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A Voyage To Lilliput And Blefuscu

The book begins with a very short introduction in which Gulliver enjoys travelling, On his first expedition Gulliver is washed ashore after a shipwreck and awakes to find himself a hostage of a race of people height less than 6 inches, who are people of the neighbouring countries of Lilliput and Blefuscu. After giving assurance of his good behaviour, he is given a house in Lilliput and becomes a favourite of the court. From there, the story follows Gulliver's observations on the Court of Lilliput. He is also given the permission to travel around the city on a condition he not harm their subjects. Gulliver assists the Lilliputians to subdue their neighbours the Blefuscudians by stealing their fleet. However, he refuses to reduce the country to a province of Lilliput, displeasing the King and the court. Gulliver is charged with treason and sentenced to be blinded. With the assistance of a kind friend, Gulliver escapes to Blefuscu, where he spots and retrieves an abandoned boat and sails out to be rescued by a passing ship which safely takes him back home.

Part II: A Voyage to Brobdingnag

When the sailing ship is steered off course by storms and forced to go in to land for want of fresh water, Gulliver is abandoned by his companions and found by a farmer who is 72 feet (22 m) tall - judging from Gulliver estimating the farmer step is about 10 yards (9.1 m). He brings Gulliver home and his daughter cares for Gulliver. The farmer treats him as a curiosity and exhibits him for money. The word gets out and the Queen of Brobdingnag wants to see the show. She loves Gulliver and he is then bought by her and kept as a favourite at court.

Since Gulliver is too small to use their huge chairs, beds, knives and forks, the queen commissions a small house to be built for Gulliver so that he can be carried around in it. This is referred to as his "travelling box." In between small adventures such as fighting giant wasps and being carried to the roof by a monkey, he discusses the state of Europe with the King. The King is not impressed with Gulliver's accounts of Europe, especially upon learning of the usage of guns and cannons. On a trip to the seaside, his travelling box is seized by a giant eagle which drops Gulliver and his box right into the sea where he is picked up by some sailors, who return him to England.

Themes

Serious defects afflict society: Politicians, religious leaders, social planners, military tacticians, and educators - indeed, all of society’s elite - often hamper progress through political machination, aggression, misguided science and art, and out-and-out stupidity. 

Strange and wondrous exploits await people willing to take risks: Gulliver goes to sea again and again - risking the perils of angry weather, pirates, and unfriendly cultures—to escape the familiar and experience the exotic. 

Unimportant arguments: The argument between Lilliput and Blefescu over how to break an egg satirizes the often-petty bickering between people and nations that leads to religious intolerance, war, and other types of conflict. 

Exploration and Discovery: Like the real explorers from Columbus onward, the fictional Gulliver discovers new worlds. Though his adventures are perilous, they are also exciting, providing him glimpses of different customs, cultures, and peoples. His experiences expand his knowledge and help to enlighten, by way of comparisons, about his own world. By learning the languages of the people he encounters, he also realizes the importance of communicating with foreigners in their native tongue. 

Love and Kindness: Love and kindness are conspicuously absent in many of the lands that Gulliver visits. However, Glumdalclitch, the nine-year-old daughter of the Brobdingnagian farmer, is a major exception. She cares for Gulliver all the while he stays in Brobdingnag and sees to his every need.

Characteristics

Main Character

Lemuel Gulliver: Gulliver is a trained surgeon and sea captain who travel throughout the world on several voyages, learning about different cultures and customs. He is married to Mary Burton with two children (who consequently grow up without him), and spends some sixteen years and seventeen months in his adventures, and ultimately returns home a changed man. His first voyage leaves him shipwrecked and alone in Lilliput, a land where he is a giant compared to everyone else. After his escape from Lilliput (and the neighbouring Blefuscu), Gulliver returns to England, only to depart once again to find himself lost in the land of Brobdingnag. Brobdingnag is a land of giants, where Gulliver is the relative size of a Lilliputian. After happy times there, he fears his life and is lifted away by a bird, until he is found floating in the ocean by an English sea captain. Gulliver returns to England for the second time.

Minor Characters

Lilliputians: The Lilliputians are the minuscule people from the land of Lilliput. They initial fear Gulliver, for his size is so overpowering. However, with the help of the emperor and few others, Gulliver befriends these people by helping them at war with their enemy, Blefuscu. However, after using so many of their resources and performing lewd acts in public, he is forced to flee the country for Blefuscu, and eventually home to England.

The Emperor of Lilliput: Although the emperor initially helps Gulliver by ordering clothing, food, and lodging for him, he eventually turns against Gulliver. He orders an edict with several laws pertaining to Gulliver, grants him his freedom, is thrilled when Gulliver helps Lilliput defeat Blefuscu, but is outraged when Gulliver will not use the Blefuscu-ans as slaves.

