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Gulliver's Travels | Study Guide

Jonathan Swift

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Gulliver's Travels | Infographic

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Check out this Infographic to learn more about Jonathan Swift's Gulliver's Travels. Study visually with character maps, plot summaries, helpful context, and more.

gullivers-travels-jonathan-swiftGulliver's Travels recounts the improbable journey of Lemuel Gulliver, an affable, optimistic, and gullible fellow whose experiences challenge his—and the reader's—assumptions about human society. As he ricochets from one ridiculous adventure to the next, Gulliver's faith in humanity and its constructs is utterly dismantled.Journey to CynicismOVERVIEWLilliputThe largest Lilliputian problems appear small to Gulliver.1BrobdingnagLittle Gulliver draws curiosity and amusement in Brobdingnag.2HouyhnhnmlandGulliver realizes he has much in common with Yahoos but tries to fit in with the Houyhnhnms.LaputaThe Laputians worry incessantly that the next comets tail might destroy their world.34Born and raised in Ireland, Swift lived large parts of his life in England. Despite holding various political positions and rising through the ranks of the Irish church, he used his writings to prod unrelentingly at the failings of politics, religion, and Enlightenment thinking in general.JONATHAN SWIFT1667–1745AuthorGullivers Travelsby the NumbersVoyages Lemuel Gulliver embarks on and records4Diameter of a Brobdingnagian plate, measured in feet24Pieces of gold the queen pays the farmer for Gulliver1,000Years Gulliver spends with the Houyhnhnms~3Gulliver, Part 2, Chapter 1ndoubtedly philosophers are in the right, when they tell us that nothing is great or little otherwise than by comparison.Sources: Encyclopaedia Britannica, The Guardian, Victorian WebCopyright © 2016 Course Hero, Inc.LanguageGulliver speaks several European languages and quickly learns most languages he encounters.ReversalSwift reverses the qualities of people and societies—Gulliver is big and then small; people are warlike and then peaceful.BodiesGullivers descriptions of bodies, including size and excretions, are central to the narrative.MotifsJonathan Swift1726EnglishNovelYear PublishedOriginal LanguageGullivers TravelsSatireAuthorMain CharactersKingLaputian leader; learned and hospitableDon PedroSailor; rescues GulliverEmperorLilliputs leader; finds Gullivers size usefulMasterHouyhnhnm; discusses ideas with GulliverGlumdalclitchBrobdingnagian girl; takes care of GulliverGulliverEnglishman; sails the worldCerebral vs. Real WorldThe most learned people Gulliver meets are often the least practical and compassionate.Society vs. IndividualEach society Gulliver visits has practices everyone must conform to.Abuse of PowerThose who have power display intolerance, no matter how much Gulliver likes them.Themes

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