There’s so much humor in Swift. Tons. Yet here I am, barely posting, and now when I do finally get around to a post it’s going to be about as humorless as possible. Really dark. Dark, dark, dark. Brace yourselves.
When Gulliver visits the Island of Luggnagg he discovers that some of it’s natives, the Struldbrugs, are born immortal. After waxing eloquent about what a joy he believes it must be to know that you will never die he is confronted with the grim reality that although these people never die they do age and decay just as mortals, yet without the release of death.
Swift, whether intentionally or not, illustrated hell here in a way that even Bunyan could covet. It is the presence of death in our world that causes sickness, memory loss, and our failing senses. And so while Swift says that these people didn’t have a death, what they really had was death everlasting. They had hell. Yet for believers death is the portal to life everlasting.
And that, my friends, is satire.