Gulliver’s Travels: Part 3

After being at home for only ten days, Gulliver is visited by a ship captain who invites him on a voyage departing in two months. Gulliver convinces his wife that this is a good opportunity and sets off, again working as the surgeon. After they sail for three days, a storm arises, driving the ship to the north-northeast, where they are attacked by pirates. They are unable to defend themselves. Gulliver insults the captain of the pirate ship and as punishment is set adrift in a small canoe, with paddles and a sail, and four days provisions.” On the fifth day of sailing in his canoe, Gulliver reaches a small island, where he spends the night in restless sleep. In the morning he notices that what he thought was a cloud floating above the island is actually a floating island. Gulliver calls up to the people he sees moving about the island. They lower down a system of pulleys that can pull Gulliver up.

As soon as Gulliver steps onto the floating island, he is surrounded by a crowd of people. He finds them very strange even though they are of a size similar to his. Their heads are slanted to the left or right, and their clothes have pictures of either musical instruments or astronomical signs. Gulliver learns that he is on Laputa. The people here have terribly short attention spans, so they carry around “flappers.” These are used for hitting other people during conversation in order to keep them focused. After dinner a man is sent to teach Gulliver the language. Gulliver finds that the Laputian houses are built very poorly and with no right angles. This is odd because the men here are obsessed with mathematics. The people here never have peace of mind. They are constantly worrying about dangers such as the possibility that the sun might go out. The women are very sexual creatures who often cheat on their husbands, especially with their preferred men from Balnibarbi, but the men are so wrapped up in mathematics that they do not notice. The king of Laputa is not remotely interested in the government of England.

Gulliver learns that Laputa is floating above Balnibarbi, the island on which he landed his canoe. Laputa contains 10,000 acres and is perfectly circular. It is able to move about the surface of Balnibarbi but not beyond its borders, and it can move up and down because of its magnetic forces. When a town from Balnibarbi acts up, the King has Laputa moved directly above it so that it can receive no sun or rain. No one from the Royal family is allowed to leave Laputa.

 

Gulliver finds Laputa terribly boring because the people there are all much more intelligent than he is. He has a hard time conversing with them and is generally ignored. He petitions to go down to Balnibarbi, and his request is granted. On Balnibarbi, Gulliver meets Lord Munodi, who invites Gulliver to stay at his home. Munodi’s home is beautiful and kept well, but when the two travel out into the country Gulliver finds that the rest of the land is barren and sadly kept. Munodi explains that this is because many years back, people from Balnibarbi visited Laputa, and when they returned they decided to change things to a more academic way of living. This idea has failed. Munodi’s land is plentiful because he never changed his way of living.

 

Gulliver visits the Grand Academy of Lagado, the largest metropolis of Balnibarbi. The scientists there are constantly working on experiments that Gulliver finds pointless. For instance, he meets a man who is trying to extract sunlight from cucumbers. Other experiments are trying to turn excrement back into the food it began as, trying to make gunpowder from ice, and trying to employ spiders as weavers of silk. Professors are also attempting to alter the communication of Balnibarbi by doing away with language altogether.

 

Gulliver then visits the part of the Academy designated for studies of government. He finds the professors especially in this wing to be entirely crazy. They propose such things as studying excrement to find treasonous people and taxing people based on beauty and wit.

 

Gulliver decides to take a trip to the Island of Luggnagg but finds that no ships will be available for the voyage for a month, so it is suggested that he visit Glubbdubdrib, which he translates to mean the island of sorcerers or magicians. Once he arrives in the governor’s home, he finds that the governor and his family are served and attended by domesticks of a kind somewhat unusual. Gulliver learns that the governor has the power to bring back the dead for the purpose of serving him. Gulliver is given the option to bring back anyone he would like. He chooses Alexander the Great, who tells Gulliver that he actually died because he drank too much. He then brings back a parade of other famous dead.

