Gullivers Travels Quotes by Jonathan Swift
Gulliver’s Travels Summary
A keystone of English literature , it was one of the books that gave birth to the novel form, though it did not yet have the rules of the genre as an organizing tool. The book is written in the first person from the point of view of Lemuel Gulliver, a surgeon and sea captain who visits remote regions of the world, and it describes four adventures. In the first one, Gulliver is the only survivor of a shipwreck, and he swims to Lilliput, where he is tied up by people who are less than 6 inches 15 cm tall. He is then taken to the capital city and eventually released. The Lilliputians indulge in ridiculous customs and petty debates. Political affiliations, for example, are divided between men who wear high-heeled shoes symbolic of the English Tories and those who wear low ones representing the English Whigs , and court positions are filled by those who are best at rope dancing. Gulliver is asked to help defend Lilliput against the empire of Blefuscu, with which Lilliput is at war over which end of an egg should be broken, this being a matter of religious doctrine.
Part I, Chapter I
Gulliver's Travels is an adventure story in reality, a misadventure story involving several voyages of Lemuel Gulliver, a ship's surgeon, who, because of a series of mishaps en route to recognized ports, ends up, instead, on several unknown islands living with people and animals of unusual sizes, behaviors, and philosophies, but who, after each adventure, is somehow able to return to his home in England where he recovers from these unusual experiences and then sets out again on a new voyage. Book I: When the ship Gulliver is traveling on is destroyed in a storm, Gulliver ends up on the island of Lilliput, where he awakes to find that he has been captured by Lilliputians, very small people — approximately six inches in height. Gulliver is treated with compassion and concern. In turn, he helps them solve some of their problems, especially their conflict with their enemy, Blefuscu, an island across the bay from them. Gulliver falls from favor, however, because he refuses to support the Emperor's desire to enslave the Blefuscudians and because he "makes water" to put out a palace fire. Gulliver flees to Blefuscu, where he converts a large war ship to his own use and sets sail from Blefuscu eventually to be rescued at sea by an English merchant ship and returned to his home in England.
Gulliver was traveling through the East Indies in Asia when he was shipwrecked. He swam to an unfamiliar shore for survival. When Gulliver found himself in the custody of a large group of tiny people, he became worried and upset. He was presented to the Emperor of Lilliput. Upon getting the assurances from Gulliver, the Emperor ordered his armed army personnel to release him and allowed him to live in Lilliput. Gulliver showed a good behavior while living with the tiny people and helped them solve many of their problems.
On this voyage, Gulliver goes to the sea as a surgeon on the merchant ship, Antelope. 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 first chapter, Swift establishes Gulliver's character.