Gulliver’s Travels Essay
Ten days after returning from his previous voyage, Gulliver is confronted by Captain William Robinson to work as his journey to the West Indies. The doubled salary is cause enough for Gulliver to accept the invitation and sets sail two month after the invitation. Upon arriving in Tonquin, Gulliver is appointed Captain of a sloop (a small sailboat with one mast and two sails) and ordered to transport goods; he is shortly captured by pirates. He earns his crews freedom but his attitude lands him on a small boat with limited food.
He soon finds a few isles and decides to stay in the cave of a seemingly barren island—except for a few shrub patches. After some keen observation, Gulliver notices something strange obstructing the sunlight and deduces it must be a floating island. He tries to be noticed but the inhabitants seem to give little regard for his shouting. Eventually, the floating mass draws near and from it, descends a seat that Gulliver is instructed to mount. He is then drawn up into the Island. Gulliver is welcome by many people, whom he noticed to be very strange.
Their eyes look in different directions and their heads do not sit level upon their heads. In addition, he takes note of their attires, which are covered with “celestial bodies and musical instruments. ” People also have a servant who follows them and carries a “flapper. ” This is essentially a mace, but with a soft sac on the end. The servant’s use it to slap their masters’ mouth or ear with the intent of alerting them that it is their turn to speak or listen while in conversation. After meeting with the King, Gulliver is appointed a language tutor.
Shortly after his first lesson, Gulliver notices the island to move over villages, during which, subjects collect monies from the people below. In addition, he learns that the people value mathematics and music above all. (Because of this, their language is primarily based on the sciences stated previously. ) Their skill sets are limited to these two disciplines, as well as astrology. There are also in constant fear of an apocalyptic demise, resulting from an ever incumbent meteor. After a months stay, Gulliver is learned enough to speak to the King.
Gulliver is now informed by the Prince, (one of the few free thinking individuals) of the dimensions and working of the Island. He is most intrigued by the motion of the Island and how it manages to stay afloat. It is explained to him that the most experienced astronomers figured that by mounting and manipulating a great magnet in the center of their island, they are able to float and move in any direction at will. However, the island is only able to move over a specific area on earth because of the specific magnetic forces required to maintain their desired altitude.
Gulliver also learns how the Island is able to rule over the inhabitants of the land below. This is done mainly through varying degrees of punishments. Essentially, Laputa uses its size and position to, block out the sun, bombard the villagers, or, simply crush the village by means of ‘dropping’ the island. Gulliver then learns of a rebellious village, with capabilities to ‘capture’ the island and kill the King. In order to maintain peace and save himself, the King has granted freedom to these people. From that instance, the King and his family are restricted from leaving the Isle.
Gulliver’s boredom leads him to want to leave the Island. He approaches a lord who seems to be genuinely intelligent and curious. (An oddity on Laputa) The lord lacks musical talent and is therefore regarded as unintelligent by the inhabitants. With the help of this lord, Gulliver proceeds in petitioning the King to leave Laputa. The King accepts and proceeds in leaving Gulliver with a friend of Laputa in a place called Balnibarbi. The man whom he is left with goes by the Lord Munodi. He is of high rank and possesses great wealth. The Lord proceeds to take Gulliver around the city of Lagado.
It is of great surprise to Gulliver that the city is in shambles, the people are poorly dressed, and the ground is barren. They then proceed to the lord’s estate and it is evident of the stark contrast between the city and the estate. It is well built, well managed, and has fertile vineyards, as well as cornfields, fountains and meadows. The villagers do not have high esteem for this estate and do not strive to exemplify it—rather the opposite. Gulliver is then informed that, after a visit to Laputa by some if the city’s inhabitants, they decided to construct the Academy of Laguda.
The sole purpose of this Academy is to develop new agricultural and architectural techniques. The new techniques are very flawed and extremely outlandish and have left the city in its current in its current state. The techniques are supported by so many mindless individual that they allowed for the destruction of the mill. Gulliver is very curious to the details of the projects that the Academy is working, so much so, that he decides to visit. Gulliver is allowed to visit the Academy. He takes careful note of the ongoing projects.
First he sees a man attempting to use cucumbers as sun storage devices. He then witnesses a scientist attempting to turn feces into food. Another researcher attempts to turn ice in gunpowder and is fully invested into the idea of the “malleability of fire. ” Gulliver travels throughout the Academy and witnesses many more experiments. There are blind paint mixers who are under the impression that they can smell color. There is even a scientist who is under the impression that his random word generator is capable of writing books on any topic.
