Book I and Book II (shortly)
On this voyage, Gulliver goes to the sea as a surgeon on the merchant ship,. The ship is destroyed during a heavy windstorm, and Gulliver, the only survivor, swims to a nearby island, Lilliput. Being nearly exhausted from the ordeal, he falls asleep. Upon awakening, he finds that the island’s inhabitants, who are no larger than six inches tall, have captured him. After the inhabitants examine Gulliver and provide him with food, the Emperor of this country orders his subjects to move Gulliver to a little-used temple, the only place large enough to house him.
In this chapter, the Imperial Majesty (the Emperor) and Gulliver carry on a conversation as best they can. After the Emperor’s visit, six Lilliputians shoot arrows at Gulliver. Gulliver retaliates by pretending to eat the little archers and then releases them. This clemency, and Gulliver’s cooperation, so impress the Imperial Council that they debate whether or not to free Gulliver. An officer takes inventory of Gulliver’s possessions, which will be held until Gulliver’s fate is settled upon.
The Lilliputian emperor is pleased that Gulliver is friendly and cooperative, so he rewards him with some court diversions. The diversions, however, prove to be quite different than one might expect. It is the Lilliputian court custom that men seeking political office demonstrate their agility in rope dancing, among other things. How long and how skillfully a candidate can dance upon a rope determines his tenure in office. Of the candidates, two are particularly adept: Reldresal, Gulliver’s friend, and Flimnap, the treasurer. Other diversions include noblemen competing for official favor by crawling under or leaping over a stick, a feat for which they are then rewarded with various colored threads. Gulliver also reviews the Emperor’s troops; he stands, legs apart, while the tiny men march through.
As a result of Gulliver’s cooperation, a pact between Gulliver and the Emperor is agreed on. Gulliver is granted limited freedom on certain conditions. In return for abiding by the conditions, he will receive food sufficient for 1,728 Lilliputians. Gulliver swears to the articles in proper form, and the Emperor frees him.
After Gulliver’s visit to the Emperor’s palace at Mildendo, Reldresal, Lilliput’s Principal Secretary of Private Affairs, pays a visit to Gulliver and explains the faction quarrels between the High Heel Party and the Low Heel Party. The conflict, he says, started over a religious question: At which end should the faithful break their eggs: at the big end or at the little end? The Blefuscudians break theirs, in the original style, at the big end. But, by royal edict, the Lilliputians must break their eggs at the little end. There are rebels in Lilliput, Reldresal says, and already 11,000 of them — Big Endians — have been put to death; others have fled to the court of Blefuscu. He explains further that the Lilliputians have lost 40 ships in the war. The dilemma seems hopeless, for Lustrog, the prophet of their religion, has said, “All true believers shall break their eggs at the convenient end.”
Gulliver saves Lilliput from a Blefuscudian invasion by dragging the Blefuscudian ships to Lilliput. In gratitude, the Lilliputian emperor rewards Gulliver with the title . Gulliver is pleased with his new title, but he is not the Emperor’s dupe. He rejects a plan to destroy Blefuscu completely and argues for a reasonable peace treaty. Gulliver’s moderation in dealing with the Blefuscudians gives Flimnap and Skyresh Bolgolam a chance to slander him. The Emperor listens to the accusations and is cold to Gulliver when he grants him permission to visit Blefuscu in the future. Later, a fire in the palace breaks out, and Gulliver puts out the fire by urinating on it. There is a law against anyone passing water in the royal palace, however, and the Empress is so horrified by Gulliver’s fire-fighting techniques that she never forgives Gulliver. The Emperor softens, though, and promises Gulliver a pardon for his crime.
Gulliver provides the reader with information regarding Lilliputian culture and the personal treatment that he receives from the Lilliputians. Regarding the Lilliputian system of laws, Gulliver says that treason is severely punished, which is not particularly surprising, but other laws are. These laws punish an unsuccessful accuser as severely as a traitor; fraud is most frequently punished with death; and any innocent man who is vindicated of a charge is rewarded. Interestingly, ingratitude is a capital offense. Moral, rather than clever men, are appointed to powerful positions, and atheists are barred from all government offices. Explaining the seeming contradiction between these good laws and the rope-dancing corruptions, Gulliver says that the latter were instituted by the present Emperor’s grandfather.
