The Book “Gulliver’s Travels” was written by Johnathan Swift, who is known as a great Anglo Irish Satirist, essayist, and poet of English Literature. The full title of ‘Gulliver’s Travel’ is ‘Travels into Several Remote Nations of the World’ and it was first published in 1726. The protagonist of this novel is ‘Lemuel Gulliver’ and the whole story of this novel moves around him. It is Swift’s best full-length work. Swift claimed that he wrote ‘Gulliver’s Travel’ to vex the world rather than divert it.
The novel is written in Four Parts.
- A Voyage to Lilliput
- A Voyage to Brobdingnag
- A Voyage to Laputa
- A Voyage to the Land of the Houyhnms
About The Author “Jonathan Swift”
“Jonathan Swift” the author of Gulliver’s Travels was an Anglo-Irish Satirist, political pamphleteer, essayist, and poet. He is remembered for works such as – A Tale of Tub, An Argument Against Abolishing Christianity, Gulliver’s Travel, and A Modest Proposal. Swift is regarded as the greatest prose satirist in the history of English Literature.
The Book “Gulliver’s Travels” was an immediate success. The English dramatist ‘John Gay’ remarked ‘It is universally red from the Cabinet council to the nursery.
Themes In Gulliver’s Travels
The main themes in Gulliver’s Travels are – Hypocrisy, The Dangers of arrogance and excessive pride, the human condition, and Social and Political issues.
One of the most important themes in Gulliver’s Travels is that of Hypocrisy. Throughout the novel, Swift criticizes the various groups of people that Gulliver meets for their hypocrisy. For example, he condemns the politicians of Lilliput for their lies and manipulation, and the scientist of Laputa for their disregard for the well-being of other people.
Dangers of Arrogance and Excessive Pride
Another important theme in Gulliver’s Travels is that of The dangers of arrogance and excessive pride. Swift satirizes this theme by showing how the Characters in Gulliver’s travels who are the most proud are also the ones who are harmed the most. The Laputans, for example, are highly arrogant people who think they are superior to everyone else. As a result, they are completely blind to the dangers of their own actions, and they end up being destroyed by a storm.
Human Condition, and Social and Political Issues
Gulliver’s Travels is also an exploration of the different ways that societies can be structured. Swift uses Gulliver’s Travels to satirize the various political and social systems that he encounters. For example, the government of Lilliput is a monarchy, while the government of Blefuscu is a republic. Swift also criticizes, the social hierarchy treated like gods and the common people are treated like slaves.
Gulliver’s Travels is full of Swift’s clever irony and biting satire. Gulliver functions as a mouthpiece for Swift, allowing the author to voice his opinions on various political and social issues of his period. Swift criticizes the way that society can be hypocritical and unjust. He also satirizes the ways in which people are willing to blindly follow the conventions of their society, even if these conventions are harmful or wrong. In the novel, Swift also gives a glimpse of his view on humanity. In general Swift seems to believe that humans are inherently corrupt and selfish.
Thus, the themes of “Gulliver’s Travels” are important because they allow us to better understand the Author’s message and the motivation behind the work. In “Gulliver’s Travel” Swift uses satire to criticize various aspects of English society. By exploring the themes in Gulliver’s Travels, we can gain a better understanding of Swift’s views on society, humanity, and the human condition.
Gulliver’s Travels Part – 1
Gulliver’s Travels Part – 1 has a total of 8 Chapters.
Chapter – 1
The novel begins with Lemuel Gulliver recounting the story of his life. He was born to a family in Nottinghamshire, the third of five sons. He is sent to London to be a surgeon’s apprentice, during which time he also learns about navigation and Mathematics. Afterward, Gulliver married Mrs. Mary Burton and began his life as a Surgeon. When his business begins to fail, he takes a six-year trip to sea, where he serves as the surgeon to two ships and travels the East and West Indies. He spends much of his time on these voyages observing the people and learning their language.
Although he has planned to return home at the end of this time, he decides to accept one last job on a ship called Antelope. In the East Indies, the ship encounters a violent storm in which twelve crewmen die. Six of the crewmembers, including Gulliver, board a small row boat to escape. Soon the rowboat capsizes. Gulliver however swims safely to shore.