 

Gulliver spends a great deal of time speaking with various famous dead people. He speaks with Homer, Aristotle, and Descartes and even gets them into conversation with one another. He later brings back a few English Yeomen and finds them much larger and stronger than the English people today. He worries that his countrymen are diminishing with time.

 

Gulliver travels to Luggnagg, posing as a Dutchman. He says, “I thought it necessary to disguise my Country, and call my self an Hollander, because my Intentions were for Japan, and I knew the Dutch were the only Europeans permitted to enter into that Kingdom.” His true identity is discovered, however, and Gulliver is made a prisoner. He later learns that anyone who wants to come before the king must crawl on hands and knees and lick the floor. The king, it turns out, uses this tradition to his advantage when he wants to get rid of someone-simply by poisoning the floor.

 

Gulliver learns about the Struldbrug children who are born to Luggnaggians but who have a red dot on each of their foreheads. These children are immortal, which causes Gulliver to fantasize about what he would do if he were immortal. He dreams of the ability to take his time becoming a master of many different subjects and amassing great wealth. But Gulliver soon comes to learn that the Struldbrug children are actually very unhappy and jealous of those people who can die. They find their own lives depressing.

 

After offering Gulliver employment in the court but finally seeing that he is determined to leave, His Majesty gives him license to leave, a letter of recommendation to the Emperor of Japan, and a gift of 444 pieces of gold and a very valuable red diamond. In Japan he is told to trample the crucifix, which all Dutchmen are happy to do, but Gulliver manages to get out of doing so. He takes a ship to Amsterdam and then to England, where he happily returns to his family.

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Gulliver’s Travels: Part 2, Chapters 7-8

Gulliver, disturbed from the king’s evaluation, tries to tell him about gunpowder. He describes it as a great invention, but the king is repulsed by the proposal, and Gulliver is taken aback, thinking that the king has refused a great opportunity. He thinks that the king is unnecessarily scrupulous and narrow-minded for not being more open to the inventions of Gulliver’s world.

Soon, Gulliver thinks the people of Brobdingnag to be ignorant and uneducated. Their laws cannot be argued with, although they are not allowed to exceed in words the number of letters in their alphabet, which I assume can only mean that they are short and sweet, but non-explanatory. Or, it could mean exactly what it says. Though they know how to print, there are not many books, and their writing is simple and straightforward. One text describes the insignificance and weakness of Brobdingnagians and even argues that at one point they must have been much larger.

Gulliver wants to have his freedom back. (I don’t blame him.) He’s been in this kingdom for two years, and wishes to return home. Though the king orders for other small people to be found (females, to be specific), for him to procreate with and make offspring, Gulliver refuses in fear of them being kept in cages.

He is brought to the south coast; both his nursemaid and him fall ill. Gulliver says that he wants fresh air, and a page carries him out to the shore in his traveling-box. He asks to be left to sleep in his hammock, and the boy wanders off. Later, an eagle grabs Gulliver’s box and flies away, but Gulliver falls (still in the box) and lands in the water. He fears drowning and starving, but then he hears a voice and the box being pulled. The voice tells him that his box is tied to a ship and that a carpenter will come to drill a hole in the top. Gulliver says that they can simply use a finger to pry it open, and he hears laughter. He realizes that he is speaking to people of his own height and climbs a ladder out of his box and onto their ship.

Gulliver recovers on their ship and attempts to tell the sailors of his journey. He shows them things he saved from Brobdingnag, like his comb and a tooth pulled from a footman. He has trouble adjusting to the sailors’ small size, and he finds himself shouting all the time. When he reaches England, it takes him some time to grow accustomed to his old life, and his wife asks him to never go to sea again.

Gulliver’s Travels: Part 2, Chapters 5-6

Okay, so this little dwarf has some serious jealously issues. Gulliver truly enjoys Brobdingnag aside from the dwarf shaking apples over him and getting caught in a hailstorm that leaves him so bruised he can’t leave the house for ten days. Also, the women of the kingdom are entirely uncaring. Gulliver and his nursemaid are often invited to visit the previously mentioned women, who are women of the court, and there he is treated as a toy of little significance. They enjoy stripping his clothes and placing him in their bosoms, and he is appalled by their strong smell, noting that a Lilliputian told him that he smelled quite repulsive to them. The women also strip their own clothes in front of him, and he finds their skin extremely ugly and uneven.

