Table of Contents

Gulliver’s Travels by Jonathan Swift: Summary and Analysis

Kama Offenberger has taught English in colleges and universities for over 15 years. She has a Master’s degree in English from Virginia Polytechnic Institute & State University.

Patricia has an MFA in Writing, an MS in Teaching and English Language Arts, and a BA in English.

Explore Jonathan Swift’s ‘Gulliver’s Travels.’ Read about the author, meet the characters, study the summary and analysis, and review Gulliver’s islands and Laputa. Updated: 05/10/2022

Table of Contents

Gulliver’s Travels

While it has been viewed by many as a fantastical adventure novel or silly children’s book, Gulliver’s Travels is a complex political satire. Originally published on October 28, 1726, this well-known novel by Jonathan Swift was intended as a parody of the travel narratives that were so popular at the time. It also depicts prominent political figures and parties of the time, questions morality and the concept of individuality, and examines the concept of the ideal society.

Who Wrote Gulliver’s Travels?

The author of Gulliver’s Travels was Jonathan Swift, an Irish writer who is generally regarded as one of the most talented satirists in literature. Although he is best known for his writing, Swift was also a member of the clergy.

Swift’s first book, A Tale of a Tub, was well-received, but it was Gulliver’s Travels that contributed most to his reputation as a satirist. Gulliver’s Travels, his most famous work, was published in response to the prevalence of travel narratives and what Swift perceived as offensive and questionable behavior by those in authority. It garnered immediate and enormous success, becoming so popular, in fact, that it has never been out of print since its first run in 1726.

Swift was also outspoken in his criticism of the government, particularly in the treatment of Irish Catholics by the British. This was the focus of A Modest Proposal, which was both polarizing and immensely intriguing upon its publication in 1729. Though his later writings continued his biting social commentary, none reached his prior level of success. In 1742, Swift suffered a stroke and lost the ability to speak, and he died on October 19, 1745.

Jonathan Swift is widely regarded as one of the greatest satirists in the history of English literature.

Who Is Gulliver?

Written by Jonathan Swift, Gulliver’s Travels is the story of the adventures of Lemuel Gulliver, the narrator and protagonist of the story. Gulliver is a married surgeon from Nottinghamshire, England, who has a taste for traveling. He works as a surgeon on ships and eventually becomes a ship captain.

Through one unfortunate event at sea to the next, Gulliver finds himself stranded in foreign lands and absurd situations, from being captured by the miniature Lilliputians to befriending talking horses, the Houyhnhnms. Although Gulliver’s vivid and detailed storytelling makes it clear that he is intelligent and well-educated, his perceptions are naïve and gullible. Gulliver never thinks that the absurdities he encounters are funny, and never makes the satiric connections between the lands he visits and his own home.

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Characters in Jonathan Swift’s Gulliver’s Travels

The list of characters in Gulliver’s Travels is extensive, and it can be confusing because of the unique names that Swift applied to individuals and groups.

LocationSpecific CharactersDistinguishing Features
EnglandLemuel GulliverGulliver is both the protagonist and narrator as well as the only well-developed character in the book. As the son of a middle-class English family, he is a practical man who studied medicine, but, when his business fails, he decides to leave England and travel in search of other lands.
LilliputEmperorThe Lilliputians are tiny beings, around six inches tall. The emperor’s governing practices are ridiculous in that he selects high court officials based on their rope dancing skills. He is intended as a representation of the King of England at the time, George I.
BlefuscuBlefuscudiansThe creatures of Blefuscu are the enemies of the Lilliputians, who disagree with them about the proper way to crack eggs.
BrobdingnagFarmer, King, and QueenIn contrast to the Lilliputians, the Brobdingnag are giants. The farmer who initially discovers Gulliver keeps him for a time as a sort of animal before selling him to the queen. The king asks Gulliver to teach him about English governance and is appalled to find that it is a system overcome with hypocrisy, bribery and corruption.
LaputaLaputansThe island of Laputa in Gulliver’s Travels is home to academics who are completely engrossed in their thoughts.
Houyhnhnm LandHouyhnhnms and YahoosCompletely cut off from the rest of the world, the Houyhnhnms are a race of intelligent horses. They share the island with their servants, the Yahoos, human-like beasts that Gulliver finds repellent.

The Yahoos are the horrible creatures that Gulliver discovers are much like him.

Gulliver’s Travels Summary

A pragmatic surgeon, Lemuel Gulliver leaves his family in England when his business fails. Told from a first-person perspective, the novel details his journey and is separated into four sections, each best distinguished by the land that he visits. The mysterious countries and islands of Gulliver’s Travels provide him with a new perspective on humanity.

Lilliput

After being shipwrecked, Gulliver wakes to discover that he has been bound by the Lilliputians, who are only about six inches tall. He is eventually taken to the capital city and presented to the emperor, who finds him entertaining. The emperor tries to use Gulliver as a weapon against the people of Blefuscu, another group of miniature people and sworn enemies of the Lilliputians. The two groups are at war because of a disagreement about the way to crack eggs. After a time, Gulliver is convicted of treason for putting out a fire in the royal palace with his urine. He escapes to Blefuscu, where he is able to repair his boat and return to England.

Brobdingnag

After a two-month stay in England, Gulliver travels to Brobdingnag, a land of 60-foot giants. He is initially discovered by a farmer, who treats him much like an animal before selling him to the queen to be used as entertainment at court. The king asks that Gulliver teach him about the governance of England, but he is then horrified when he discovers. that there is no protection against corruption. Meanwhile, Gulliver is disgusted by the Brobdingnags because their enormous size magnifies all of their flaws. Eventually, while traveling with the queen, an eagle picks up his cage and drops it into the sea, fostering his escape.

Laputa

Gulliver sets sail once more, but this time he is attacked by pirates and finds himself on an island inhabited by theoreticians and academics. He discovers that, in spite of their great intellect, the research of the Laputans is in no way useful for common people. Engrossed in their own intelligence, the Laputans have to be shaken out of their meditations by the flappers, servants who shake rattles in their ears. After leaving Laputa, Gulliver makes a brief stop in Glubbdubdrib, where he has the opportunity to witness historic icons like Julius Caesar, whom he finds far less impressive than books had led him to believe. He also comes visits the Luggnaggians and Struldbrugs, immortals who are completely senile, proving that the adage that age brings wisdom is untrue. Finally, he sails to Japan and back to England.

