After the Journey Essay


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Steve Clark, who wrote “Travel Writing and Empire” believes that “the traveller is altered, sometimes changed utterly” when he or she journeys in an unfamiliar environment; some stories from real life do prove this statement. There are also well-known fictional travellers who can show how significant and life-changing journeys can be, and this is where we focus. However, before dealing with these characters, imagine travelling to foreign countries, immersing in other cultures, and either fighting against or indulging in the new experiences. These experiences, negative or positive, become part of the traveller’s life, however little the effect may appear. Robinson Crusoe’s wanderlust has led him to an experience that he has never thought possible. All he has longed for is a taste of adventure, but what he has to give in exchange for this adventure is practically his whole life. Meanwhile, Lemuel Gulliver only wants to relate his travels to other people. He professes that “I rather chose to relate plain matter of fact in the simplest manner and style, because my principal design was to inform, and not to amuse thee.” (Swift, 1962) .


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He encounters little people and giants, and other strange communities. There must be a change in Gulliver after years of travelling to such places. In fact, Gulliver has to adapt in each of the four places that he visits. Like Crusoe’s first voyage, Gulliver’s first venture is met with dangerous weather. This results to his being shipwrecked in Lilliput, where he describes the people to be less than six inches tall. (Swift, 1962)  Gulliver has to convince the Lilliputians that he is harmless. He later gains their trust and has become the community hero, having been able to help the little people against their rival, the Blefescudans. Gulliver no longer wants to comply with the Lilliputians’ further demands and has to flee to save his life. After his stay in Lilliput, his numerous adventures include an encounter with giants who make him feel like a Lilliputian, and meeting horses who rule over Yahoos, who are uncivilized human beings.


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Glasgow University Library. Special Collections Department . Retrieved October 18, 2007, from http://special.lib.gla.ac.uk/exhibns/month/jan2006.html . Gulliver’s Travels and Other Writings. (M. K. Starkman, Ed.) New York: Bantam Books. The Development of the Novel . Retrieved October 18, 2007, from University of St. Andrews: http://www.st-andrews.ac.uk/~cjmm/Crusoelec.html .


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