The Queen orders for a boat to be built for Gulliver, and he enjoys rowing it in the cistern he is placed in. It amuses the Queen and her court. But, another incident befalls Gulliver when a monkey takes Gulliver up a ladder and force-feeds him. Once he is rescued, his nursemaid pulls the food from his mouth with a needle, to which Gulliver vomits once she is done. He is too bruised and battered to move, so he stays in bed for two weeks. The monkey is killed and orders are sent out that no other monkeys be kept in the palace.

Chapter six begins with Gulliver being healed and making a comb from the stubs of hair (gross) leftover from the king’s recent shave. He also uses more hair to weave the backs of two chairs for the Queen to ogle at. Gulliver is brought to a musical performance, but it is so loud that he can hardly make it out. Gulliver decides to play the spinet for the royal family, but must contrive a novel way to do it, since the instrument is so big. He uses large sticks and runs over the keyboard with them, but he can still strike only sixteen keys.

Later, Gulliver is slightly offended from the king’s unjustly view of England. He describes the culture and government to him, trying to gain his attention. Well, it is truly gained when the king begins asking questions, appalled by the history of violence England carries. He then takes Gulliver into his hand and, explaining that he finds the world that Gulliver describes to be ridiculous, contemptuous, and strange, tells him that he concludes that most Englishmen sound like “odious Vermin.” Which, in my opinion, is true by the way Gulliver describes it.

Gulliver’s Travels: Part 2, Chapters 3-4

Okay, so the beginning of this starts out a little heartless and morbid on the giants’ part. Gulliver begins to grow thin from traveling so much, and the giant who takes him everywhere decides to get as much money out of Gulliver before he dies… Rude. Meanwhile, an order comes from the court, commanding the farmer to bring Gulliver to the queen for her entertainment. She’s very pleased with him and buys Gulliver for 1,000 gold pieces. Gulliver requests that Glumdalclitch be allowed to live in the palace as well. Gulliver explains his suffering to the queen, and she is impressed by his intelligence. The king, when she takes Gulliver to him, thinks that the small person is a mechanical creation, and he sends for scholars to come observe him. They declare that he is unfit to survive; Gulliver tries to explain that he’s from a world in proportion to him, but the scholars don’t believe him.

The Queen grows fond of Gulliver’s company. She likes the way he eats, and he hates the way she swallows so much food. He’s made living quarters out of a box and clothes from silk; he finds them cumbersome. Glumdalclitch is also given an apartment and a governess.

The king converses with Gulliver on issues of politics, and laughs at his descriptions of the goings-on in Europe. He finds it amusing that people of such small stature should think themselves so important, and Gulliver is at first offended. He then comes to realize that he too has begun to think of his world as ridiculous.

The Queen’s dwarf, once the smallest man in the kingdom, is not happy with Gulliver. He drops Gulliver into a bowl of cream, but Gulliver is able to swim to safety and the dwarf is punished.

In chapter four, Gulliver is looking at Brobdingnag, thinking that Europe must have their maps wrong because the land stretched at least 6,000 miles. It is bordered by mountains and more sea than land; the water is so rough that there is no trade with other nations. The rivers are well stocked with giant fish, but the fish in the sea are of the same size as those in the rest of the world—and therefore not worth catching.

Throughout the rest of the chapter, Gulliver is carried around and shown the sights. People always crowd around to see him. He asks to see the largest temple in the country and is not overwhelmed by its size, since at a height of 3,000 feet it is proportionally smaller than the largest steeple in England.