Land of the Houyhnhnms

The final expedition in Gulliver’s journey brings him to an unknown land off the coast of Australia. This country is ruled by the Houyhnhnms, rational and community-based horses, whose servants, the Yahoos, are repulsive creatures quite similar to humans. Of all the places Gulliver visits, he is most content in Houyhnhnms, and he learns their language so that he can tell them about his voyage and his home country of England. The Houyhnhnms are fascinated by his stories, and Gulliver hopes to stay on the island. However, once his body is exposed without clothing, they discover his remarkable similarities to the Yahoos and banish him from their land. Heartbroke, he builds a canoe that he takes to a nearby island, where he is picked up by a Portuguese ship and eventually returned to England. His travels have changed him, leaving him longing to return to the Houyhnhnms and unable to distinguish all people from the beast-like Yahoos, so he leaves his family and lives in isolation.

Analysis of Gulliver’s Travels

The success of Gulliver’s Travels rests not only in its fantastical imaginings but also in its deft use of parody and satire. For example, while the Houyhnhnms may be talking horses, they are also representative of traits that Swift finds lacking in the leaders and politicians of the time.

In general, the message behind Gulliver’s Travels appears to be one of condemnation. Within the novel, Swift ridicules learning without practical purpose, speaks out against war, and mocks the sin of greed. He also, however, emphasizes those strengths that he believes might make society a better place, including friendship, loyalty, humility, and kindness. Whether Swift intends for the reader to see these virtues as achievable by humankind is unclear, particularly as Gulliver himself lacks humility at the end of the novel, but he nevertheless indicates that they are worth pursuing.

King George I of England was a prime target among the many political figures parodied by Swift.

Themes of Gulliver’s Travels

There are many distinguishable themes in Gulliver’s Travels, but some appear more consistently than others.

The first identifiable theme is the debate between moral righteousness and physical strength and which should be prioritized in governance. Swift’s answer is ambiguous, as Gulliver finds himself in the position of being both physically dominant with the Lilliputians and incredibly vulnerable with the Brobdingnags. Likewise, the conflict between the Lilliputians and Blefuscudians is one based on morality, but the argument is fundamentally ridiculous. This indicates that neither physical strength nor morality is preferable as a governing principle, particularly as they can both be corrupted to serve the interests of those in power.

Another important theme is the examination of individuality in comparison to communal society. In other words, the novel represents both societies that promote individualism and those that focus on the greater good, and it is reasonable to wonder which he is arguing is the better model. Again, Swift does not attempt to definitively resolve this issue. He parodies the excesses of communal living with groups like the Houyhnhnms, who have become so unified that there is almost no distinction between them. However, he also demonstrates the danger of isolation and pure individuality, particularly through Gulliver’s grief and longing after being forced to leave the Houyhnhnms behind.

Much of the plot of Gulliver’s Travels is fueled by deception and secrecy. Gulliver is frequently deceptive, including when he lies to the Houyhnhnms, claiming that his clothes are part of his body so that they will not equate him with the Yahoos. Similarly, the Lilliputians develop a secret plot to starve Gulliver. There is a general condemnation of lying within the novel, which is underscored by the fact that the land Gulliver likes best, that of the Houyhnhnms, is one in which there is absolute honesty to such a degree that they do not even have a word for mistruths.

Lesson Summary

Jonathan Swift‘s intensely popular and oft-studied novel Gulliver’s Travels was originally published in 1726. It was intended as a parody of travel narratives as well as a satirical commentary on the politicians and government of the time, including King George I. Within his novel, Swift examines several important concepts, including the dynamic of physical power and moral righteousness, the value of individualism in comparison to communal society, and the dangers of deception and secrecy. The story examines these ideas through the adventures of Lemuel Gulliver, a practical man from England who has decided to travel the seas. On his journey, he encounters many interesting beings and learns about their beliefs and forms of government.

The first group Gulliver discovers are the miniature people called the Lilliputians. They are at war with another group of tiny people from Blefuscu because of a disagreement about the proper way to eat eggs. He next goes to Brobdingnag, a place occupied by giants who use Gulliver as a form of entertainment until he finally escapes when his cage is picked up by an eagle and dropped into the sea. Following this experience, Gulliver visits Laputa, which is home to a group of academics who are so consumed by their intellectual reveries that they have to be shaken free of their thoughts. Finally, he finds himself a land he actually enjoys, that of the Houyhnhnms, who are intelligent horses with human-like servants called the Yahoos. In the end, Gulliver is banished and left in despair as he cannot distinguish people from the Yahoos and desperately wishes to be back with the Houyhnhnms.

Lilliput

Gulliver’s adventures begin in Lilliput, when he wakes up after his shipwreck to find himself bound by the tiny threads of the Lilliputians, a civilization of miniature people fewer than six inches tall. They shout at him and poke him with their tiny arrows, and then construct a wagon to carry him into the capital city to present him to the emperor.

The emperor decides to keep Gulliver captive, spending a fortune to feed him. Because of his tiny size, his belief that he can control Gulliver seems silly, but his willingness to execute his subjects for minor reasons of politics or honor gives him a frightening aspect. The emperor decides to use Gulliver as a weapon in the war against the Blefuscu, another society of tiny people whom the Lilliputians hate because of perceived differences concerning the proper way to eat eggs. Lilliputians and Blefuscudians are prone to conspiracies and jealousies, and are quick to take advantage of Gulliver in political intrigues of various sorts.

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A fire breaks out in the royal palace, and Gulliver extinguishes the fire by urinating on it. As a result of having urinated on the royal palace, he is tried and convicted of treason and sentenced to be shot in the eyes and then starved to death. But, he escapes to Blefuscu, where he finds a boat, is able to repair it, and sets sail for home, England.

Brobdingnag

After staying in England with his wife and family for two months, Gulliver sets off on his next adventure, which takes him to a land called Brobdingnag, populated by giants about 60 feet tall called Brobdingnagians. Here, he is found by a farmer, who puts him in a cage and displays him around Brobdingnag. His exploitation of him as a laborer nearly starves Gulliver to death, and the farmer decides to sell him to the queen, who he must entertain with his musical talents.

The queen of Brobdingnag is so delighted by Gulliver’s beauty and charms that she agrees to buy him from the farmer for 1,000 pieces of gold. The queen seems to care about her new pet, asking Gulliver whether he would consent to live at court and inquiring as to the reasons for his cold goodbyes to the farmer. The queen employs a teacher and caretaker for Gulliver, a girl named Glumdalclitch, who affectionately tends to him throughout his adventures in Brobdingnag.

