Introduction: Jonathan Swift’s ‘‘Gulliver’s Travels‘ or, its Full name ‘Travels into Several Remote Nations of the World. In Four Parts. By Lemuel Gulliver, First a Surgeon, and then a Captain of Several Ships’ is a prose satire.
This book is not only Jonathan Swift’s most famous full – length work but also known as a classic of English Literature. As its title suggests, this book is a travel account of Lemuel Gulliver into different parts of the world which are described below.
Gulliver’s travels summary
Lemuel Gulliver was the third of five sons of a small estate owner of Nottinghamshire. When he was fourteen years old, his father sent him to Emmanuel College (Cambridge University) where he studied three years. He later studied and practised medicine but did not get any success as a doctor. So he had to face a difficult time and at that time his friends also didn’t help him.
So, to gain some wealth, he consulted with his wife and other well-wishers and he “intended to go again to sea.” He went on a voyage from “ Bristol, May 4, 1699” and his voyage “was at first very prosperous.” But after some time, there came a “violent storm” in the sea and the ship was wrecked.
Most of the voyagers according to Gulliver’s estimate died. He swam and “was pushed forward by wind and tide.” He came out from the sea and walked in the search of the houses and humans but found none of them.
Being tired and hungry, he slept “sounder than ever ” he “remembered to have done” in his life. He got up the next morning and his efforts to rise failed because he found himself tied with tiny ropes. He felt that something was moving on his left leg and reached near his chin.
When he raised his head anyway, he was shocked because he saw a man who was only six-inch tall with a bow and arrow in his hand. Then he saw forty more people of the same size. Since these people were very small in size so they became afraid when he moved his head.
They used to attack him with arrows and Spears when he shouted and their attack on Gulliver stopped when he became silent. He tried to tell those tiny people that he was hungry and thirsty so hundreds of people brought meat and water for him.
The time passed and the king of Lilliput greatly was impressed by his good behaviour and he appointed a team of scholars to teach their language. He then met the people of the Belfuscus, the opponent of Lilliput. He returned home after so many adventurous incidents.
Gulliver went on another voyage just after staying two months at home. Unfortunately, his companions abandoned him in a place where inhabitants are twelve times more than his size. Here, everything happened contrary to the first voyage.
At this place, he was treated like a pet and these giants assumed him as a freak of nature. In the first voyage, the tiny people’s behaviour to him was quite uncivilized on his arrival but the giants treated him with kindness.
Though the giants regarded him as a freak of nature, Gulliver succeeded in winning the confidence of king and queen. He travelled with the couple ( the king and the queen) to the seashore in a box. A giant eagle was bringing the box.
She (the eagle) dropped the box in the sea where he was rescued by some English sailors. The sailors brought him to England.
After sometime Gulliver went for another voyage. He said that when he was not at home almost ten days then Captain William Robinson who was a Cornish man and “commander of the Hopewell, a stout ship of three hundred tons, came” to his house.
He frankly asserts about William Robinson that he always treated him like a brother rather than an inferior officer in some voyages. First Gulliver was not ready to go on one more voyage but when Robinson persuaded him he became ready.
They started their voyage on ” the 5th day of August 1706” but the pirates attacked the ship. They captured him on a small island. Here he was taken away by the inhabitants of an island called Laputa. Laputa was a flying island and the people were always busy in mathematical experiments.
Then he visited the island of Lugnagg whose inhabitants were immortals. Finding a Dutch ship, he returned to England.
Gulliver went on another voyage, or, we can say, on the last voyage ” as captain of a ship.” But other people in the ship were actually pirates. They confined “ him a long time to his cabin, and set him on shore in an unknown island.” He then travelled and visited Houyhnhnms and Yahoos.
Houyhnhnms was the name of a race of noble horses. They appeared to be perfect creatures and he came to love their way of life. Though the Yahoos were like humans, Gulliver found them the most disagreeable creatures he had ever met.
In contrast to Yahoos, he observed so many qualities in the horses but they (Houyhnhmns) regarded him a kind of Yahoo and he was forced to agree with their view.
The Houyhnmns exiled him from their land so he had no other choice but to come back to England, where he divided his time between talking with his horses and trying to reform the people in his country.
Conclusion: Gulliver’s Travels
The book is a description of Gulliver’s voyage into the different parts of the world where so many curious incidents happen and he meets various kinds of creatures.