Categories: Literary

A Voyage to Lilliput

This part begins with some information that Gulliver gives of himself and his family: his family had a small estate in Nottinghamshire, he attended Emanuel College in Cambridge etc. He always had a desire to travel, which he later fulfills most effectively. In his first voyage he is shipwrecked. After some struggle with the sea he is safely ashore on the coast of the empire of Lilliput. There he finds himself tied and imprisoned by a numerous tiny human beings.
Like in other parts we see in this part too the realistic descriptions of the fantastical which gives the incredible some sort of credibility. For example the arrows and spears of the Lilliputians are described as needles.
There he is taken good care of. Some learned men are appointed to teach him the language. He is fed, which scene is impressively described- meat carried by twenty vehicles, and ten vessels of liquor afford him “two or three good mouthfuls”.

Then he is searched, his sword and pistols taken from him. During this search Gulliver is very kind to them though he had the chance to harm them, with which he gains great sympathy and favor of them.
He pleads with the emperor for his liberty, which represents Ireland’s sitution with respect to England.
Then he witnesses an acrobatic show. In this country, acrobacy is the way to get a governmental office. Only the best acrobats can get the office, which is of course a funny allegory for the political situation in England.
As a result of his mild disposition, he is given liberty on some conditions, which include his allying against the Empire’s enemies.
The greatest enemy of the empire is Blefuscu, which stands for France. The emergence of the enmity between them depends on quite ridiculous reasons- the story of the egg.
He is of great help to the empire in the war against Blefuscu. He brings all the enemy fleet fastened by a cable to Lilliput. Blefuscu ambassadors plead for peace. Gulliver is given a title of honor. Blefuscu ambassadors invite him to their country, which intimacy enrages and provokes his enemies in Lilliput.
One day there is a fire at the empress’s apartment. Seeing no other way, Gulliver puts it off by urinating on it. The empress is quite annoyed with that.
Then he describes the habits, laws, and customs of the Lilliputians. In these descriptions, there are clear satirical references to the British laws and customs and institutions. For example, “in choosing persons for all employments, they have more regard to good morals than to great abilities”.
Then he is informed of a vicious plan against him prepared by his enemies there (the treasurer, and the admiral, both of whom stand for Swift’s real enemies in England.)
The articles of impeachment against him include his urinating on the royal palace to stop the fire, his rejecting the further demands of the king to help them completely take over Blefuscu, his kind behaviour to Blefuscu ambassadors, and his intended voyage to Blefuscu.
Upon learning this, Gulliver leaves Lilliput, and is welcomed in Blefuscu. The emperor there helps him on his departure, providing for him some cows and bulls, by showing which in England he makes ” a considerable profit”.


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