The king of Brobdingnag, in contrast to the emperor of Lilliput, is well-versed in political science. The king’s relationship with Gulliver is limited to serious discussions about the history and institutions of Gulliver’s native England. Though at one point, the king dismisses him and refers to the English as odious vermin. Gulliver does not escape his captors and their ill treatment until the king and queen decide to take him on a trip, and his cage is plucked up by an eagle and dropped into the sea, where he manages to find his ship and sail back to England.

Laputa and Other Islands

After another two months with his family, Gulliver sets sail again and gets marooned by pirates on a small island. As he’s sitting on this island, he sees a shadow passing overhead. It is a floating island called Laputa, inhabited by Laputans, theoreticians and academics who rule over the land below, called Balnibarbi. He signals them for help and is brought up by rope.

Here, the inhabitants are impractical and out of touch with reality, often engaging in inane research and ruining their farms and buildings with newfangled reforms. The Laputans are so inwardly absorbed in their own thoughts that they must be shaken out of their meditations by special servants called flappers, who shake rattles in their ears.

Gulliver also visits Glubbdubdrib, an island of sorcerers, where he gets to meet the ghosts of famous historical figures, and Luggnagg, an island with an absolute king who rules over a population of senile immortals. Eventually, he makes his way to Japan and then sails back to England once more, this time for five months, before he sets out again.

Houyhnhnm Land

On his fourth and final adventure, Gulliver sails out as a captain in his own right. But his sailors mutiny against him and maroon him on a distant island, Houyhnhnm Land. This island is populated by rational-thinking horses, called Houyhnhnms.

The Houyhnhnms maintain a simple, peaceful society governed by reason and truthfulness, and they do not even have a word for ‘lie’ in their language. They are the masters of the Yahoos, brutish, unkempt humanlike creatures who are not capable of government and are kept as servants to the Houyhnhnms, pulling their carriages and performing manual tasks.

It is through the Houyhnhnms that Gulliver is led to re-evaluate the differences between humans and animals and to question humanity’s claims to rationality. Gulliver learns the Houyhnhnms’ language and spends many satisfying hours in conversation with them, so much so that when they tell him he must leave, he is devastated.

He leaves obediently, knowing that it is his resemblance to the Yahoos that is at the heart of it; they are just like him, except that Gulliver has learned to clip his nails, shave his face, and wear clothes. He makes a canoe and paddles to a nearby island, where he is picked up by a Portuguese ship that returns him to England and his family. Once Gulliver returns to his family, however, he can only see them as brutish Yahoos. He can barely stand to be in the same room with them. He longs for the Houyhnhnms and spends at least four hours a day talking to his two stallions in their stable.

Lesson Summary

Gulliver’s Travel’s, written by Jonathan Swift, recounts in first-person narrative the vibrant adventures of Lemuel Gulliver, a surgeon who works on ships and time after time encounters himself stranded in new lands, a victim of shipwreck, piracy, and mutiny.

In Lilliput, he’s taken captive by the Lilliputians, miniature people less than six inches tall, where the emperor is surprisingly able to control him until his escapes from Blefuscu. In his following adventure, he’s enslaved by a giant civilization and becomes a figure of entertainment, first by an exploiting farmer and then by the queen and king of Brogdingnab.

Subsequently, he visits the floating island of Laputa, populated by absurd, self-absorbed scientists. On his final adventure to Houyhnhnm Land, he befriends a peaceful civilization of horses who rule over the brutish, humanlike Yahoos. After learning the ways of the Houyhnhnms, Gulliver is unable to adjust to living in society, since he can only view the English like they are Yahoos.

Learning Outcomes

Once you’re through with the lesson, you should be able to:

  • Recall who Gulliver is from Gulliver’s Travels
  • Explain the importance of Lilliput
  • Describe Brobdingnag and the characters Gulliver meets there
  • Consider the importance of Laputa and other islands and the inhabitants there
  • Recall his adventures to Houyhnhnm

To unlock this lesson you must be a Study.com Member.
Create your account

Who Is Gulliver?

Written by Jonathan Swift, Gulliver’s Travels is the story of the adventures of Lemuel Gulliver, the narrator and protagonist of the story. Gulliver is a married surgeon from Nottinghamshire, England, who has a taste for traveling. He works as a surgeon on ships and eventually becomes a ship captain.

Through one unfortunate event at sea to the next, Gulliver finds himself stranded in foreign lands and absurd situations, from being captured by the miniature Lilliputians to befriending talking horses, the Houyhnhnms. Although Gulliver’s vivid and detailed storytelling makes it clear that he is intelligent and well-educated, his perceptions are naïve and gullible. Gulliver never thinks that the absurdities he encounters are funny, and never makes the satiric connections between the lands he visits and his own home.

Lilliput

Gulliver’s adventures begin in Lilliput, when he wakes up after his shipwreck to find himself bound by the tiny threads of the Lilliputians, a civilization of miniature people fewer than six inches tall. They shout at him and poke him with their tiny arrows, and then construct a wagon to carry him into the capital city to present him to the emperor.

The emperor decides to keep Gulliver captive, spending a fortune to feed him. Because of his tiny size, his belief that he can control Gulliver seems silly, but his willingness to execute his subjects for minor reasons of politics or honor gives him a frightening aspect. The emperor decides to use Gulliver as a weapon in the war against the Blefuscu, another society of tiny people whom the Lilliputians hate because of perceived differences concerning the proper way to eat eggs. Lilliputians and Blefuscudians are prone to conspiracies and jealousies, and are quick to take advantage of Gulliver in political intrigues of various sorts.

A fire breaks out in the royal palace, and Gulliver extinguishes the fire by urinating on it. As a result of having urinated on the royal palace, he is tried and convicted of treason and sentenced to be shot in the eyes and then starved to death. But, he escapes to Blefuscu, where he finds a boat, is able to repair it, and sets sail for home, England.

Brobdingnag

After staying in England with his wife and family for two months, Gulliver sets off on his next adventure, which takes him to a land called Brobdingnag, populated by giants about 60 feet tall called Brobdingnagians. Here, he is found by a farmer, who puts him in a cage and displays him around Brobdingnag. His exploitation of him as a laborer nearly starves Gulliver to death, and the farmer decides to sell him to the queen, who he must entertain with his musical talents.

