an English Ship doctor is shipwrecked on an island
Island is called Lilliput, where people are six inches tall,
and he is a giant.
The Lilliputians are at war with Blefuscu. [England against
He helps the Lilliputians, but then they blame him of betrayal and
want to blind him
and goes back to England.
Takes place in the land of Brobdingnag, where Gulliver is small
and the people are huge.
It’s an allegory for English ways.
After a while of working like mad he was saved by the King and Queen and
spends time talking about England.
The king turns out to be a very nice person while Gulliver,
in contrast, seems as evil and cruel as the Lilliputians.
One day a bird picks Gulliver’s ‘box’ [house] and
drops it in the sea where an English Ship recovers it.
stays in England for a bit then goes back to sea.
Gulliver goes to the flying island of Laputa
“Allegorical whirlwind tour" of early eighteenth-century scientific
activities and attitudes
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)
Gulliver visits the Academy of the Projectors to learn more about
them, and witnesses a series of perfectly useless, wasteful experiments.
In Glubbdubdrib Gulliver is able to call up historical figures
from the past and converse with them.
Gulliver meets the Struldbrugs, a race of people who live forever.
back to England
After a mutiny, ends up in the land of the Houyhnhnms
The Houyhnhnms are horses governed totally by reason
The Yahoos are humans, but are so fowl that they are human
only in outward appearance, and are kept in a kennel.
tries to become a Houyhnhnm
He can become neither race and so he leaves
He considers other people Yahoos, and could never come to
terms with the Yahoo part in him.
He buys horses when he’s in England and spends time in the
stable, neglecting his Family.
His purpose is correcting the Yahoos.
Swift's satire is designed to keep you an independent reader, the
characters are meant to stimulate you, not to lead you
Since the setting is always changing, the same happens with Gulliver’s
views on things.
HUMAN NATURE IS PETTY : The
Lilliputians and Gulliver among the Brobdingnagians make a good case for the
pettiness of human nature.
HUMAN NATURE IS MAGNANIMOUS AND JUST :
The Brobdingnagians and Pedro de Mendez are fine examples of generosity and
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.
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.