Gulliver lies down on the grass to rest and soon he falls asleep. When he wakes up, he finds that his arms, legs, and hair have been tied. He feels something move across her legs and over his chest. He looks like a six-inch-tall human carrying a bow and arrow. At least forty little people climb onto his body. He is surprised and shouts loudly frightening the little people.
Gulliver loosens the ropes and indicates that he is hungry, and the little people bring him baskets of meat. He devours it all and shows that he is thirsty, so they bring two large barrels of wine. Gulliver has made them a promise of goodwill and is grateful for their hospitality. When he falls asleep, the Lilliputians transport Gulliver to the capital. They use a large platform with twenty-two wheels pulled by dozens of four-and-a-half-inch horses. More than one hundred thousand Lilliputians come out to see Gulliver.
The emperor of Lilliput comes to visit Gulliver. The two attempt to converse, though they cannot understand each other’s language. After two weeks, a bed is made for Gulliver. It consists of 600 small beds sewn together. News of his arrival spreads throughout the kingdom and curious people come to see him. The emperor arranged to deliver a large amount of food to Gulliver every morning, hire tailors to make his clothing, and offer teachers to instruct him in their language.
Every morning Gulliver asks the emperor to set him free, but the emperor refuses, saying that Gulliver must be patient. The emperor also orders him to be searched to ensure that he does not have any weapons. Gulliver agrees to this search, all of his weapons are taken away.
Chapter – 3
The Lilliputians begin to like and trust Gulliver. Gulliver is granted his freedom, but he has to follow certain conditions, including the following – he is forbidden to leave the island without permission, he must be an ally to the Lilliputians in wars, and he must help with construction projects.
Chapter – 4
Gulliver visits the Lilliputian capital city of Mildendo and the emperor’s palace. Reldresal, an official in the Lilliputian government tells Gulliver about religious and political division. He also tells Gulliver about his enemies – the Kingdom of Blefuscu. Gulliver agrees to help defend Lilliput against their enemies. He honours his promise to defend Lilliput from a Blefuscu attack.
Chapter – 5
Three weeks later Lilliput makes a peace treaty with Blefuscu and Gulliver asks the emperor for permission to visit Blefuscu in the future. The emperor agrees but remains cold toward Gulliver. A fire breaks out in the empress’s apartment. Gulliver extinguishes the fire by relieving himself in the building. This disgusts the empress, as public urination is illegal in Lilliput. She vows revenge on Gulliver.
Chapter – 6
Gulliver is invited to have dinner with the emperor. Flimnap, the royal treasurer, also attends the dinner. Flimnap dislikes Gulliver and complains that feeding and housing Gulliver is bankrupting the kingdom.
Chapter – 7
A government official tells Gulliver that members of the council, including Flimnap, have charged Gulliver with treason. The Charges include public urination, refusing to destroy Blefuscu, and aiding the emperor of Blefuscu. Gulliver learn his sentence will be carried out three days. He leaves Lilliput for Blefuscu, where its people welcome him.
Chapter – 8
After three days, Gulliver receives orders to return to Lilliput for his punishment, but Gulliver decides to leave for home. He takes with him food, drink, and some tiny animals from Blefuscu. After two days at sea, he was picked up by a British vessel and returned to his family in England.
Thus, “Gulliver’s Travels” is a story about the human condition, and how human struggles with their own weakness. Swift makes it clear that there is no one right way to do things and no perfect solution to life’s problems. This story is an indictment of man’s vanity and his struggles to find order in a Chaotic World. Swift also uses Gulliver’s Travels as a way to comment on the social and political issues of his time.
Are you struggling to keep up with your English Literature Coursework? Do you need detailed, customized English Literature Notes to help you better understand the texts you’re studying? “Look no further! Our customized paid notes will help you achieve your study goals quickly.
- Feminism In India & Feminism In West
- Mahabharata By The Veda Vyasa The Dicing Dark Part
- Gulliver’s Travels By Jonathan Swift Part 1
- Theatre Of The Absurd “Absurdist”
- Man and Superman Themes, Summary & Analysis G. B. Shaw
- Daddy By Sylvia Plath Summary & Analysis
- Gitanjali By Rabindranath Tagore
- In Memoriam by Alfred Tennyson
- The Handmaid’s Tale by Margaret Atwood
- The Good Woman Of Setzuan Summary & Analysis