by Jonathan Swift
Swift's satirical novel was first published in 1726, yet it is
still valid today. Gulliver's Travels describes the four fantastic
voyages of Lemuel Gulliver, a kindly ship's surgeon.Swift
portrays him as an observer, a reporter, and a victim of circumstance.
travels take him to Lilliput where he is a giant observing tiny
people. In Brobdingnag, the tables are reversed and he is the
tiny person in a land of giants where he is exhibited as a curiosity
at markets and fairs. The flying island of Laputa is the scene
of his next voyage. The people plan and plot as their country
lies in ruins. It is a world of illusion and distorted values.
The fourth and final voyage takes him to the home of the Houyhnhnms,
gentle horses who rule the land. He also encounters Yahoos, filthy
bestial creatures who resemble humans.
* * *
currently reading Gulliver's Travels for my English class, and
i have to say, what a very interesting book. I wasn't a huge fan
of classic books, but this book so far has surprised me. I like
how the author wrote the book to where you just can't put the
* * *
each adventure I felt that Swift did a good job expressing how
whether you are tall or short, ugly or good looking, you have
something to offer the world wherever you are.
the land where Gulliver "became" a giant he helped steal
another island's ships and he also helped by urinating on the
emperor's castle to put out the fire that was burning the castle
up. Also in the land where Gulliver was tiny, he had something
to offer. At first he was considered "worthless", but
then most people discovered that he was a good source of entetainment
... Gulliver could ride around on a little boat to every lady's
delight. He was so entertaining, Gulliver was even taken to the
palace of giants.
* * *
haven't read this book since I read it as a child, and it was
amazing how much of it had stuck with me, and how vividly. There
were sections (particularly in Brobdingnag) where I could almost
recite word-for-word what was going to happen next.
Happily, like Alice in Wonderland, this is a book that ages very
well. There was still the element of being just a plain old good
travel story with strong images (particularly in the Lilliput
and Brobdingnag sections) but there was also a wicked sense of
satire that continues to be relevant and funny now more than three
hundred years after the book was originally written.
The latter two sections
of the book-- Laputa and the land of the Houyhnhnms-- are perhaps
a little less vivid for being more pointed in their satirical
content (interestingly I have no memory of these sections from
my childhood reading) but that in no way detracts from the value
of the book.
* * *
Travels are broken up into four parts. The first two parts are
the most famous, where Gulliver visits a land in which he is a
giant and another in which it is filled with giants.
The next two parts
however I found to be excellent. Several authors have expounded
upon these stories or have continued them in one form of another
of them. It is good to finally find the source of such great insight.
part about humans being nothing but Yahoos, and inferior to Horses
is brilliant. A reversal of roles with other animals to give us
a new perspective of ourselves.