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Jonathan Swift: Gulliver's Travels a satire by Jonathan Swift, published in 1726

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Jonathan Swift: Gulliver's Travels

a satire by Jonathan Swift, published in 1726.

Swift appears to have worked at the book from as early as 1720. In the first part Lemuel

Gulliver, a surgeon on a merchant ship, relates his shipwreck on the island of Lilliput, where

people are six inches tall, and everything else is in the proportion of an inch to a foot, as

ed with things as we know them.

Owing to this diminutive scale, the pomp of the Emperor, the civil feuds of the inhabitants, the

war with their neighbours across the channel are made to look ridiculous.

In the second part Gulliver is accidentally left ashore on Brobdingnag, where the inhabitants

are as tall as steeples; and everything else is in proportion.

The third part deals with a visit to the flying island of Laputa, and its neighbouring continent

and capital city, Lagado. Here the satire is directed against philosophers, men of science,

historians, projectors, with special reference to the south sea company. In Laputa Gulliver

finds the wise man so wrapped up in their speculations as to be utterly helpless in pratical

affairs. At Lagado he visits the Academy of projectors, where professors are engaged in

extracting sunshine from cucumebers and similar absurd enterprises; in the island of sorceres

he is enabled to call up the great men of the past, and discovers, from their answers to his

questions, the deceptions of history. The Strulbrugs, a race endowed with immortality, so far

from finding this a boon, turn out to be the most miserable of mankind.

In the fourth part Swift describes the country of the Houyhnhnms, who are horses endowed

with reason; their rational, clean and simple society is contrasted with the filthyness and

brutality of the Yahoos, beasts is human shape whose human vices Gulliver is reluctantly

forced to recognize.

So alienated is he from his own species that when he finally returns home he recoils from his

own family in disgust.


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