The Lilliputians believe that parents marry out of sexual desire rather than love of children. Therefore they deny any filial obligation and establish public schools for children. Parents with children in school pay for each child’s maintenance and are forced to maintain those that they breed. The schools for young nobles are spartan, and students are trained in honor, justice, courage, modesty, clemency, religion, and patriotism. The schools for tradesmen and ordinary gentlemen are like those of the nobles, but the duration of schooling is shorter. The Lilliputians educate women to be reasonable, agreeable, and literate. Workers and farmers have no schools.
Resuming his tale, Gulliver describes the visit of the Emperor and his family. They come to dine with Gulliver and bring Flimnap with them. The dinner proves to be a disaster because Flimnap, the royal treasurer, is appalled when he reckons the cost of feeding and housing Gulliver. What’s more, Flimnap charges, his wife is attracted to Gulliver and has visited him secretly.
Gulliver learns that Flimnap, Skyresh Bolgolam, and others have approved articles of treason against him. His crimes include putting out the fire in the palace, refusing to devastate Blefuscu, speaking to the peace embassy from Blefuscu, and preparing to take advantage of the Emperor’s permission to visit Blefuscu. The Emperor accepts the charges, but he refuses to kill Gulliver. Instead, he “mercifully” decides to blind Gulliver and save money on his upkeep by starving him slowly. On learning this, Gulliver escapes to Blefuscu.
A few days after his arrival at Blefuscu, Gulliver sees a large overturned ship floating in the bay and hauls it to port. While he is restoring the ship for his return home, a Lilliputian envoy presents a note demanding that Gulliver be returned as a traitor. The Blefuscudian emperor refuses to do so, hoping that Gulliver will stay as a war deterrent between the two countries. Gulliver refuses, however, and sets sail for home. Eventually a British merchant ship picks him up and returns him toEnglandwhere he is reunited with his wife and family.
Part – 02
Gulliver is home for only two months when he and the crew of the set sail forSurat. A storm blows their ship far off course. When they finally sight land, the captain sends a crew, including Gulliver, to explore. While the crew looks for drinking water, Gulliver explores another part of the island. The men are set upon by “a huge creature” that chases them into the ocean and back to their ship. Gulliver, who was investigating the shore of the new country, is left behind. Eventually, Gulliver is discovered by several of these huge creatures that are, in reality, very large (giant-like) human beings. These giants prove to be friendly and curious, and eventually one of the giants, a farmer, takes Gulliver to his farmhouse where the farmer’s friendly family receives him.
Of all the family, the farmer’s daughter is the most fascinated by Gulliver. He seems like a walking, talking doll to her. She enjoys caring for him and even gives him a new name: Grildrig. She takes such good care of Gulliver that he calls her his (nurse). News of Gulliver’s living at the farmer’s house spreads quickly, and several visitors come to see him. At the urging of one particular gentleman, the farmer decides to take Gulliver to the market place and to put him on display for others to see (for a price). This being successful, the farmer decides to take Gulliver on tour throughout the kingdom, including visiting the kingdom’s metropolis, . There Gulliver performs ten times a day for all who wish to see him. By this time, though, Gulliver has presented far too many performances; he is almost dead with fatigue.
The Queen asks for an audience with the farmer and Gulliver, and Gulliver performs admirably and respectfully for her. The Queen, being attracted to the novelty of this tiny man, buys Gulliver from the farmer. Included in this arrangement is the farmer’s daughter, Glumdalclitch, who becomes a member of the Queen’s court as Gulliver’s nurse. Conversing with the King, Gulliver tells him about English customs and politics. The King is amused; he laughs at the fierceness of such tiny insects. Gulliver dares not refute the King’s opinion; indeed, before long, he adopts his host’s point of view.
The King and Queen are happy with Gulliver, but there is one member of the royal entourage who is happy: the Queen’s dwarf, who is jealous because Gulliver has replaced him in the Queen’s affection.
