In this article, we’ll talk about Lemuel Gulliver and all the unusual characters that he comes across during his adventures while travelling to the different lands. Read on for the Gulliver’s Travels Summary!
Who Is Gulliver?
Gulliver’s Travels has been written by Jonathan Swift, and it is the story of the various adventures of Lemuel Gulliver, who is basically the narrator and protagonist in the book. Gulliver, a married surgeon from Nottinghamshire, England, is someone who loves traveling. He works as a surgeon on ships and lands up becoming a ship captain.
Through many unfortunate events during his voyage at sea, Gulliver gets stranded in foreign lands and absurd situations, whether it’s getting captured by the miniature Lilliputians or becoming friends with talking horses, the Houyhnhnms. Here, we give you Gulliver’s Travels Summary.
Gulliver’s Travels Summary
Gulliver embarks on four separate voyages in Gulliver’s Travels. There is a storm before every journey. All the four voyages add new perspectives to Gulliver’s life and also give him new opportunities for satirizing the ways of England.
- In the first voyage, Gulliver travels to Lilliput, where he is huge and the Lilliputians are small. Initially, the Lilliputians look amiable, but the reader soon understands that they are very ridiculous and petty creatures. For “making water”, Gulliver gets convicted of treason in the capital (although he was putting out a fire and saving innumerable lives)–among other “crimes.”
- In the second voyage, Gulliver travels to Brobdingnag, which is a land of Giants and he is as small as the Lilliputians were to him. So, naturally, Gulliver is scared, but his keepers are surprisingly gentle. He gets humiliated by the King when he is forced to see the difference between how England is and how it ought to be. Gulliver soon understands that he must have been very revolting to the Lilliputians.
- In the third voyage, Gulliver travels to Laputa (and neighbouring Luggnagg and Glubdugdribb). When he visits the island of Glubdugdribb, he gets the power to call up the dead and discovers the deceptions of history. In the land of Laputa, the people are over-thinkers and are outrageous in many ways. He also meets the Stuldbrugs there, which is basically a race that is blessed with immortality. But Gulliver finds out that they are miserable.
- In the fourth voyage, Gulliver travels to the land of Houyhnhnms, who are horses gifted with a reason. Their coherent, clean, and trouble-free society is contrasted with the foulness and brutality of the Yahoos, who are beasts in human shape. Gulliver manages to unwillingly come to recognize their human vices. He ends up staying with the Houyhnhnms for many years and gets totally captivated with them to a point that he never wants to leave. When he gets to know that the time has come for him to leave the island, he faints from unhappiness. When he returns to England, Gulliver feels appalled about other humans, including his own family.
Gulliver’s Travels Summary: Characters
An adventurer and traveler. Gulliver is the protagonist of the Travels. He is a spectator of other beings and various cultures.
They are the sworn enemies of the Lilliputians. And they live on a neighbouring island. Gulliver goes to their island when the Lilliputians convict him of treachery.
They are the inhabitants of Brobdingnag and are giant creatures in comparison to Gulliver.
He’s the leader of the Lilliputians. At first, he acts friendly toward Gulliver but later changes his mind about him when Gulliver doesn’t agree to continue fighting Blefuscu and puts out a fire in the Empress’s chamber by urinating on it.
When Gulliver stays in Brobdingnag, he calls the farmer who takes him in his master. The farmer finally sells Gulliver to the Queen.
Gulliver’s enemy at Lilliput, he blames Gulliver for sleeping with his wife.
In Brobdingnagian, her name means “little nurse”. So, Gulliver calls the farmer’s daughter with this name, who cares for him during his stay in Brobdingnag.
Mrs. Mary Burton Gulliver
It is a species of horses that are gifted with great compassion and virtue. Gulliver lives with them for many years and in the end, feels extremely sad to return to England.
Gulliver spends a lot of hours with the King of Brobdingnag while discussing politics and comparing their two cultures.
They are the inhabitants of a floating island who wear astronomical and mathematical symbols. They also have trouble paying attention.
The Grey Horse (The Master)
Gulliver’s master in the Country of the Houyhnhnms.
They are the inhabitants of Lilliput and are around five to six inches tall. They are the sworn enemies of the Blefuscudians of a neighboring island.
He’s the Balnibarbi Lord who shows Gulliver around and makes him understand why the island is so barren.
He’s the captain of the Portuguese ship that picks Gulliver up after his voyage to the country of the Houyhnhnms.
The Queen of Brobdingnag happens to think that Gulliver is very entertaining. Since she has a huge size, Gulliver feels disgusted when she eats.
Gulliver’s friend in Lilliput. He helps Gulliver get comfortable in the strange new land and also helps to reduce Gulliver’s punishment for treason from execution to having his eyes put out.
High admiral of Lilliput, a counselor of the Emperor.
This is the Houyhnhnms’ word for humans. Yahoos in the country of the Houyhnhnms are repulsive creatures.
It is a race of humans who grow older and never die, so they are immortal. However, their immortality does not have any of its supposed delights.
The Academy Projectors (Professors)
Balnibarbian reformers who come up with reform ideas without considering effects.
The Low-Heels, a Lilliputian political group similar to the British Whigs. The king orders that all government administrators need to be selected from this party, much to the anger of the High-Heels of the realm. Therefore, while there are fewer Slamecksan than Tramecksan in Lilliput, their political power is greater.
Estimated Reading Time
Children should set aside at least three weeks time to study Gulliver’s Travels. You would need two weeks to read the novel when you manage to read four chapters at a sitting. Students should make it a point to read every day from Monday to Friday. Once the chapters are done, students should ensure understanding and comprehension. The fourth week can be used for reports, testing and projects as deemed necessary by the teacher.
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