The queen of Brobdingnag is so delighted by Gulliver’s beauty and charms that she agrees to buy him from the farmer for 1,000 pieces of gold. The queen seems to care about her new pet, asking Gulliver whether he would consent to live at court and inquiring as to the reasons for his cold goodbyes to the farmer. The queen employs a teacher and caretaker for Gulliver, a girl named Glumdalclitch, who affectionately tends to him throughout his adventures in Brobdingnag.

The king of Brobdingnag, in contrast to the emperor of Lilliput, is well-versed in political science. The king’s relationship with Gulliver is limited to serious discussions about the history and institutions of Gulliver’s native England. Though at one point, the king dismisses him and refers to the English as odious vermin. Gulliver does not escape his captors and their ill treatment until the king and queen decide to take him on a trip, and his cage is plucked up by an eagle and dropped into the sea, where he manages to find his ship and sail back to England.

Laputa and Other Islands

After another two months with his family, Gulliver sets sail again and gets marooned by pirates on a small island. As he’s sitting on this island, he sees a shadow passing overhead. It is a floating island called Laputa, inhabited by Laputans, theoreticians and academics who rule over the land below, called Balnibarbi. He signals them for help and is brought up by rope.

Here, the inhabitants are impractical and out of touch with reality, often engaging in inane research and ruining their farms and buildings with newfangled reforms. The Laputans are so inwardly absorbed in their own thoughts that they must be shaken out of their meditations by special servants called flappers, who shake rattles in their ears.

Gulliver also visits Glubbdubdrib, an island of sorcerers, where he gets to meet the ghosts of famous historical figures, and Luggnagg, an island with an absolute king who rules over a population of senile immortals. Eventually, he makes his way to Japan and then sails back to England once more, this time for five months, before he sets out again.

Houyhnhnm Land

On his fourth and final adventure, Gulliver sails out as a captain in his own right. But his sailors mutiny against him and maroon him on a distant island, Houyhnhnm Land. This island is populated by rational-thinking horses, called Houyhnhnms.

The Houyhnhnms maintain a simple, peaceful society governed by reason and truthfulness, and they do not even have a word for ‘lie’ in their language. They are the masters of the Yahoos, brutish, unkempt humanlike creatures who are not capable of government and are kept as servants to the Houyhnhnms, pulling their carriages and performing manual tasks.

It is through the Houyhnhnms that Gulliver is led to re-evaluate the differences between humans and animals and to question humanity’s claims to rationality. Gulliver learns the Houyhnhnms’ language and spends many satisfying hours in conversation with them, so much so that when they tell him he must leave, he is devastated.

He leaves obediently, knowing that it is his resemblance to the Yahoos that is at the heart of it; they are just like him, except that Gulliver has learned to clip his nails, shave his face, and wear clothes. He makes a canoe and paddles to a nearby island, where he is picked up by a Portuguese ship that returns him to England and his family. Once Gulliver returns to his family, however, he can only see them as brutish Yahoos. He can barely stand to be in the same room with them. He longs for the Houyhnhnms and spends at least four hours a day talking to his two stallions in their stable.

Lesson Summary

Gulliver’s Travel’s, written by Jonathan Swift, recounts in first-person narrative the vibrant adventures of Lemuel Gulliver, a surgeon who works on ships and time after time encounters himself stranded in new lands, a victim of shipwreck, piracy, and mutiny.

In Lilliput, he’s taken captive by the Lilliputians, miniature people less than six inches tall, where the emperor is surprisingly able to control him until his escapes from Blefuscu. In his following adventure, he’s enslaved by a giant civilization and becomes a figure of entertainment, first by an exploiting farmer and then by the queen and king of Brogdingnab.

Subsequently, he visits the floating island of Laputa, populated by absurd, self-absorbed scientists. On his final adventure to Houyhnhnm Land, he befriends a peaceful civilization of horses who rule over the brutish, humanlike Yahoos. After learning the ways of the Houyhnhnms, Gulliver is unable to adjust to living in society, since he can only view the English like they are Yahoos.

Learning Outcomes

Once you’re through with the lesson, you should be able to:

  • Recall who Gulliver is from Gulliver’s Travels
  • Explain the importance of Lilliput
  • Describe Brobdingnag and the characters Gulliver meets there
  • Consider the importance of Laputa and other islands and the inhabitants there
  • Recall his adventures to Houyhnhnm

To unlock this lesson you must be a Study.com Member.
Create your account

Gulliver’s Travels by Jonathan Swift: Summary and Analysis

Kama Offenberger has taught English in colleges and universities for over 15 years. She has a Master’s degree in English from Virginia Polytechnic Institute & State University.

Patricia has an MFA in Writing, an MS in Teaching and English Language Arts, and a BA in English.

Explore Jonathan Swift’s ‘Gulliver’s Travels.’ Read about the author, meet the characters, study the summary and analysis, and review Gulliver’s islands and Laputa. Updated: 05/10/2022

Table of Contents

Gulliver’s Travels

While it has been viewed by many as a fantastical adventure novel or silly children’s book, Gulliver’s Travels is a complex political satire. Originally published on October 28, 1726, this well-known novel by Jonathan Swift was intended as a parody of the travel narratives that were so popular at the time. It also depicts prominent political figures and parties of the time, questions morality and the concept of individuality, and examines the concept of the ideal society.

Who Wrote Gulliver’s Travels?

The author of Gulliver’s Travels was Jonathan Swift, an Irish writer who is generally regarded as one of the most talented satirists in literature. Although he is best known for his writing, Swift was also a member of the clergy.

Swift’s first book, A Tale of a Tub, was well-received, but it was Gulliver’s Travels that contributed most to his reputation as a satirist. Gulliver’s Travels, his most famous work, was published in response to the prevalence of travel narratives and what Swift perceived as offensive and questionable behavior by those in authority. It garnered immediate and enormous success, becoming so popular, in fact, that it has never been out of print since its first run in 1726.

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Swift was also outspoken in his criticism of the government, particularly in the treatment of Irish Catholics by the British. This was the focus of A Modest Proposal, which was both polarizing and immensely intriguing upon its publication in 1729. Though his later writings continued his biting social commentary, none reached his prior level of success. In 1742, Swift suffered a stroke and lost the ability to speak, and he died on October 19, 1745.

Jonathan Swift is widely regarded as one of the greatest satirists in the history of English literature.

Who Is Gulliver?

