Although Jonathan Swift is infamous for the violent physicality of his rhetoric, Gulliver's Travels repeatedly and explicitly insists on the importance of gentle touch, particularly at moments when Gulliver encounters other creatures. This essay argues that such moments are fundamental to Swift's works. Their necessary literalism constitutes a rhetorical ground for the complex structures of Swift's irony, and their insistence on the tangible properties of individual creatures allows readers access to Swift's positive ethics.
Neil A. Chudgar. "Swift's Gentleness" ELH 78.1 (2011): 137-161.
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