Gulliver's Travels Essay

1786 words - 8 pages

Gulliver’s Travels

Jonathan Swift’s Gulliver’s Travels follows an English surgeon, Lemuel Gulliver, as he goes out to sea. Each part of the story documents a different voyage to strange locales. The first two parts of the story depict Gulliver’s time on the islands Lilliput and Brobdingnag. On the island of Lilliput, the inhabitants are a small fraction the size of Gulliver while on Brobdingnag, Gulliver is the size of a Lilliputian in comparison to their inhabitants. The Lilliputians fear Gulliver and he holds great power during his stay. In Brobdingnag, Gulliver is treated like a toy by the inhabitants due to his tiny stature. Thematically, parts one and two of Gulliver’s Travels have ...view middle of the document...

In part one, the Lilliputians view Gulliver with shock and awe due to his size and he is then taken to the emperor of Lilliput for further analyzation (1298). In part two, when the tiny Gulliver is picked up by a farmer, Gulliver is taken to the farmer’s house to be inspected by his family (1325). Ultimately, the Lilliputians provide Gulliver with positive attention due to their fear and respect and the people of Brobdingnag view him as an insignificant being. Lilliput and Brobdingnag have ways of life that are quite unfamiliar to Gulliver. On Lilliput, the Lilliputians are at war with another nation, Blefuscu, on the subject of eggs. The Lilliputians open their eggs from the smaller end while the inhabitants of Blefuscu open their eggs from the wider end. The war over eggs confuses Gulliver, as he sees no difference in which way one opens their egg (1308). In part two, Gulliver enters a world where his money is not valid and common goods such as gunpowder do not exist (1325, 1347). Gulliver is also disgusted by the size of the food and the way it is eaten so sloppily (1333). Gulliver also does not find the women of Brobdingnag attractive due to their large stature and the repulsiveness of their skin (1339). Both parts take Gulliver out of his comfort zone due to these drastic differences from his way of life. Another similarity between parts one and two is that Gulliver becomes associated with the powerful figures of both nations. In part one, Gulliver is forced to be watched by the emperor upon his arrival on the island. Gulliver is granted freedom from being watched but, he must abide by rules set out by the Lilliputians such as helping them during times of war (1306). In part two, the Queen of Brobdingnag selects Gulliver to live in her palace. During his stay there, Gulliver is viewed as an insignificant being and they treat him like a circus attraction(1332). Gulliver had close ties to the esteemed members of both nations he visited, although the relations were of completely different natures.
At the beginning of part one, Gulliver is involved in a shipwreck that leads him to the shores of Lilliput. Exhausted, Gulliver decides to sleep on the shore until the morning. Gulliver wakes up to find he is tied down by ropes laid down by several miniature people. The Lilliputians are prepared to attack Gulliver, showing the power his unconscious being had on them and the fear it instilled(1295). When Gulliver is fully functioning, the Lilliputians supply him with food and drink at his request(1296). The fulfillment of his needs shows his immediate power he had on the Lilliputians. The emperor of Lilliput demands that Gulliver be taken to the capital city so he can be inspected(1297). Gulliver asks to walk to the city but, he is carted in by the Lilliputians (1297). The emperor views Gulliver and he is made to stay in close proximity to the emperor until the Lilliputians figure out how to deal with the situation (1300). However, the emperor...

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