Written by Jonathan Swift, Gulliver’s Travels is the story of the adventures of Lemuel Gulliver, the narrator and protagonist of the story. Gulliver is a married surgeon from Nottinghamshire, England, who has a taste for traveling. He works as a surgeon on ships and eventually becomes a ship captain.

Through one unfortunate event at sea to the next, Gulliver finds himself stranded in foreign lands and absurd situations, from being captured by the miniature Lilliputians to befriending talking horses, the Houyhnhnms. Although Gulliver’s vivid and detailed storytelling makes it clear that he is intelligent and well-educated, his perceptions are naïve and gullible. Gulliver never thinks that the absurdities he encounters are funny, and never makes the satiric connections between the lands he visits and his own home.

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I would definitely recommend Study.com to my colleagues. It’s like a teacher waved a magic wand and did the work for me. I feel like it’s a lifeline.

Jennifer B.

You’re on a roll. Keep up the good work!

Just checking in. Are you still watching?

Want to watch this again later?

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Characters in Jonathan Swift’s Gulliver’s Travels

The list of characters in Gulliver’s Travels is extensive, and it can be confusing because of the unique names that Swift applied to individuals and groups.

LocationSpecific CharactersDistinguishing Features
EnglandLemuel GulliverGulliver is both the protagonist and narrator as well as the only well-developed character in the book. As the son of a middle-class English family, he is a practical man who studied medicine, but, when his business fails, he decides to leave England and travel in search of other lands.
LilliputEmperorThe Lilliputians are tiny beings, around six inches tall. The emperor’s governing practices are ridiculous in that he selects high court officials based on their rope dancing skills. He is intended as a representation of the King of England at the time, George I.
BlefuscuBlefuscudiansThe creatures of Blefuscu are the enemies of the Lilliputians, who disagree with them about the proper way to crack eggs.
BrobdingnagFarmer, King, and QueenIn contrast to the Lilliputians, the Brobdingnag are giants. The farmer who initially discovers Gulliver keeps him for a time as a sort of animal before selling him to the queen. The king asks Gulliver to teach him about English governance and is appalled to find that it is a system overcome with hypocrisy, bribery and corruption.
LaputaLaputansThe island of Laputa in Gulliver’s Travels is home to academics who are completely engrossed in their thoughts.
Houyhnhnm LandHouyhnhnms and YahoosCompletely cut off from the rest of the world, the Houyhnhnms are a race of intelligent horses. They share the island with their servants, the Yahoos, human-like beasts that Gulliver finds repellent.

The Yahoos are the horrible creatures that Gulliver discovers are much like him.

Gulliver’s Travels Summary

A pragmatic surgeon, Lemuel Gulliver leaves his family in England when his business fails. Told from a first-person perspective, the novel details his journey and is separated into four sections, each best distinguished by the land that he visits. The mysterious countries and islands of Gulliver’s Travels provide him with a new perspective on humanity.

Lilliput

After being shipwrecked, Gulliver wakes to discover that he has been bound by the Lilliputians, who are only about six inches tall. He is eventually taken to the capital city and presented to the emperor, who finds him entertaining. The emperor tries to use Gulliver as a weapon against the people of Blefuscu, another group of miniature people and sworn enemies of the Lilliputians. The two groups are at war because of a disagreement about the way to crack eggs. After a time, Gulliver is convicted of treason for putting out a fire in the royal palace with his urine. He escapes to Blefuscu, where he is able to repair his boat and return to England.

Brobdingnag

After a two-month stay in England, Gulliver travels to Brobdingnag, a land of 60-foot giants. He is initially discovered by a farmer, who treats him much like an animal before selling him to the queen to be used as entertainment at court. The king asks that Gulliver teach him about the governance of England, but he is then horrified when he discovers. that there is no protection against corruption. Meanwhile, Gulliver is disgusted by the Brobdingnags because their enormous size magnifies all of their flaws. Eventually, while traveling with the queen, an eagle picks up his cage and drops it into the sea, fostering his escape.

Laputa

Gulliver sets sail once more, but this time he is attacked by pirates and finds himself on an island inhabited by theoreticians and academics. He discovers that, in spite of their great intellect, the research of the Laputans is in no way useful for common people. Engrossed in their own intelligence, the Laputans have to be shaken out of their meditations by the flappers, servants who shake rattles in their ears. After leaving Laputa, Gulliver makes a brief stop in Glubbdubdrib, where he has the opportunity to witness historic icons like Julius Caesar, whom he finds far less impressive than books had led him to believe. He also comes visits the Luggnaggians and Struldbrugs, immortals who are completely senile, proving that the adage that age brings wisdom is untrue. Finally, he sails to Japan and back to England.

Land of the Houyhnhnms

The final expedition in Gulliver’s journey brings him to an unknown land off the coast of Australia. This country is ruled by the Houyhnhnms, rational and community-based horses, whose servants, the Yahoos, are repulsive creatures quite similar to humans. Of all the places Gulliver visits, he is most content in Houyhnhnms, and he learns their language so that he can tell them about his voyage and his home country of England. The Houyhnhnms are fascinated by his stories, and Gulliver hopes to stay on the island. However, once his body is exposed without clothing, they discover his remarkable similarities to the Yahoos and banish him from their land. Heartbroke, he builds a canoe that he takes to a nearby island, where he is picked up by a Portuguese ship and eventually returned to England. His travels have changed him, leaving him longing to return to the Houyhnhnms and unable to distinguish all people from the beast-like Yahoos, so he leaves his family and lives in isolation.

Analysis of Gulliver’s Travels

The success of Gulliver’s Travels rests not only in its fantastical imaginings but also in its deft use of parody and satire. For example, while the Houyhnhnms may be talking horses, they are also representative of traits that Swift finds lacking in the leaders and politicians of the time.

In general, the message behind Gulliver’s Travels appears to be one of condemnation. Within the novel, Swift ridicules learning without practical purpose, speaks out against war, and mocks the sin of greed. He also, however, emphasizes those strengths that he believes might make society a better place, including friendship, loyalty, humility, and kindness. Whether Swift intends for the reader to see these virtues as achievable by humankind is unclear, particularly as Gulliver himself lacks humility at the end of the novel, but he nevertheless indicates that they are worth pursuing.

King George I of England was a prime target among the many political figures parodied by Swift.

Themes of Gulliver’s Travels

There are many distinguishable themes in Gulliver’s Travels, but some appear more consistently than others.

