GULLIVER’S TRAVELS          by Jonathan Swift

This adventure book was written in the 17-18 century by Jonathan Swift, an Irish writer who became famous for this book. He was born in Dublin in 1667 , where he also died.

The story tells about an English doctor, Gulliver, who started sailing to the South Seas as a ship doctor in 1699. After a few months, the “Antelope” (this was the ship’s name) had a wreckage, where only him could survive. He was very tired when he reached swimming the shore by swimming, so he felt asleep. When he woke up he was fastened to the ground by strong ropes; lots of tiny men as big as fingers were climbing on his body: when he saw them he shouted to make them go away.         

When he became hungry, the little men gave him entire cows, lots of fish, many loaves of bread, because also the animals and plants that grew in that land were as tiny as people who lived there He drank whole barrels of wine, as big as a glass. The people thought to show the “giant” to their king, who lived in Lilliput’s capital city: Milendo. After many days all the village people arrived, Gulliver had been bound to the ground again. The king, a little man as the other people, wanted to check what there was in “the giant”’ s pockets. He found lots of things he didn’t know, like guns and snuff so he described them in a funny way.

The emperor said that Gulliver could be free only if he promised to be helpful and loyal.

 

 Blefuscu, that was another tiny people country, declared war to Lilliput. The emperor had an idea: Gulliver could empty the enemy’s ships and take them to Lilliput’s coast, so they had more ships for their fleet. Gulliver did all this and he was rewarded but he refused to destroy Blefuscu. The king started being a bit angry with Gulliver, also because he was eating like 1742 people.

One night Gulliver noticed that the royal palace was burning, so he thought that filling his mouth and spitting all it on the fire to make it stop was a good idea. The emperor didn’t think so. There was a law that said that any person who spat near the royal palace would die. Lilliput couldn’t afford to feed the “giant”, so the emperor wanted to kill him because of the heavy offense the royal family received. Gulliver decided to run away to Blefuscu. There people thanked him for having saved the city. Blefuscu ’s citizens helped him to build a ship to go back home. On September 1701 he left Blefuscu and after 2 days of sailing he saw an English ship and the sailors allowed him to go into the ship. Gulliver told them about his adventure in Lilliput all the sailors laughed about it, but when he showed them little cows small coins and tiny sheep they believed him.

 

When they were stopping in an unknown land to restock Gulliver got lost while he was looking for some water; he went in a wood: but there weren’t any trees it looked like corn! Suddenly a giant picked up the man, who started shouting terrified. The giant’s family was really surprised when they saw Gulliver. They made some clothes for him Gulliver learnt Brobdingnag’s language thanks to the giant’s daughter. The giant had an idea: taking the man from a town to another to show him and people would have paid to see him. He had to speak, answer to people’s questions and he had to play fencing. The giant and Gulliver were travelling near the royal palace, so he wanted to show the tiny man to the queen. Gulliver got hill so he was sold to the queen who was very interested in him; he ate bread crumbs, little bits of meat and vegetables, so, from this point of view he wasn’t a problem for the kingdom.

 

He had troubles with animals: dogs, snails, birds, that wanted to eat or kill him. Gulliver told to the queen he liked very much sailing so she had an idea: create an artificial lake filling with water a large bowl.

One day,  while he was sailing in this kind of lake a very big frog went into the royal palace and wanted to chase away Gulliver from the lake. He fought against it with an oar and fortunately he managed to chase away the frog.

A servant made for Gulliver a wooden travel-box: it was as big as half a drawer, it was little, but in it there was the essential. So, one day while he was spending a few days at the seaside, Gulliver wanted to have a walk along the shore. The travel-box was put on the ground to make Gulliver rest. Suddenly an eagle picked it up, but Gulliver didn’t notice it, he continued sleeping. He woke up only while the box was rocking and rolling and he saw some water that was going into the box, so he thought he would have died soon.

He opened the window on the top and he saw an English ship: he was safe! The sailors invited him on the ship. Gulliver told them about his voyages in Lilliput and Brobdingnag; all the sailors didn’t believe to Gulliver’s words: they thought he had become mad while he was in the sea, but when he showed them a servant’s tooth which was as big as a book they believed him.

When he arrived in England in June 1706, all the things and people seemed to his eyes very little. When he reached his home, his family hug him, and he promised he wouldn’t go travelling any more.

 

This adventure book was written in first person: the author is a story’s character. There’s no humor neither irony; the ending isn’t open; there aren’t many directed speech dialogues; the title is appropriate because it says to the reader what the book is going to tell. The places and  characters aren’t described properly according to me; I think this book was written to exalt Uk’s colonial exploit, in fact this book was written in the historical period between the XVII and XVIII century.

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