Gulliver’s Travels: Part 2, Chapters 1-2

The second part begins with Gulliver arriving to England, but after two months he becomes restless once more. He boards a ship that gets caught in a monsoon, drawing the ship called Adventure off course. The ship eventually arrives at a land unknown to anyone; there aren’t any inhabitants. Gulliver decides to turn back to the ship, but it was already leaving without him; he tries chasing after it but then spots a giant following the boat.

Gulliver runs away, and when he stops, he is on a steep hill from which he can see the countryside. He is shocked to see that the grass is about twenty feet high. He’s walking down what looks like a road but is actually a footpath through a field of barley. For a while he walks and hopes to see something, but there are only stalks of corn that stand forty feet high.

As he tries climbing steps, that are too steep for his small size, he sees another one of the island’s giant inhabitants. He hides from the giant, but it calls for more people to come, and they begin to harvest the crop with scythes. Gulliver bemoans his predicament, assuming that he is insignificant to these giants. One of them comes too close to Gulliver, so he screams loudly until it notices him. It picks Gulliver up between his fingers to inspect it, seeming pleased when Gulliver shows signs of intelligence to it. He explains through motion that the giant’s fingers are hurting him, so the giant tucks Gulliver in its pocket and walks toward its master.

As the giants surround Gulliver, fascinated with the new oddity in their lands, Gulliver speaks as loudly as he can, politely showing them gold, to which the master does not understand fully. The master giant takes Gulliver to his wife, who is frightened of Gulliver. The servant brings in dinner, and they all sit down to eat, Gulliver sitting on the table not far from the farmer’s plate. They give him tiny bits of their food, and he pulls out his knife and fork to eat, which delights the giants.

The master’s son picks up Gulliver, scaring him, and the master takes away Gulliver and strikes his son. Gulliver explains that the son should be forgiven. After dinner, the farmer’s wife lets Gulliver nap in her own bed. When he wakes up he finds two rats attacking him, and he defends himself with his “hanger,” or sword.

The farmer’s (who is also the master) daughter protects Gulliver; he calls her nursemaid, or “Glumdalclitch”. The girl gives him a permanent bed, fashioned from an old doll’s cradle, and keeps him in a drawer, away from the rats. She becomes Gulliver’s caretaker and guardian, sewing clothes for him and teaching him the giants’ language.

The master lets the news travel through their village of their new fascination, and a friend of the farmer’s comes to see him. Gulliver laughs at the new man’s eye-size through his glasses. The man becomes angry and advises the farmer to take Gulliver into the market to display him. He agrees, and Gulliver is taken to town in a carriage, which he finds very uncomfortable. There, he is placed on a table while Glumdalclitch sits down on a stool beside him, with thirty people at a time walking through as he performs tricks.

Gulliver finds out, after an exhausting day, that he is also to do tricks at the farmer’s house. People from all around come to see him and are charged large sums of money to watch Gulliver. Thinking that Gulliver can make him a great fortune, the farmer takes him and Glumdalclitch on a trip to the largest cities…

 

Gulliver’s Travels: Part 1, Chapter 8

After three days has passed, he finds a boat of his normal size and asks the emperor of Blefuscu to help him fix it. At the exact same time, the emperor of Lilliput demands that Gulliver give up his eyesight. The emperor of Blefuscu tells their neighbors that Gulliver will soon be leaving both kingdoms. A month later, his boat is ready and he sets sail. He arrives safely back in England, where he makes a good profit showing miniature farm animals that he carried away from Blefuscu in his pockets.

Gulliver’s Travels: Part 1, Chapter 7

In this chapter, Gulliver plans to depart for Blefuscu but a court official comes to charge him with crimes against Lilliput. He is to be executed for public urination, refusing to obey the emperor’s orders to seize the remaining Blefuscu ships, aiding enemy ambassadors, and traveling to Blefuscu. Gulliver’s friend is asking to reduce his sentence to a less harsh punishment, such as starving him to death slowly and gouging his eyes out. Like a normal human being, Gulliver crosses the channel and makes it to Blefuscu.

