Books and Movies Reviews

An Analysis of Guliver’s Travels;Voyage to Liliput

Generations of schoolchildren raised on thefirst Book of
“Gulliver’s Travels” have loved it as a delightful visit to a
fantasy kingdom full of creatures they can relate to_little
creatures, like themselves. Few casual readers look deeply enough
to recognize the satire just below the surface. But Jonathan Swift
was one of the great satirists of his or any other age, and
“Gulliver’s Travels” is surely the apex of his art.
“Gulliver’s Travels” tells the story of Lemuel Gulliver, a ship’s
surgeon who has a number of rather extraordinary adventures,
comprising four sections or “Books.” In Book I, his ship is blown
off course and Gulliver is shipwrecked. He wakes up flat on his
back on the shore, and discovers that he cannot move; he has been
bound to the earth by thousands of tiny crisscrossing threads. He
soon discovers that his captors are tiny men about six inches
high, natives of the land of Lilliput. He is released from his
prone position only to be confined in a ruined temple by ninety-
one tiny but unbreakable chains. In spite of his predicament,
Gulliver is atfirst impressed by the intelligence and
organizational abilities of the Lilliputians.
In this section, Swift introduces us to the essential conflict of
Book I: the naive, ordinary, but compassionate “Everyman” at the
mercy of an army of people with “small minds”. Because they are
technologically adept, Gulliver does not yet see how small-minded
In Chapter II, the Emperor of Lilliput arrives to take a look at
the “giant”, and Gulliver is equally impressed by the Emperor and
his courtiers. They are handsome and richly dressed, and the
Emperor attempts to speak to Gulliver civilly (although they are
unable to understand one another). The Emperor decrees that every
morning Gulliver is to be delivered “six beeves, forty sheep, and
other victuals,” along with as much bread and wine as he needs,
his basic needs are to be …


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