Do not buy Gulliver’s Travels Book if everyone is telling you that it is very famous. Why? It’s because people buy books just because famous writers are thought to be the best.
But what if I told you that this story is more than just voyage adventures? Will you buy it now? If you are a person like me who wants to know about human psychology and how society works, this novel is for you.
Everyone says that Gulliver’s Travels book is for children, but I can say without a doubt that it is for anyone who is imaginative enough to understand life lessons in children’s books.
At first, it might not seem like it, but I promise that after finding meaning in each part, you will understand what I’m saying.
I am going to show you how a book published in 1726 can still make sense and teach us about our society and how to improve it.
About the Author: Jonathan Swift
Jonathan Swift was a writer in satire, essays, political pamphleteer, poet and Dean of St Patrick’s Cathedral.
He was known for writing autobiographies of his fictional characters. Swift was born on 30th November 1667 in Ireland. He wrote many of his works when he was in Country Meath in the 1700s.
The author received his degree of Doctor of Divinity from Trinity College, Dublin in 1702. He used to travel often to England and published his first books, ‘A Tale of a Tub’ and ‘The Battle of The Books’ in 1704.
During his career as a political pamphleteer and priest, he continued writing novels and poems.
Swift has written over 60 essays, tracts, pamphlets, periodicals, poems, novels, and prayers. John Ruskin named him as one of the three people who influenced him the most.
The author also wrote his epitaph. On 19th October 1745, Jonathan Swift died due to a severe stroke at the age of 77.
Gulliver’s Travels Book Review
Lemuel Gulliver was the third son of a small estate owner in Nottinghamshire. After completing 14 years of age, Gulliver was sent to Cambridge studies for three years. He spent the next four years assisting Dr James Bates, a well-known surgeon in London. Gulliver studied medicine and went on voyages to fulfil his dream of seeing the world. After coming back to London, he got married to a very pretty girl with a handsome dowry and planned to settle down in London. But his practice couldn’t earn him expected money, so he took up a job as a ship’s surgeon. After some prosperous time in the voyage, their ship got wrecked. Gulliver swam to the nearest shore he could find and fell into a deep sleep.
Lilliput – The Land of Manikin
When Gulliver woke up the next morning, he noticed that he was tightly roped down to the ground.
A little creature climbed his abdomen and started shouting something in a gibberish language. They fed him, gave him wine to drink, and took away his weapons.
After staying with them for some time, Gulliver began to understand their language. He came to know that Lilliputians call him as Mountain Man.
They observe him and study his habits. But they always keep him tied by the ankle to their church’s pillar.
After a short adventure in Lilliput, the little people allow Gulliver to build a boat and return to his home.
One aspect of human society is portrayed in this part of the novel. We judge things and beings by size and automatically assume that large things are harmful to us.
Gulliver being tied by chains seems familiar, doesn’t it? There’s the concept of keeping animals hostage for studying and display.
Brobdingnag – The Land of Giants
After spending two months in London, Gulliver started getting bored of his comfortable life. So, he boarded another ship and started for another voyage.
For some time at first, they were having a very good and profitable journey. But then, the sea friendly sea turned into a sudden tempest.
With great difficulty, the men turned the ship aimlessly for some long days and find land.
They wandered about and Gulliver went a little farther from his companions. When he glanced back, he saw everyone had already boarded the ship and had left.
He ran behind them but he saw a giant monster going after them as fast as possible. The giant creature seemed like a sixty-foot tall human.
He found Gulliver, picked him up and took him to his home. His daughter made Gulliver little dresses and after some days, they took him to the market for display.
After spending two exhausting years in Brobdingnag, Gulliver’s masters went for a journey on the sea and took Gulliver with them.
Suddenly, a giant eagle caught the handle of Gulliver’s house and took him off.
After some time, the eagle was attacked by other eagles and dropped Gulliver off in the sea where an English ship found him and took him back to London.
This part represents the animals in the circus. They are taken away from their family and forced to perform for long hours without rest.
They are used for money and treated harshly if they show any signs of exhaustion.
Laputa – The Flying Island
Hardly ten days after Gulliver’s return home, a ship’s captain offered Gulliver to be his surgeon on the ship. Gulliver accepted his offer only because of their friendship, and soon they set off.
On the third day of their sail, they get caught in a storm. After surviving ten days in the storm, a group of pirates attacked them.
They took Gulliver’s baggage, put him on a little boat and sailed away. A couple of days passed and Gulliver’s boat reached an island.
After some days on that island, Gulliver noticed a body floating two miles in the air. It was moving and had humans on it.