The first identifiable theme is the debate between moral righteousness and physical strength and which should be prioritized in governance. Swift’s answer is ambiguous, as Gulliver finds himself in the position of being both physically dominant with the Lilliputians and incredibly vulnerable with the Brobdingnags. Likewise, the conflict between the Lilliputians and Blefuscudians is one based on morality, but the argument is fundamentally ridiculous. This indicates that neither physical strength nor morality is preferable as a governing principle, particularly as they can both be corrupted to serve the interests of those in power.

Another important theme is the examination of individuality in comparison to communal society. In other words, the novel represents both societies that promote individualism and those that focus on the greater good, and it is reasonable to wonder which he is arguing is the better model. Again, Swift does not attempt to definitively resolve this issue. He parodies the excesses of communal living with groups like the Houyhnhnms, who have become so unified that there is almost no distinction between them. However, he also demonstrates the danger of isolation and pure individuality, particularly through Gulliver’s grief and longing after being forced to leave the Houyhnhnms behind.

Much of the plot of Gulliver’s Travels is fueled by deception and secrecy. Gulliver is frequently deceptive, including when he lies to the Houyhnhnms, claiming that his clothes are part of his body so that they will not equate him with the Yahoos. Similarly, the Lilliputians develop a secret plot to starve Gulliver. There is a general condemnation of lying within the novel, which is underscored by the fact that the land Gulliver likes best, that of the Houyhnhnms, is one in which there is absolute honesty to such a degree that they do not even have a word for mistruths.

Lesson Summary

Jonathan Swift‘s intensely popular and oft-studied novel Gulliver’s Travels was originally published in 1726. It was intended as a parody of travel narratives as well as a satirical commentary on the politicians and government of the time, including King George I. Within his novel, Swift examines several important concepts, including the dynamic of physical power and moral righteousness, the value of individualism in comparison to communal society, and the dangers of deception and secrecy. The story examines these ideas through the adventures of Lemuel Gulliver, a practical man from England who has decided to travel the seas. On his journey, he encounters many interesting beings and learns about their beliefs and forms of government.

The first group Gulliver discovers are the miniature people called the Lilliputians. They are at war with another group of tiny people from Blefuscu because of a disagreement about the proper way to eat eggs. He next goes to Brobdingnag, a place occupied by giants who use Gulliver as a form of entertainment until he finally escapes when his cage is picked up by an eagle and dropped into the sea. Following this experience, Gulliver visits Laputa, which is home to a group of academics who are so consumed by their intellectual reveries that they have to be shaken free of their thoughts. Finally, he finds himself a land he actually enjoys, that of the Houyhnhnms, who are intelligent horses with human-like servants called the Yahoos. In the end, Gulliver is banished and left in despair as he cannot distinguish people from the Yahoos and desperately wishes to be back with the Houyhnhnms.

Lilliput

Gulliver’s adventures begin in Lilliput, when he wakes up after his shipwreck to find himself bound by the tiny threads of the Lilliputians, a civilization of miniature people fewer than six inches tall. They shout at him and poke him with their tiny arrows, and then construct a wagon to carry him into the capital city to present him to the emperor.

The emperor decides to keep Gulliver captive, spending a fortune to feed him. Because of his tiny size, his belief that he can control Gulliver seems silly, but his willingness to execute his subjects for minor reasons of politics or honor gives him a frightening aspect. The emperor decides to use Gulliver as a weapon in the war against the Blefuscu, another society of tiny people whom the Lilliputians hate because of perceived differences concerning the proper way to eat eggs. Lilliputians and Blefuscudians are prone to conspiracies and jealousies, and are quick to take advantage of Gulliver in political intrigues of various sorts.

A fire breaks out in the royal palace, and Gulliver extinguishes the fire by urinating on it. As a result of having urinated on the royal palace, he is tried and convicted of treason and sentenced to be shot in the eyes and then starved to death. But, he escapes to Blefuscu, where he finds a boat, is able to repair it, and sets sail for home, England.

Brobdingnag

After staying in England with his wife and family for two months, Gulliver sets off on his next adventure, which takes him to a land called Brobdingnag, populated by giants about 60 feet tall called Brobdingnagians. Here, he is found by a farmer, who puts him in a cage and displays him around Brobdingnag. His exploitation of him as a laborer nearly starves Gulliver to death, and the farmer decides to sell him to the queen, who he must entertain with his musical talents.

The queen of Brobdingnag is so delighted by Gulliver’s beauty and charms that she agrees to buy him from the farmer for 1,000 pieces of gold. The queen seems to care about her new pet, asking Gulliver whether he would consent to live at court and inquiring as to the reasons for his cold goodbyes to the farmer. The queen employs a teacher and caretaker for Gulliver, a girl named Glumdalclitch, who affectionately tends to him throughout his adventures in Brobdingnag.

The king of Brobdingnag, in contrast to the emperor of Lilliput, is well-versed in political science. The king’s relationship with Gulliver is limited to serious discussions about the history and institutions of Gulliver’s native England. Though at one point, the king dismisses him and refers to the English as odious vermin. Gulliver does not escape his captors and their ill treatment until the king and queen decide to take him on a trip, and his cage is plucked up by an eagle and dropped into the sea, where he manages to find his ship and sail back to England.

Laputa and Other Islands

After another two months with his family, Gulliver sets sail again and gets marooned by pirates on a small island. As he’s sitting on this island, he sees a shadow passing overhead. It is a floating island called Laputa, inhabited by Laputans, theoreticians and academics who rule over the land below, called Balnibarbi. He signals them for help and is brought up by rope.

Here, the inhabitants are impractical and out of touch with reality, often engaging in inane research and ruining their farms and buildings with newfangled reforms. The Laputans are so inwardly absorbed in their own thoughts that they must be shaken out of their meditations by special servants called flappers, who shake rattles in their ears.

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Gulliver also visits Glubbdubdrib, an island of sorcerers, where he gets to meet the ghosts of famous historical figures, and Luggnagg, an island with an absolute king who rules over a population of senile immortals. Eventually, he makes his way to Japan and then sails back to England once more, this time for five months, before he sets out again.

Houyhnhnm Land

On his fourth and final adventure, Gulliver sails out as a captain in his own right. But his sailors mutiny against him and maroon him on a distant island, Houyhnhnm Land. This island is populated by rational-thinking horses, called Houyhnhnms.

The Houyhnhnms maintain a simple, peaceful society governed by reason and truthfulness, and they do not even have a word for ‘lie’ in their language. They are the masters of the Yahoos, brutish, unkempt humanlike creatures who are not capable of government and are kept as servants to the Houyhnhnms, pulling their carriages and performing manual tasks.