Blefuscu-ans: The Blefuscu-ans are the enemies of the Lilliputians and inhabitants of the neighbouring land. They welcome Gulliver openly after he must flee Lilliput and are thankful to him for showing mercy.

Brobdingnags: The Brobdingnags are the giant people of the land of Brobdingnag. They are the size that Gulliver is in Lilliput, and view Gulliver as a toy, a doll, a exhibition. He looks like a little bug, but acts like a person. Although they are kind to him, Gulliver knows he must leave their land for fear of death.

Glumdalclitch: Glumdalclitch is the young daughter of the farmer of Brobdingnag who discovers Gulliver. She is thrilled to take Gulliver under her care as his nanny and never leaves his side for his entire stay in Brobdingnag. Like a girl to her doll, Glumdalclitch dresses, washes, feeds, houses, and teaches Gulliver. He treasures her, but at the same time, understands that she is still just a young girl who can be careless at times.

The Farmer: The farmer of Brobdingnag discovers Gulliver in his cornfields and initially takes him into his house as a pet. His daughter, Glumdalclitch, adores him and becomes his permanent nanny. However, the farmer wishes to capitalize on Gulliver's novelty by taking him throughout the land on tour and exhibition, until he sells Gulliver to the King.

The Queen of Brobdingnag: The Queen quickly befriends Gulliver and loves his company in the royal court. She spends much time with Gulliver and is very protective of his safety and well-being.

The King of Brobdingnag: The King of Brobdingnag, likewise befriends and loves Gulliver deeply. They spend much time together sharing the culture of their respective homelands, discussing the positives and negatives of each.

Point of View

Plot setting

I like the plot setting of this book where Gulliver travels throughout the world on several voyages, learning about different cultures and customs. For the first journey, he arrived at strange island named Lilliput. During Gulliver’s stay in Lilliput, the work’s most popular section, Swift depicts a common childhood fantasy-a world proportioned for very small people, the tallest being only about six inches. In Lilliput a child’s fascination with dolls or toy soldiers comes to life as Gulliver plays the role of benevolent giant for a little people who have exaggerated ideas about their self-importance.

When he is in the second journey, he once again arrived in strange island named Brobdingnag. They land there just to find fresh water because their water supply was empty. Unfortunately, he accidentally left by his ship crew. In Brobdingnag, Gulliver finds himself surrounded by a race of giants, making him feel like a Lilliputian. In both worlds, Gulliver finds that he must use his wits to survive. Not only does he manage to feed, clothe, and shelter himself-all of which, considering the circumstances, require ingenuity and courage-but he also learns the languages and customs and turns them to his advantage. I very like this part because this part contains full of suspense and action.

In terms of storytelling and construction the parts follow a pattern:

The causes of Gulliver's misadventures become more malignant as time goes on - he is first shipwrecked, then abandoned, then attacked by strangers, then attacked by his own crew.

Gulliver's attitude hardens as the book progresses — he is genuinely surprised by the viciousness and politicking of the Lilliputians but finds the behaviour of the Yahoos in the fourth part reflective of the behaviour of people.

Each part is the reverse of the preceding part — Gulliver is big/small/wise/ignorant, the countries are complex/simple/scientific/natural, forms of government are worse/better/worse/better than England's.

Gulliver's view between parts contrasts with its other coinciding part—Gulliver sees the tiny Lilliputians as being vicious and unscrupulous, and then the king of Brobdingnag sees Europe in exactly the same light.

No form of government is ideal—the simplistic Brobdingnagians enjoy public executions and have streets infested with beggars.

Specific individuals may be good even where the race is bad—Gulliver finds a friend in each of his travels and is treated very well by all of them eventhough their race are different.

Point of View

Lemuel Gulliver himself narrates the story of Gulliver's Travels, but this first-person narrator is not completely reliable. Though Gulliver is very exact with the details of his travels, and we know him to be honest, sometimes he doesn't see the forest for the trees. Swift deliberately makes Gulliver naive and sometimes even arrogant for two reasons. First, it makes the reader more skeptical about the ideas presented in the book. Second, it allows the reader to have a good laugh at Gulliver's expense when he doesn't realize the absurdity of his limited viewpoint. He certainly sounds foolish when extolling the qualities of gunpowder to the peaceful Brobdingnagians, for example. Also, at the end of the novel, the reader can see that Gulliver has turned into a misanthrope (hater of humanity), but can hear in his voice both here and in the introductory letter to his publisher that he is proud and arrogant in his belief that humans are Yahoos. Because by the end of the book readers are accustomed to being skeptical of Gulliver's perceptions, one can guess that his misanthropy has something to do with his arrogance. Humans simply can't be perfect, and if we hold ourselves to that ideal we will hate humanity, but Gulliver can't see this truth. Swift claimed that it was not he that was misanthropic, but Gulliver, the narrator he created.

