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Gulliver's Travels




Gulliver’s Travels:

by Johnathan Swift

Something about the author:

Johnathan Swift, the greatest Irish satirist, was born in Dublin on November 30, 1667.

Swift's father, an English lawyer, died while his wife was pregnant with Jonathan. Right after Jonathan was born his mother left him. 21942gmd39emb7e

He was educated at Trinity College, Dublin, and he worked halfheartedly on a masters degree, but left to join the Glorious Revolution. Shortly afterwards he entered the church as a way of earning a living, and he quickly became an ambitious and influential clergyman.

For all his activism and close relations with public figures, we know surprisingly little about the private Swift. No one even knows if Swift ever married.

On his frequent trips to England, he became deeply involved in politics and he started out as a Whig. In 1710 he went over to the Torries and became Dean of deans of St. Patrick's Cathedral in Dublin. In 1726 Gulliver’s Travels was publishd anonymously, because he often attacked prominent political figures. While most readers were trying like mad to find out who the author was, Swift's close friends had great fun keeping the secret.

In Swift’s last years he suffered from progressive mental disease and he died in 1745. mm942g1239emmb

Summary:



Gulliver's Travels is the tale of Lemuel Gulliver as he voyages to the strange lands of Lilliput, Brobdingnag, the kingdom of Laputa, and the land of the Houyhnhnms.

On his first voyage Gulliver is shipwrecked. He comes to Lilliput, a land where all people are twelve times short as short as he is. He learns their language their laws and their habits.

He gets a title of honour when he destroys the fleet of Belfuscu. But when he makes water on the emperor’s palace it’s decided he should die but he escapes.

Back to England with his wife and children , Gulliver becomes restless again and sets sails for India. After two months the sailors make for an unknown land to look for supplies. Gulliver loses the rest of his landing party and finds himself in a field of grain 40 feet high where a giant farmer discovers Gulliver and brings him home in his pocket to entertain his daughter.(Glumdalclitch) The farmer goes to the country and shows Gulliver to all giants, who is in a box like a little pet. When Gulliver fells ill the farmer increases the number of shows to make as much money as possible before Gulliver dies. Gulliver comes to court where has to fight against rats and insects because he is so small. After two years Gulliver escapes when a big bird picks up his box and drops him over the sea. Gulliver is spotted by a vessel heading for Englang.



After two years, Gulliver is once again attacked by wanderlust and on this voyage he lands on the island of Balnibarbi. Balnibarbi is a colony ruled from above by a floating island called Laputa. The Laputians are normal in size, but they are keen theoists and that’s the reason why their clothes do not fit and why theire houses are lopsidedly built. The king of Laputa keeps the colony of Balnibarbi under control by dropping huge rocks on it from above to prevent the natives from revolting.




From there Gulliver travels to the South Sea, where he lands on a shore and meets an ape-like race called Yahoos, which are ruled by the Houyhnhnms some horses. The Houyhnhnms think that Gulliver is a Yahoo. Gulliver lives some time with the horses and likes their lifestyle. The Grand Assembly , a sort of parliament of the Houyhnhnms, decides that Gulliver is a real Yahoo and so he has to go. He builds a canoe and sails away, being picked up by a Portugese ship. Gulliver has now become a complete misanthrope and for a long time he is able to bear only the company of horses.

Lemuel Gulliver: He is a married man, who has studied medcines and works as a ship surgeon. He likes to travel a lot because he is very interested in other countries and their cultures.

The Emperor of Lilliput: A monarch a little over six inches high, referred to by his loyal subjects as ”the Delight and Terror of the Universe”.

The King of Brobdingnag: A peace loving giant who is very gentle but who nevertheless maintains his own standing army.

The Yahoos: A filthy race of ape like creatures who claim Gulliver as one of their own.

The Houyhnhnms: A race of rational, gentle horses who rule over the Yahoos.

Interpretation:

This book contains four satirical stories in prose and in the first book Swift satirizes the English politics, which are symbolized by the inhabitants of Lilliput. In the second book Gulliver symbolizes the English people and the Grand Academy of Logado is a parody of the English Royal Society. Each country Gulliver visits thinks itself the greatest on earth, inhabited by the lords of creation. But everyone, large or small, apes or horses, suffers from gross human defects.

My opinion:

I found the book quite difficult, but i liked the satirical aspects of the stories.











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