Gulliver's Travels
Jonathan Swift





1-     Lemuel Gulliver, an English Ship doctor is shipwrecked on an island

2-     Island is called Lilliput, where people are six inches tall, and he is a giant.

3-     The Lilliputians are at war with Blefuscu. [England against France]

4-     He helps the Lilliputians, but then they blame him of betrayal and want to blind him

5-     He escapes and goes back to England.



1-     Takes place in the land of Brobdingnag, where Gulliver is small and the people are huge.

2-     It’s an allegory for English ways.

3-     After a while of working like mad he was saved by the King and Queen and spends time talking about England.

4-     The king turns out to be a very nice person while Gulliver, in contrast, seems as evil and cruel as the Lilliputians.

5-     One day a bird picks Gulliver’s ‘box’ [house] and drops it in the sea where an English Ship recovers it.

6-     Gulliver stays in England for a bit then goes back to sea.



1-     Gulliver goes to the flying island of Laputa

2-     “Allegorical whirlwind tour" of early eighteenth-century scientific activities and attitudes

3-     The inhabitants have one eye turned inward and one eye turned up to the sky- they're thinking always of their own speculations (inward) and of lofty issues in mathematics, astronomy and music (upward)

4-     Gulliver visits the Academy of the Projectors to learn more about them, and witnesses a series of perfectly useless, wasteful experiments.

5-     In Glubbdubdrib Gulliver is able to call up historical figures from the past and converse with them.

6-     In Luggnagg Gulliver meets the Struldbrugs, a race of people who live forever.

7-     He returns back to England



1-     After a mutiny, ends up in the land of the Houyhnhnms

2-     The Houyhnhnms are horses governed totally by reason

3-     The Yahoos are humans, but are so fowl that they are human only in outward appearance, and are kept in a kennel.

4-     Gulliver tries to become a Houyhnhnm

5-     He can become neither race and so he leaves


1-     Gulliver goes mad

2-     He considers other people Yahoos, and could never come to terms with the Yahoo part in him.

3-     He buys horses when he’s in England and spends time in the stable, neglecting his Family.

4-     His purpose is correcting the Yahoos.



CHARACTERS Swift's satire is designed to keep you an independent reader, the characters are meant to stimulate you, not to lead you




SETTING Since the setting is always changing, the same happens with Gulliver’s views on things.

THEMES The overarching theme of this novel is the question, 'What is it to be human?'

1- HUMAN NATURE IS PETTY : The Lilliputians and Gulliver among the Brobdingnagians make a good case for the pettiness of human nature.

2- HUMAN NATURE IS MAGNANIMOUS AND JUST : The Brobdingnagians and Pedro de Mendez are fine examples of generosity and fairness.

3- MAN IS SOMEWHERE BETWEEN PETTINESS AND MAGNANIMITY : There are two ways of looking at this theme: either man is capable of improving himself, or he is not. Bear in mind that Swift was a traditional cleric who held the view that man's task on earth is to better himself spiritually, to get as far as possible from the Yahoo parts of his character. On the other hand, the Yahoos make an extremely strong impression and Gulliver never fully recovers from his exposure to them. It seems it's an individual thing- some people can and some can't.

4- THE SIN OF PRIDE IS THE MOST DANGEROUS SIN OF ALL : Gulliver at the end is guilty of pride even as he inveighs against it. He is most like a Yahoo at this moment. Trace the attacks against Gulliver's pride throughout the four books, and the fatal blows to his ego.

STYLE Swift's style is composed chiefly of satire, allegory, and irony. Satire consists of a mocking attack against vices, stupidities, and follies, with an aim to educate, edify, and improve.

POINT OF VIEW Point-of-view in Gulliver's Travels shifts.

FORM AND STRUCTURE The novel is written in the form of a travel book. Swift chose this device because travel tends to change our perspective on the world around us.