Justice In Gulliver's Travels Essay

353 Words2 Pages
In Part One of Gulliver’s Travels, Swift makes many statements regarding justice. In my own words, justice is the quality of being righteous, equitable or morally correct. Specifically, Swift comments on the justice of the legal system of Lilliput. Swift presents many practices of the Lilliputian society such as rewarding those who obey the law, holding a violation of trust as the highest offense, and punishing false accusers and ingratitude. Through Swift’s tone and method of presenting these ideas, it is clear that he agrees with these practices. For the most part, the practices of the Lilliput society are put in place to promote justice among the community. The customs of Lilliput that Swift presents in good light are those that contribute to the good of the community or the nation as opposed to those that promote individual rights or freedoms. For example, the Lilliputians think that “nothing can be more unjust, than for people, in subservience to their own appetites, to bring children into the world and leave the burthen of supporting them on the public.” So, in order to prevent this injustice, Lilliputian children are raised by the community and not their parents. Moral decisions and behavior are also valued among the community. Honesty and trust are presented by Swift as two of the most admirable traits. According to the Lilliputian practices, fraud is treated more seriously than theft and violence. Society is dependent upon trust, so dishonesty can be even more damaging than theft and violence, and therefore should be treated more seriously as Swift acknowledges. In general, doing the right thing is looked highly upon, but like humans, even the Lilliputians do not live up to their own standards—especially when they exhibit ingratitude for Gulliver’s help and accuse him of treason. Near the end of
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