Swift’s ‘Gulliver’s travels’ is not a travel writing at all. It is a travel into absurd and fantastic lands. It uses maps, figures, speed of ships, latitudes, longitudes. It uses markers of travel literature like topography, climate, bridges. It provides actual physical details but all of these are journeys into fantastic lands. Swift is also mocking the tradition of travel writing itself. He is suggesting that most of this travelogues written during the Elizabethan and early Enlightenment ages were actually admixtures of facts and fictions. Therefore there is a strong critique of the factuality of the travel writing within the text also. And Swift’s satire in Gulliver’s Travels is well portrayed.
Gulliver’s Travels is not a travel writing. It is a particular kind of satire, Mennipean satire ( a satire which is directed towards a particular school of philosophy). In this case Swift is a comprehensive critique of the philosophy of the Enlightenment.
Hardy’s plot construction in Far From the Madding Crowd suffers from a few weaknesses. In the first place, the plot is rather thin and slight. The entire story is about a woman, namely, Bathsheba Everdene who is loved by three men. At the end of the novel, two of the lovers, Sergeant Troy and Mr. Boldwood are removed and the scope is made for the third one, namely, Gabriel Oak, to marry the heroine. To a host of critics, the way in which this end is achieved is rather unconvincing and contrived. Oak is in reality, the first lover of the heroine, though throughout the novel there is no sign of affection for him on her part while she married Troy and promised to marry Boldwood after the supposed death of Troy. Perhaps through this Hardy offers a reward to the steady and consistent love of Oak, but it is far from satisfying if thought from logical point of view. Moreover, according to many critics, it does not suit the entire tragic foreboding of the novel also. Throughout the novel, Hardy shows the struggle between man on the one hand and an omnipotent and indifferent Fate on the other, which is malevolent to all human hopes. The ending of the novel runs contrary to this tragic bias.
Hardy is primarily a storyteller and should be viewed more as a chronicler of moods and deeds than as a philosopher. Yet a novel such as Far from the Madding Crowd which raises many questions about society, religion, morals, and the contrast between a good life and its rewards, is bound to make the reader curious about the authors vision of life, which is behind of his work.
The titles of Hemingway’s novels are not mere tags because they are chosen with extensive care and deliberation. They really underline and highlight the spirit of the stories related to the novels. True to this very fact, the title of ‘A Farewell to Arms‘ by Hemingway also was chosen by the author after great effort and much thinking. The author have infact many alternative titles in his mind. Some of these alternatives were: ‘The Grand Tour’, ‘Patriot’s Progress’, ‘Love in War’, ‘Education of the Flesh’ and ‘The Carnal Education’. But none of these could satisfy the fastidious Hemingway, and we are happy for that the title that Hemingway ultimately chose for his novel has virtue besides literal significance and appropriateness.
In his book ‘Love and Death in the American Novel’ Leslie Fieldler has presented a harsh criticism of Hemingway’s female characters calling them as “hopless, and unmitigated bitches”. But this is a very unfair criticism because it is not based on facts. Hemingway has certainly drawn women full of nobility. In his novels, there are a few characters who seem incapable of love but on the other hand, there are also characters who are extremely lofty in their sentiments. As far as Catherine Barkley, the heroine of ‘A Farewell to Arms‘ is concerned, she is a most sensitively drawn woman character in the whole range of western fiction.