Gulliver’s Travels: Part 1, Chapter 6

Gulliver describes Lilliput’s plants and animals, and then it shifts to the people and their education. He says their writing system is odd, going from one corner of the page to another. The dead are buried with their heads pointing directly downward, because the Lilliputians believe that eventually the dead will rise again and that the Earth, which they think is flat, will turn upside down. Gulliver adds that the better-educated Lilliputians no longer believe in this custom.

Gulliver goes on to describe their laws; if one is falsely accused of a crime, the accuser will be put to death, by tradition. The law provides not only for punishment but also for rewards of special titles and privileges for good behavior.

Children are raised by the kingdom and not by individual parents, and they are sent to schools to live in at a young age. They are sent to certain schools depending on their parents’ station. They only get to see the children twice a year. Only the laborers’ children stay home, since their job is to farm. There are no beggars at all, since the poor are well looked after. (This is an ideal government, if you ask me… Must be another example of satire.)

Gulliver’s Travels: Part 1, Chapter 5

Gulliver spies on the empire of Blefuscu, and then he devises a plan to catch their ships at port with cables. Frightened, the people aboard swim back to shore while Gulliver tries to unanchor the ships. They are too buried for him to yank, so he just cuts the wires from the ships and pulls them to the shores of Lilliput.

Gulliver is greeted as a hero when he comes back. The emperor asks him to go back to retrieve the other ships, intending to destroy Blefuscu’s military strength and make it a province in his empire. Gulliver says he won’t because he won’t promote slavery or violence. This position causes great disagreement in the government, with some officials turning staunchly against Gulliver and calling for his destruction.

Three weeks later, a delegation arrives from Blefuscu, and the war ends with Blefuscu’s surrender. The Blefuscu delegates are privately told of Gulliver’s kindness toward the Lilliputians, and they ask him to visit their kingdom. He wishes to do so, and the emperor reluctantly allows it.

As a Nardac, or person of high rank, Gulliver no longer has to perform all the duties laid down in his contract. He does, however, have the opportunity to help the Lilliputians when the emperor’s wife’s room catches fire. He forgets his coat and cannot put the flames out with his clothing, so instead he thinks of a new plan: he urinates on the palace, putting out the fire entirely. He worries afterward that since the act of public urination is a crime in Lilliput he will be prosecuted, but the emperor tells him he will be pardoned. He is told, however, that the emperor’s wife can no longer tolerate living in her rescued quarters.

Gulliver’s Travels: Part 1, Chapter 4

After finally obtaining his freedom, the first thing Gulliver asked to do was visit the city of Mildendo. The emperor grants his wish and Gulliver walks through the town, eventually visiting the emperor’s palace. Gulliver explained, later, about a quarrel in Lilliput, that had to do with the ways the people wore their shoes. One side wore high-heeled shoes while the others wore lower-heeled shoes. He went on to explain that there was another issue; the Blefucians, who were almost as powerful as the kingdom the emperor ruled. He explained that the dispute that was between the Blefucians and the Lilliputians had been going on for three years. Yet another issue surfaced between the people of Lilliput when the emperor’s grandfather cut his hand on an eggshell when he was a kid. The terms, “Big-endians,” and, “Little-endians,” were derived from this incident because they preferred to break their eggs on their respective ends rather than submit to the law put in place by the emperor to break their eggs on the little end. There were many rebellions because of the law put in place that you should break the egg on the big end because of safety issues. The government of Blefuscu accused the Lilliputians of disobeying their religious doctrine, the Brundrecral, by breaking their eggs at the small end. The Lilliputians argued that the doctrine reads, “That all true believers shall break their eggs at the convenient end,” which could be interpreted as the small end.

The exiles gained support in Blefuscu to launch a war against Lilliput and were aided by rebel forces inside Lilliput. A war has been raging between the two nations ever since, and Gulliver is asked to help defend Lilliput against its enemies. Gulliver does not feel that it is appropriate to intervene, but he nonetheless offers his services to the emperor.