When Gulliver first wakes up in Lilliput, he feels a desire to suddenly seize forty or fifty of the tiny Lilliputians and "dash them against the Ground." He doesn't act. Like all Lilliputians, the emperor is fewer than six inches tall. While his wife has an intimate, friendly relationship with the diminutive visitor, the king's relation to. Gulliver's first journey takes him to the Land of Lilliput, where he finds himself a giant for he could hardly distinguish the difference in the ends of their eggs.
Gulliver's fourth and final journey places him in the land of the Houyhnhnm, a society of intelligent, reasoning horses. As Swift leads Gulliver on these four fantastical journeys, Gulliver's perceptions of himself and the people and things around him change, giving Swift ample opportunity to inject into the story both irony and satire of the England of his day and of the human condition. Swift ties his satire closely with Gulliver's perceptions and adventures. In Gulliver's first adventure, he begins on a ship that runs aground on a submerged rock.
He swims to land, and when he awakens, he finds himself tied down to the ground, and surrounded by tiny people, the Lilliputians. Gulliver is surprised "at the intrepidity of these diminutive mortals, who dare venture to mount and walk upon my body" I. Gulliver eventually learns their language, and arranges a contract with them for his freedom.
Perceptions of Satire in Gulliver's Travels
However, he is bound by this agreement to protect Lilliput from invasion by the people of Blefuscu. The Lilliputians relate to him the following story: In Lilliput, years ago, people once broke eggs on the big end.
However, the present king's grandfather once cut himself breaking the egg in this manner, so the King at the time, the father of the present king's grandfather, issued an edict that all were to break the eggs on the small end. Some of the people resisted, and they found refuge in Blefuscu, and "for six and thirty moons past" the two sides have been at war I. Of course, to Gulliver, such an argument would be completely ridiculous, for he could hardly distinguish the difference in the ends of their eggs.
With this event of the story Swift satirizes the needless bickering and fighting between the two nations. Also vehicles of Swift's satire were the peculiar customs of the nation of Lilliput. The methods of selecting people for public office in Lilliput are very different from that of any other nation, or rather, would appear to be so at first.
In order to be chosen, a man must "rope dance" to the best of his abilities; the best rope dancer receives the higher office.
While no nation of Europe in Swift's time followed such an absurd practice, they did not choose public officers on skill, but rather on how well the candidate could line the right pockets with money. Gulliver also tells of their custom of burying "their dead with their heads directly downwards The learned among them confess the absurdity of this doctrine, but the practice still continues" I. At this point in the story, Gulliver has not yet realized that by seeing the absurdity of the Lilliputians' traditions, that he might see the absurdity in European ones.
With this Swift satirizes the conditions of Europe. As Swift's story of Gulliver unfolds, the satire begins to take a much more general focus: Gulliver manages to escape the land of miniature, and after a brief stay in England, returns to the sea.
Again, he finds himself in a strange land, but this time, he is the small one, with everything around him many times the normal size. Unlike the Lilliputians, however, he is alone in this world. When he encounters the first natives, he fears for his life, "for as human creatures are observed to be more savage in proportion to their bulk" II.Gulliver's Travels - Kids Favourite English Animation Movie
This is but one of the many attacks on humanity that Swift's satire will perform. While in Lilliput Gulliver had been treated with respect, largely due to his size; here in this land of giants, Brobdingnag, he is treated as a curiosity, forced to perform shows for public amusement, until the royalty of this nation learn of his presence.
During the time Gulliver spends at this court, he relates much of the situation of Europe to the king, who listens with much eagerness. I would hide the frailties and deformities of my political mother, and place her virtues and beauties in the most advantageous light.
This was my sincere endeavor in those many discourses I had with that mighty monarch, although it unfortunately failed of success II. However well he tried to speak of England, he did not manage to tell only "her virtues.
This is what the King of Brobdingnag learns from Gulliver's stories: My little friend Grildrig, you have made a most admirable panegyric upon your country; you have clearly proved that ignorance, idleness vice may sometimes be the only ingredients for qualifying a legislator; that laws are best explained, interpreted, and applied by those whose interests and abilities lie in perverting them I am dwell disposed to hope you may hitherto have escaped many vices of your country.
But by what I have gathered from your own relation The Lilliputians indulge in ridiculous customs and petty debates. Political affiliations, for example, are divided between men who wear high-heeled shoes symbolic of the English Tories and those who wear low ones representing the English Whigsand court positions are filled by those who are best at rope dancing. Gulliver is asked to help defend Lilliput against the empire of Blefuscu, with which Lilliput is at war over which end of an egg should be broken, this being a matter of religious doctrine.
Later Gulliver extinguishes a fire in the royal palace by urinating on it. Eventually he falls out of favour and is sentenced to be blinded and starved. He flees to Blefuscu, where he finds a normal-size boat and is thus able to return to England.
A farm worker finds Gulliver and delivers him to the farm owner. One day the queen orders the farmer to bring Gulliver to her, and she purchases Gulliver.
He becomes a favourite at court, though the king reacts with contempt when Gulliver recounts the splendid achievements of his own civilization. Eventually Gulliver is picked up by an eagle and then rescued at sea by people of his own size. Gulliver in BrobdingnagGulliver in Brobdingnag, the land of giants.
- Reprints and adaptations
The people of Laputa all have one eye pointing inward and the other upward, and they are so lost in thought that they must be reminded to pay attention to the world around them. Though they are greatly concerned with mathematics and with music, they have no practical applications for their learning. Laputa is the home of the king of Balnibarbri, the continent below it.