Setting

Although the fantastic lands that provide the setting for Gulliver's Travels seem unreal today, modern readers should keep in mind that the settings would not have seemed so farfetched to Swift's contemporaries. The novel was written in the 1720s, and Gulliver travels to areas that were still unknown or little explored during this time. The book was written before the discovery of the Bering Strait between Alaska and Russia, for example, where Brobdingnag is supposedly located. It was also before the discovery of an effective means of measuring latitude, which meant it was very difficult for sailors to navigate and explore new territory accurately. Travelogues, or accounts of journeys to foreign lands, were very popular at this time, so the reading public was accustomed to hearing of new geographical discoveries. Thus Gulliver's explorations to new lands, while unusual, would have seemed little different than the strange tales of "exotic" lands in America, Asia, and Africa. Like the travelogues it parodies, Gulliver's Travels even provides maps of Gulliver's journeys in the book to lend more truthfulness to the story.

Structure

Structurally, Gulliver's Travels is divided into four parts, with two introductory letters at the beginning of the book. These letters, from Gulliver and his editor Sympson, let us know that Gulliver is basically a good person who has been very much changed by the amazing journeys to follow. Part I follows Gulliver's journey to Lilliput and its tiny people; Part II to Brobdingnag and its giants; Part III to several islands and countries near Japan; Part IV follows Gulliver to the country of the Houyhnhnm. The first and second parts set up contrasts that allow Swift to satirize European politics and society. The third part satirizes human institutions and thinking and is subdivided into four sections that are set in Laputa, Balnibarbi, Glubbdubdrib, and Luggnagg. The first two sections are seen as a critique of sciences and scholars; the Glubbdubdrib section looks at history; and the Luggnagg section at Swift's fears about getting old. The final section moves from criticizing humanity's works to examining the flawed nature of humanity itself.

Utopia

The idea of a perfect society, with institutions such as government, school, and churches that are flawless in design, began with the ancient Greeks and was explored by Thomas More's Utopia (1516). Many writers before and since Jonathan Swift have toyed with the idea of utopia, and some contemporary writers have even written novels about antiutopias (properly known as dystopias), in which utopian visions have gone terribly wrong—for example, George Orwell's 1984 and Aldous Huxley's Brave New World. Both of these authors were fans of Gulliver's Travels.

Gulliver finds a near-utopia in the land of Brobdingnag, where war and oppression are unheard of. In this section, Swift incorporated many of the ideas of the social engineers of his day. Swift's impatience with utopian theories is also evident, however. Because the Brobdingnagians are humanlike, their utopia is not completely perfect. They can be insensitive, treating Gulliver as some sort of pet or toy, and their society includes poor beggars. In Luggnagg, Gulliver is told of a race of men who are immortal, and he imagines that their wisdom must be great, making their society well-ordered and their people happy and content. Unfortunately, everlasting life does not combat the effects of old age, and the immortals are objects of pity and disgust. Swift comes close to creating a perfect utopia with the Houyhnhnm, but suggests that man can never really fit in a perfect society, because he is by his nature flawed. Therefore, he can only strive for the ideal, and never reach it.

But would we want to? The Brobdingnagian society is imperfect, but the people are wise and humane. While the Houyhnhnm society does not have grief, lying or deceit, greed or lust, ambition or opinion, it also doesn't have love as we know it. All the Houyhnhnm love each other equally. They choose their mates according to genetics rather than love or passion, and they raise their children communally, because they love all the children equally. Gulliver wants to rise above the human condition and be a Houyhnhnm, but Swift implies that this is neither possible nor necessarily desirable.

Allegory

An allegory is when characters or events in a work of fiction represent something from reality, such as actual people, places, events, or even ideas. In Gulliver's Travels, and especially in Part I, many of the things Gulliver experiences can be linked to actual historical events of Swift's time. For instance, the religious/political controversy between the Big Enders and Little Enders corresponds to actual conflicts between Protestants and Catholics that led to several wars. Lilliput stands for England, while Blefuscu stands for England's longtime enemy, France. The two-faced Treasurer Flimnap corresponds to the Whig leader Sir Robert Walpole, while the Empress's outrage at Gulliver's extinguishing a palace fire with his urine mirrors the complaints Queen Anne had about Swift's "vulgar" writings. The numerous allegories to be found in the novel added to satire Swift's readers would have enjoyed. They have also provided critics throughout the years with valuable material for analysis.

Point of view-huraian sendri. 4 point. Plot setting, emotion, critical character

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