It is through the Houyhnhnms that Gulliver is led to re-evaluate the differences between humans and animals and to question humanity’s claims to rationality. Gulliver learns the Houyhnhnms’ language and spends many satisfying hours in conversation with them, so much so that when they tell him he must leave, he is devastated.

He leaves obediently, knowing that it is his resemblance to the Yahoos that is at the heart of it; they are just like him, except that Gulliver has learned to clip his nails, shave his face, and wear clothes. He makes a canoe and paddles to a nearby island, where he is picked up by a Portuguese ship that returns him to England and his family. Once Gulliver returns to his family, however, he can only see them as brutish Yahoos. He can barely stand to be in the same room with them. He longs for the Houyhnhnms and spends at least four hours a day talking to his two stallions in their stable.

Lesson Summary

Gulliver’s Travel’s, written by Jonathan Swift, recounts in first-person narrative the vibrant adventures of Lemuel Gulliver, a surgeon who works on ships and time after time encounters himself stranded in new lands, a victim of shipwreck, piracy, and mutiny.

In Lilliput, he’s taken captive by the Lilliputians, miniature people less than six inches tall, where the emperor is surprisingly able to control him until his escapes from Blefuscu. In his following adventure, he’s enslaved by a giant civilization and becomes a figure of entertainment, first by an exploiting farmer and then by the queen and king of Brogdingnab.

Subsequently, he visits the floating island of Laputa, populated by absurd, self-absorbed scientists. On his final adventure to Houyhnhnm Land, he befriends a peaceful civilization of horses who rule over the brutish, humanlike Yahoos. After learning the ways of the Houyhnhnms, Gulliver is unable to adjust to living in society, since he can only view the English like they are Yahoos.

Learning Outcomes

Once you’re through with the lesson, you should be able to:

  • Recall who Gulliver is from Gulliver’s Travels
  • Explain the importance of Lilliput
  • Describe Brobdingnag and the characters Gulliver meets there
  • Consider the importance of Laputa and other islands and the inhabitants there
  • Recall his adventures to Houyhnhnm

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Who Is Gulliver?

Written by Jonathan Swift, Gulliver’s Travels is the story of the adventures of Lemuel Gulliver, the narrator and protagonist of the story. Gulliver is a married surgeon from Nottinghamshire, England, who has a taste for traveling. He works as a surgeon on ships and eventually becomes a ship captain.

Through one unfortunate event at sea to the next, Gulliver finds himself stranded in foreign lands and absurd situations, from being captured by the miniature Lilliputians to befriending talking horses, the Houyhnhnms. Although Gulliver’s vivid and detailed storytelling makes it clear that he is intelligent and well-educated, his perceptions are naïve and gullible. Gulliver never thinks that the absurdities he encounters are funny, and never makes the satiric connections between the lands he visits and his own home.

Lilliput

Gulliver’s adventures begin in Lilliput, when he wakes up after his shipwreck to find himself bound by the tiny threads of the Lilliputians, a civilization of miniature people fewer than six inches tall. They shout at him and poke him with their tiny arrows, and then construct a wagon to carry him into the capital city to present him to the emperor.

The emperor decides to keep Gulliver captive, spending a fortune to feed him. Because of his tiny size, his belief that he can control Gulliver seems silly, but his willingness to execute his subjects for minor reasons of politics or honor gives him a frightening aspect. The emperor decides to use Gulliver as a weapon in the war against the Blefuscu, another society of tiny people whom the Lilliputians hate because of perceived differences concerning the proper way to eat eggs. Lilliputians and Blefuscudians are prone to conspiracies and jealousies, and are quick to take advantage of Gulliver in political intrigues of various sorts.

A fire breaks out in the royal palace, and Gulliver extinguishes the fire by urinating on it. As a result of having urinated on the royal palace, he is tried and convicted of treason and sentenced to be shot in the eyes and then starved to death. But, he escapes to Blefuscu, where he finds a boat, is able to repair it, and sets sail for home, England.

Brobdingnag

After staying in England with his wife and family for two months, Gulliver sets off on his next adventure, which takes him to a land called Brobdingnag, populated by giants about 60 feet tall called Brobdingnagians. Here, he is found by a farmer, who puts him in a cage and displays him around Brobdingnag. His exploitation of him as a laborer nearly starves Gulliver to death, and the farmer decides to sell him to the queen, who he must entertain with his musical talents.

The queen of Brobdingnag is so delighted by Gulliver’s beauty and charms that she agrees to buy him from the farmer for 1,000 pieces of gold. The queen seems to care about her new pet, asking Gulliver whether he would consent to live at court and inquiring as to the reasons for his cold goodbyes to the farmer. The queen employs a teacher and caretaker for Gulliver, a girl named Glumdalclitch, who affectionately tends to him throughout his adventures in Brobdingnag.

The king of Brobdingnag, in contrast to the emperor of Lilliput, is well-versed in political science. The king’s relationship with Gulliver is limited to serious discussions about the history and institutions of Gulliver’s native England. Though at one point, the king dismisses him and refers to the English as odious vermin. Gulliver does not escape his captors and their ill treatment until the king and queen decide to take him on a trip, and his cage is plucked up by an eagle and dropped into the sea, where he manages to find his ship and sail back to England.

Laputa and Other Islands

After another two months with his family, Gulliver sets sail again and gets marooned by pirates on a small island. As he’s sitting on this island, he sees a shadow passing overhead. It is a floating island called Laputa, inhabited by Laputans, theoreticians and academics who rule over the land below, called Balnibarbi. He signals them for help and is brought up by rope.

Here, the inhabitants are impractical and out of touch with reality, often engaging in inane research and ruining their farms and buildings with newfangled reforms. The Laputans are so inwardly absorbed in their own thoughts that they must be shaken out of their meditations by special servants called flappers, who shake rattles in their ears.

Gulliver also visits Glubbdubdrib, an island of sorcerers, where he gets to meet the ghosts of famous historical figures, and Luggnagg, an island with an absolute king who rules over a population of senile immortals. Eventually, he makes his way to Japan and then sails back to England once more, this time for five months, before he sets out again.

Houyhnhnm Land

On his fourth and final adventure, Gulliver sails out as a captain in his own right. But his sailors mutiny against him and maroon him on a distant island, Houyhnhnm Land. This island is populated by rational-thinking horses, called Houyhnhnms.