When the King and Queen go traveling about the country, they decide to take Gulliver along. Gulliver describes the island, the sea around the island, the city ofLorbrulgrud, the King’s palace, his [Gulliver's] method of travel on the island, several of the island’s inhabitants, and some of the sights to see on the island. In describing the inhabitants of the island, Gulliver focuses on their illnesses and diseases. He mentions, for instance, giant beggars, horribly deformed, with lice crawling all over them. Gulliver compares the sights to similar sights in his homeland. Finally, the dimensions of the King’s palace are described with the kitchen receiving particular attention.
Gulliver’s mishaps continue. The Queen’s dwarf drops barrel-sized apples on him; hailstones as big as tennis balls batter and bruise him; a bird of prey nearly grabs him; and a spaniel picks him up in his mouth and carries him to the royal gardener. Gulliver is insulted to be coddled and played with by the maids of honor. To them, Gulliver is a toy, not a man, so they undress in front of him without a thought of modesty. The maids, perhaps comely enough, repulse Gulliver. He is particularly annoyed when they titillate themselves with his naked self.
Because Gulliver is a sailor, the Queen has a toy boat made for him and a trough in which to sail. The royal ladies also take part in the game and make a brisk breeze with their fans. Disaster strikes when a frog hops into the trough and nearly swamps Gulliver’s boat, but Gulliver bravely drives the monster off with an oar. One day a monkey seizes Gulliver and carries him to the top of the palace. Gulliver is finally rescued and, when he recovers, is summoned by the King, who is curious to know whether Gulliver was afraid. Gulliver boasts that he could have protected himself with his sword. The King guffaws at the little pride.
Gulliver entertains himself and demonstrates his ingenuity by using the King’s beard stubble to make a comb and by using strands of the Queen’s hair to make several chairs and a purse. In addition, Gulliver plays the spinet (piano) for the King and Queen by using sticks formed as cudgels to bang on the keys as he runs up and down a piano bench. The King also holds several audiences with Gulliver to discuss the culture of Gulliver’s home country,England. In these audiences, as requested by the King, Gulliver explains the role of the people in the operation of the government, in religion, and in the legal system, among other topics. The King, after asking many questions related to all that Gulliver tells him, concludes this audience with a summary and an assessment of what he hears.
Gulliver decides that the King’s lack of enthusiasm forEnglandsprings from his ignorance of the country. To remedy this, Gulliver offers to teach the King aboutEngland’s magnificence. The first lesson concerns one ofEngland’s most valuable assets: gunpowder. Describing its effects graphically and at great length, Gulliver tells the King that gunpowder would be a great boon for him; with it, the King could reduce all his subjects to slavery. The King is horrified by the suggestion. He rejects such a bloodthirsty and inhumane proposal, warning the “impotent and groveling insect” (Gulliver) that he will be executed if he ever mentions gunpowder again.
Gulliver drops the subject of gunpowder and gives us an account of the customs and government of his hosts. The Brobdingnagian army is a national guard or militia; there are no professional soldiers. As for government, it is extremely simple. There are no refinements, mysteries, intrigues, or state secrets. Government depends upon common sense, mercy, and swift justice. Brobdingnagian learning consists only of morality, history, poetry, and practical mathematics. The Brobdingnagians cannot understand abstract reasoning or ideas. Their laws must contain only twenty-two words and must be absolutely clear. Their libraries are small, and their books are written in a clear style.
Gulliver spends two years in Brobdingnag, but he is not happy despite the royal family’s pampering. He is afraid that he will never escape and will turn into a sort of domestic, albeit royal, pet. Escape seems impossible; chance, however, intervenes: On a trip to the seashore, an eagle swoops down, snatches up the box Gulliver travels in, and drops it into the sea. The box is driven by the wind close to an English ship and is spied by some sailors, who retrieve Gulliver and his possessions. Gulliver does not adjust easily to his fellow Englishmen. After living two years in a land of giants, he has convinced himself that all Englishmen are midgets. Everything looks tiny back home, and he feels like a giant. In time Gulliver’s sense of perspective heals.
Edited by: Mahbub Murad. Dhaka, Bangladesh. Cell: +8801919879309, +8801761519111. Email: Mahbub_murad@yahoo.com
Edited by: Mahbub Murad. Dhaka, Bangladesh. Cell: +8801919879309, +8801761519111. Email: Mahbub_murad@yahoo.com