human vices through satiric tone. Due to different personal styles, there are many differences between two novels. Two novels use satire to criticize human weakness. In ‘Gulliver’s Travel’, Swift makes up a horse society Houyhnhnm and a brutal animal Yahoo.
Gulliver has to admit that human beings are yahoos after a series comparison between human and yahoo. Vices of human beings are exposed by the Swift’s satiric tone. In ‘Candide’, Voltaire presents a story of the voyage of Candide. By describing how Candide travel around the world and the ridiculous circumstances he encounters, Voltaire also use satire to reveals the corruption of human beings. Both of them follow the philosophic thinking which is passion verses reason. They are questioning human nature.
What’s more, both authors create an inexistent society by imagination, horse society Houyhnhnm and gold city Eldorado. By comparing to reality world, the civilization of imaginary societies is more rational for human beings. This is how satire works. Creating a perfect world and comparing to corrupted society, it’s easier to convince readers. Satire is the tool of two authors presents their essential purposes that criticize the human weakness and questioning the human nature. The differences between two novels are significant.
Although both novels are about characters’ travel, they are different styles. In ‘Gulliver’s travel’, Swift emphasizes the process how Gulliver realizes that he is a yahoo. No matter Gulliver description about the war among the princes of Europe, Queen Anne, and a first minister in the courts of Europe, or master’s observation about the characteristics of yahoos, Swift uses a strong critical tone to point out the vices of human beings. Gulliver uses tone of solemnity to explain how the yahoo and human have in common.
Ironically, Gulliver insists to refuse his status of yahoo, the procedure of Gulliver’s acceptation to the status of yahoo is under a depressed atmosphere. When Gulliver backs home, he is still struggling to be a rational creature in his mind which is Houyhnhnm or to be a corrupted creature which is yahoo. Swift’s sharp criticism makes the novel isn’t as fun as ‘Candide’. However, it makes reader think over the purpose of his criticism. On the contrary, Voltaire’s ‘Candide’ is full of black humor.
Although Candide goes through a lot of ridiculous circumstances and suffers a lot, the unexpected content makes his voyage funny. In ‘Gulliver’ Travel’, the observation of horse society and comparison between yahoo and human are important components of Swift’s satire. In ‘Candide’, every character expresses the satiric tone of Voltaire. Pangloss, teacher of Candide, always believe that “Everything is for the best in this best of all possible world”, escapes from death several times.
He still insists his philosophic thinking which exactly brings him in trouble. Cunegonde’s brother constantly refuses Candide marry with his sister even Cunegonde isn’t beautiful anymore. Other characters like Cunegonde, the old lady, Martin, they all have been through a lot of misfortune circumstances. Each character has its own function to from Voltaire’s satire. Volvaire uses his tone of mockery to present a ridiculous voyage of Candide and reveal to us world is cruel place.
The witness makes Candide’s voyage delight even they suffer a lot of misfortune. Readers easily convinced by their ridicules encounters. Satire is main method used in Swift’s ‘Gulliver’s travel’ and Voltaire’s ‘Candide’. As typical literature during enlightenment period, both novels are questioning about human nature. Swiftly uses critical tone to represent his idea. Voltaire uses humor to reflect the corruption of human beings. Two novels not only succeed to present the readers then about purpose of authors; but also are great treasure for readers now.