The Houyhnhnms maintain a simple, peaceful society governed by reason and truthfulness, and they do not even have a word for ‘lie’ in their language. They are the masters of the Yahoos, brutish, unkempt humanlike creatures who are not capable of government and are kept as servants to the Houyhnhnms, pulling their carriages and performing manual tasks.

It is through the Houyhnhnms that Gulliver is led to re-evaluate the differences between humans and animals and to question humanity’s claims to rationality. Gulliver learns the Houyhnhnms’ language and spends many satisfying hours in conversation with them, so much so that when they tell him he must leave, he is devastated.

He leaves obediently, knowing that it is his resemblance to the Yahoos that is at the heart of it; they are just like him, except that Gulliver has learned to clip his nails, shave his face, and wear clothes. He makes a canoe and paddles to a nearby island, where he is picked up by a Portuguese ship that returns him to England and his family. Once Gulliver returns to his family, however, he can only see them as brutish Yahoos. He can barely stand to be in the same room with them. He longs for the Houyhnhnms and spends at least four hours a day talking to his two stallions in their stable.

Lesson Summary

Gulliver’s Travel’s, written by Jonathan Swift, recounts in first-person narrative the vibrant adventures of Lemuel Gulliver, a surgeon who works on ships and time after time encounters himself stranded in new lands, a victim of shipwreck, piracy, and mutiny.

In Lilliput, he’s taken captive by the Lilliputians, miniature people less than six inches tall, where the emperor is surprisingly able to control him until his escapes from Blefuscu. In his following adventure, he’s enslaved by a giant civilization and becomes a figure of entertainment, first by an exploiting farmer and then by the queen and king of Brogdingnab.

Subsequently, he visits the floating island of Laputa, populated by absurd, self-absorbed scientists. On his final adventure to Houyhnhnm Land, he befriends a peaceful civilization of horses who rule over the brutish, humanlike Yahoos. After learning the ways of the Houyhnhnms, Gulliver is unable to adjust to living in society, since he can only view the English like they are Yahoos.

Learning Outcomes

Once you’re through with the lesson, you should be able to:

  • Recall who Gulliver is from Gulliver’s Travels
  • Explain the importance of Lilliput
  • Describe Brobdingnag and the characters Gulliver meets there
  • Consider the importance of Laputa and other islands and the inhabitants there
  • Recall his adventures to Houyhnhnm

To unlock this lesson you must be a Study.com Member.
Create your account

Gulliver’s Travels: Lesson for Kids

Bethany is a certified Special Education and Elementary teacher with 11 years experience teaching Special Education from grades PK through 5. She has a Bachelor’s degree in Special Education, Elementary Education, and English from Gordon College and a Master’s degree in Special Education from Salem State University.

Sasha Blakeley has a Bachelor’s in English Literature from McGill University and a TEFL certification. She has been teaching English in Canada and Taiwan for seven years.

If you look up the book ‘Gulliver’s Travels’ by Jonathan Swift, you will find dozens of adaptations. What makes this book so popular? Read this lesson to learn the story of this classic novel.

A Satirical Novel

Have you ever read a letter or seen a picture that was over 250 years old? Gulliver’s Travels, a novel by Jonathan Swift, was written in 1726, more than 250 ago. Why is such an old book interesting to us today? Let’s find out.

One element we will look for is satire, writing that uses humor and exaggeration to point out foolish or problematic things that people do. Swift was known for his satire.

Gulliver’s Journey

In the novel Gulliver’s Travels, Lemuel Gulliver is a ship’s surgeon from England who takes four remarkable journeys to very unusual places.

After a shipwreck, Gulliver ended up on an island adventure.

shipwreck

Journey One: Lilliput

Gulliver is the only survivor of a shipwreck – his ship was ruined in a terrible storm. When Gulliver wakes up after the storm, he finds that he has been tied down by hundreds of tiny ropes. He is on an island where all the people are six inches tall.

The tiny people, called Lilliputians, take Gulliver as their prisoner, but eventually he makes friends with them. He helps the Lilliputians win a battle with a neighboring kingdom, Blefuscu, by capturing all of the enemy’s ships.

Here’s our first example of satire: the reason the two countries are at war is that they disagree on the correct way to eat an egg! Sometimes people fight for silly reasons.

Unfortunately, the Lilliputians turn against Gulliver. His enormous appetite makes feeding him expensive. The emperor is also angered when Gulliver puts out a fire in the palace using his urine.

The emperor plans to kill Gulliver, but Gulliver escapes to Blefuscu. He finds a boat his size, then sails home.

Journey Two: Brobdingnag

Soon, Gulliver goes adventuring again. After another shipwreck, Gulliver finds himself in a land of 60-foot giants. One giant takes Gulliver traveling, and makes him perform for money. Then the giant sells Gulliver to the queen of Brobdingnag, who makes him a house.

Swift inserts more satire into the story. Gulliver tells the king all about England. The king, whose kingdom is very peaceful, is horrified by the idea of war, guns, and gunpowder.

Gulliver quickly gets tired of being small and fighting giant animals. After two years in Brobdingnag, Gulliver’s house is stolen by a giant eagle and dropped in the ocean. Gulliver is rescued and returns to England.

Journey Three: Four Unusual Stops

On his next journey, Gulliver finds four odd places.

  • Laputa is a floating island where the people only pay attention to science and music. Swift’s satire here is about the problems that occur when people are interested in science without practical use.
  • Balnibarbi is a kingdom where the people research silly things, like how to get sunshine out of cucumbers. Their useless and sometimes dangerous research is also an example of satire.
  • Glubbdubdrib is an island where Gulliver meets the ghosts of historical figures.
  • Luggnagg is an island full of people who live forever, but don’t enjoy it, which is another satirical observation.

Journey Four: Houyhnhnm Land

Gulliver’s last journey brings him to an island ruled by horses called Houyhnhnm. The people on the island act like pets and are called yahoos. While Gulliver is on the island, he is the servant to a Houyhnhnm. The Houyhnhnms eventually make Gulliver leave, which makes him very sad.

Here we find Swift’s strongest example of satire. Gulliver decides that the Houyhnhnm are better than people, and he wishes he was a Houyhnhnm instead of a person.

Lesson Summary

Jonathan Swift wrote Gulliver’s Travels in 1726. Gulliver, a ship’s surgeon, takes four journeys and meets giants, tiny people, talking horses and more. Gulliver’s Travels includes satire.

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