The Gulliver’s Travel by Jonathon Swift – Dystopian Books Review

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Review and Summary of The Satirical Novel The Gulliver’s Travel

Jonathon Swift regarded as the “foremost prose satirist” by Encyclopedia Brittanica wrote the Gulliver’s Travel. The novel presents an English classic and became an immediate hit when released. The author combined the human nature and a travel tale into a single genre and provided us with four volumes of this travel series considered as “a satirical masterpiece”.

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Author: Jonathan Swift

Genre: Satire, fantasy

Pages: 528

Good reads rating: 3.57 of 5

My Ratings: 8.2 of 10

Published: 1726 (Original publication)

Publisher: W. W. Norton & Company; 3rd edition (November 2, 2001)

Language: English

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Review and Summary of The Satirical Novel The Gulliver’s Travel

***Warning Spoilers Below This Point***

Part 1: A Voyage to Lilliput

This novel begins with a concise description that Gulliver gives about his travels. The bookmarks date between 4 May 1699 to 13 April 1702. The novel begins when Gulliver starts his voyage and because of a shipwreck, he finds himself in “Lilliput” where the people are only 15 centimetres tall. He assures the people of Lilliput that he would not harm them and receives a residence there. People of Lilliput also shows great hospitality towards him. Gulliver soon discovers Lilliputians give great importance to trivial matters. Gulliver assists the Lilliputians in stealing a fleet of their neighbour Blefuscudians, but he refused to give the Blefuscu to Lilliput and displeased the court. Soon he got himself in trouble for crime and treason charges like urination in public when he was only putting off a fire. They put him in prison but escaped and reached Blefuscu from where he reached his home.

Part 2: A Voyage to Brobdingnag

This novel marks the date of  20 June 1702 to 3 June 1706, where he reached a North American continent named Brobdingnag because of uncertain circumstances. Here he found the people and surroundings so tall that even grass is the size equal of the tree. A farmer found Gulliver, and he took him to his house and his daughter accompanied him to take care of Gulliver. After some time he exhibited Gulliver in the need of money and the constant display made Gulliver sick. They then sold him to the Queen of Brobdingnag. As he could not use the normal beds, chairs, knives, and other essential things they issued him a “travelling box” and they carried him in it. Gulliver told the king about the state of Europe and the king eventually became unhappy by listening to the use of guns and canons. Ending the story, an eagle captured Gulliver’s travelling box while he was on a trip to the seaside. The giant eagle dropped his box into the sea from where he came home.

Part 3: A Voyage to Laputa, Balnibarbi, Luggnagg, Glubbdubdrib, and Japan

Part 3 accounts from 5 August 1706 to 16 April 1710 where the Gulliver’s ship experienced an attack by pirates, and he landed in a rocky island near India from where the people of Laputa refused him. Laputa presented a kingdom that was a hub of mathematics, arts, astronomy, but they could not use it practically. They used to throw rocks and stones instead of using armies. Gulliver then tours Balnibarbi and saw the ruins that the science brought on them. He also visited Glubbdubdrib where he saw the ghosts of Julius Ceaser, Aristotle, and other historical people. He then visited the island of Luggnag, and he met immortal people. People there suffered the sufferings of old age. However, when he reached Japan, he asked the emperor to excuse him and he returned home with a thought he will stay there for some time at least.

Part 4:  A Voyage to the Land of the Houyhnhnms

Gulliver set on a voyage again marking the dates as 7 September 1710 till 5 December 1715 and returns to sea as a merchant as they bore him of performing duties of a surgeon. But because of some uncertainties, his crew left him on the first land that they came across and they did the same. They left him on the land of Houyhnhnms, meaning talking horses. They were the rulers and the creatures that resemble human Yahoos. Gulliver became a member of the family there and lived with them. Unfortunately, people there think Gulliver is a danger to their civilization and ordered him to leave. The Yahoo where Gulliver was living asked for some time if Gulliver can make a canoe. After another disastrous voyage, they became rescued by a Portuguese ship and the captain was so generous- and kind-hearted. However, when he returns to England, he cannot lead a life that he was living before.

Final Say on The Satirical Fiction Novel The Gulliver’s Travel

The book is typically a work of fantasy and satire that depicts the existence of mankind and human nature. I rate this novel as an 8.2 out of 10. Would I re-read this novel? No. Am I glad I read it? Yes.

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Max Atlas
I am Max Atlas; my only mission is to raise awareness of Dystopian fiction and share in a collective awakening. Together we will explore not only the best Dystopian Novels ever written but also new and upcoming Authors, giving future greats a platform to share their Dystopian Worlds.