The humans sent down a chain and Gulliver sat into its seat and pulled up in the air. When he came up, he noticed that the body was a floating island and a large number of people were living on it.
But the inhabitants spoke a different language so no communication was possible. Gulliver noticed that the people on the island looked strange.
Their heads were tilted to the right or left, one of their irises was near the nose and the other was up.
After spending a few days with them, Gulliver began to catch a few words like the name of their island, Laputa, which roughly translated to ‘Flying Island’.
The main interests of these people were music and math. Laputa was a grand city with domes and spacious yards.
Balnibarbi – A Land of Ruins
Gulliver got bored on Laputa and soon asked the king to let him go and he set off for Balnibarbi. Balnibarbi was a land of complete ruins.
Some people of Balnibarbi went to Laputa and returned with new ideas of development, which never worked. The academy in Balnibarbi had people doing weird experiments.
Gulliver was troubled by the people in the academy and decided to set off for home.
Glubbdubdrib – A Land of Magicians
He took a short tour to Glubbdubdrib, a land of magicians. Governor allowed Gulliver to summon a spirit and Gulliver spoke to many great personalities.
Luggnagg – The Land of Immortals
After leaving Glubbdubdrib, Gulliver went to Luggnagg where he didn’t like any of the idiotic traditions.
In the kingdom of Luggnagg, he met immortals with a mark over their left eyebrow.
But the immortals, after a certain point, became only breathing corpses, unable to talk, hear, see or move. Soon, he left Luggnagg and arrived in London.
Houyhnhnms – The Land of Yahoos
Gulliver stayed home for five months but then set out as a captain of a ship. Many of his sailors died due to sickness, so he had to recruit new ones.
His old sailors became pirates and revolted. Gulliver had to stay in his cabin for a long time until his ship reached an unknown island.
He came out and saw weird beasts with claws and beards like goats. The beasts chased him and two horses scared it off for him.
As Gulliver was running off, one of the horses called him and he learnt that these were magicians who had turned themselves into horses.
But again, Gulliver faced the difficulty of an unknown language. The horses took him to their house where more horses were living which suddenly started shouting, “Yahoo! Yahoo!”.
Gulliver was taken to the weird beasts which strangely appeared human. The horses offered Gulliver flesh and hay which Gulliver refused because he could not eat the rotten hay and flesh.
Instead, he pointed towards a cow and the horses gave him milk to drink. After 3 months, Gulliver succeeded in learning their language.
He came to know that the weird beasts that looked human were called Yahoos and the horses were called Houyhnhnms.
The Houyhnhnms were surprised that a creature that seemed like Yahoos was of intelligence superior to them.
Difference Between Houyhnhnms and Europe
Gulliver tells his master that the horses in his hometown are used for racing, traveling and drawing carriages.
The Houyhnhnms are surprised to know the roles are totally exchanged in Gulliver’s country. Gulliver tells them all about Europe while answering their questions.
The Houyhnhnms conclude that the English yahoos are worse because of so many reasons. Gulliver liked his time with the horses so much that he was hesitant to return to his home.
But he had to leave. After returning home, he thought of his family as Yahoos and couldn’t bear to look at them for a year.
He bought two horses and talked to them daily for four hours. This part makes us understand that once we spend time with other animals, humans start seeming ill-mannered to us.
What I Admire in Gulliver’s Travels book
The Gulliver’s travels book was published in 1726 and I love how it still makes so much sense about human society and mentality.
The way we treat animals and outsiders are undeniably bad. It shows us that if someone treats us the way we treat others, we will understand the problems they face.
Another thing we come to know in Gulliver’s Travels book is that the earth is so vast that many undiscovered places are completely cut off from the outside world.
I love everything about this book and each message it gives. I had this book in my curriculum in ninth grade and I’m very glad about that.
What I Disliked in Gulliver’s Travels Book
There is only one thing about this story that I dislike, that is, after a certain point, it can get boring to read it.
In the middle of significant changes, there are so many details, so the story gets very lengthy and uninteresting to read until the next important part.
Note that there is nothing wrong with the details, but it works better if they were carefully distributed over each part to retain the interest of the reader.
To Wrap Up This Review of Gulliver’s Travels book
‘Gulliver’s Travels book’ by Jonathan Swift is one of the best-selling novels in the history of literature.
It is a perfect blend of satire and lessons. It tells us about the voyages of Lemuel Gulliver and about the different lands and creatures he discovered there.
The story gives us lessons to be kind to all creatures and gets to know their habits better and that there are a lot of places to be discovered.
But, we need to save these animals and places too because we can find beauty in everything and everyone if look close enough.
So, purchase or gift the Gulliver’s Travels Book and make your day a better day.