Gulliver's Travels Summary & Study Guide

This Study Guide consists of approximately 87 pages of chapter summaries, quotes, character analysis, themes, and more - everything you need to sharpen your knowledge of Gulliver's Travels.
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Gulliver's Travels Summary & Study Guide Description

Gulliver's Travels Summary & Study Guide includes comprehensive information and analysis to help you understand the book. This study guide contains the following sections:

This detailed literature summary also contains Quotes and a Free Quiz on Gulliver's Travels by Jonathan Swift.

Gulliver's Travels, by Jonathan Swift begins with the protagonist, Gulliver as he sets out for an adventure. He is a surgeon from England who has a taste for adventure, and sets out to find and observe cultures. On his first voyage a storm knocks his lifeboat over and he is the only one to make it to shore. There he is held captive by the Lilliputian people who are only around six inches tall. Eventually Gulliver makes friends and agrees to help them in exchange for his freedom. He takes down the rival town’s military and makes peace with them. The Lilliputian leader wants them killed and when Gulliver won’t do it he is accused of treason. Eventually the leader cools off and Gulliver is fine but eventually has to leave because he is going to be killed and he is taxing the small country too much with his eating habits.

He is home for five months before he leaves again.

The next Island Gulliver ends up shipwrecked on is an island entirely occupied by Giants. He is taken by a farmer who ends up making him a sideshow for money until the queen of the giants comes and buys Gulliver for a lot of money. Gulliver has a mixed experience while staying in the castle. He is fed and cared for, but not seen as human and is constantly in danger. Gulliver also talks to the king about the politics from his homeland and the king just belittles him, saying how silly it all is. Eventually the box they keep him in is set adrift on accident and he is saved by a ship passing by.

He stays home for around two weeks before he goes away again.

The next Island Gulliver lands on is an island that floats, thanks to a giant magnet. The king of the island is from a race of people who are always caught up in their own thoughts, so much so that they need a servant to remind them to speak and listen. These people are caught up in learning and creating new sciences but never actually having a practical purpose, and most of the studies are actually contradicting themselves. Gulliver learns that the continent below the island is also ruled with an iron fist by the king who will block the sun and rain from a person who doesn’t pay. Gulliver becomes frustrated and bored and as soon as he is able, he leaves.

The neighboring island is full of sorcerers where the governor can raise the dead for people to talk to. Gulliver goes there and decides to talk to famous people and learn from them. Gulliver soon realizes the history he knows is not what actually happened. Eventually, Gulliver gets to Japan where he boards a ship after convincing the Emperor he is Dutch.

Once home he is only there for ten days before he leaves, again.

Gulliver is marooned on an island where he meets strange beasts looking vaguely human but more animalistic. On this island Gulliver finds a utopia run by intelligent horses and the humans are savage brutish creatures fueled by lust and hatred. Gulliver falls in love with the horse society and plans on staying. Gulliver eventually even ends up hating the Yahoos, or the humans, on the island and eventually the entire species. Gulliver is asked to leave one day by his friend and is heartbroken to have to return to the human race, whom he now despises. Gulliver returns home and can’t stand to be around anyone and ends up buying horses to make himself feel better.

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This section contains 609 words
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Buy the Gulliver's Travels Study Guide
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