A linguist is under the impression that speaking is a waste of life and every breath used to speak brings people closer to death. He proposed everyone be mute and simply act out the message they wish to convey. Lastly, Gulliver witnesses a professor attempt to teach mathematics by writing equations onto wafers and feeding them to his students. Part III: Chapter 6 Gulliver is still at the academy and proceeds to visit professors who are dealing with politics and government. They propose that taxation of women be based upon their physical attributes and relative beauty.
Other claims that to uncover conspiracies, they should search through the feces of the citizens. They even propose kicking and pinching the politicians to make them ‘less forgetful. ’ After witnessing the propositions and experiments of many, Gulliver concludes that there is nothing here that he could benefit from and wishes to leave. Gulliver wishes to travel to Luggnagg but cannot find a vassal to take him. Not wanting to stay in Lagado any longer, he decided to travel to Glubbdubdrib. He is able to deduce that the Isle is inhabited by people capable of doing magic.
Upon his arrival, Gulliver requests an audience with the King—he is granted his wish. Gulliver then witnesses people simply disappearing and reappearing and ghosts serving food. He is initially surprised and startled by these events but becomes accustomed to them. He even goes so far to request the King to appease his personal requests. The King willfully satisfies Gulliver’s requests to speak the dead. He speaks to many prominent historical figures such as: Hannibal, Caesar, Pompey, Brutus, Junius, Socrates, Epaminondas, Cato, and Sir Thomas More.
He converses with them and learns that history is not as it seems and that often, it is glorified in order to cover up the embarrassing truth. Still in the company of the King, Gulliver continues to talk to the reincarnations of prominent historical figures. He observes how Homer and Aristotle carry themselves and even goes as far to point out their mistakes; mistakes that they accept without any aggression toward Gulliver for doing so. He then proceeds to interrogate the more modern rulers and is disappointed to learn that they have not been honest with their subjects as they should have.
He also calls upon simple ‘less developed’ English ancestors, whom he finds remarkable large and of good stature. He concludes that the Nobles have diminished the physical strength that the English were once blessed with. Part III: Chapter 9 Gulliver returns to Luggnagg in disguise. He only wished to return to his beloved mother country—the Kingdom of England. His shipmates confess to the officials that a stranger is aboard, resulting in his capture, interrogation and confinement. The King has heard of Gulliver’s adventures and wishes to speak to him.
Gulliver is then informed that, all of the Kings visitors are required to lick the floor as they enter the Kings room. Because Gulliver was a guest, the floor was cleaned very well, but on occasion, it is sprinkled with poison to kill the Kings enemies. Because of his vast knowledge of foreign places, the King grows to favor Gulliver and treats him very well. Gulliver is ‘invited’ to stay for an additional three months—he is obedient. While in the company of the Luggnaggs’, Gulliver is told of an immortal people.
These people are marked by a spot on their forehead and are called the Struldbrugs. Gulliver fantasizes how he would live his life if he were immortal. He concludes that he would study all arts and sciences and learn to acquire riches. Gulliver ponders the topic even further and postulates that he would ‘reasonably expect’ to be the “wealthiest man in the kingdom. ” After being exposed to these individuals, he learns that they live forever, but are not young forever. This is a tragic flaw and the government actually considers them dead after the age of eighty.
He also learns that they grow to be saddened and to live a life with neither joy, nor love. All of their marriages eventually become dissolved and they despise all mortals, most likely out of envy. As he learned of these people and about their true state, Gulliver regretted wishing that he could be immortal. Part III: Chapter 11 After spending ample time in Luggnagg, Gulliver is eventually allowed to leave. He is finally able to find a vassal to take him to Japan, with hopes of continuing on to England.
Upon arrival, Gulliver had again; found himself in an uncomfortable situation. He eventually finds a Dutch ship travelling to England. The captain agrees to take him, as long as Gulliver provides works as a surgeon for half the usual rate. By blending in as a Dutchman, Gulliver is able to satisfy the Emperors requirements. He is then excused from the ritual stomping of the cross. They are now free and continue to Amsterdam, from where Gulliver is able to find passage to England. Upon arrival he goes immediately home to his healthy family.
University/College: University of Arkansas System
Type of paper: Thesis/Dissertation Chapter
Date: 29 December 2016
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