Jonathan Swift is recognized as the consummate master of utopia. The hero of his novel "Gulliver's Travels" ship doctor Lemuel Gulliver moves from real cities to amazing countries where special laws and customs reign.
About the author of the book
The satirist Jonathan Swift was born in Dublin, Ireland in 1667. The mother had to make a lot of efforts to give a decent education to her sickly son. After graduating from the best gymnasium in the country, he continued his studies at the university. The riots that broke out in the country forced the young man to move to England and start a new life. He tried to build his career in the political arena, but he was really fascinated by literary activity.
Returning to his homeland, Jonathan took holy orders and became the abbot of a small community near Dublin. All subsequent years, he did not forget about creativity, but for the first time Swift's works were published in 1704. He soon became the head of a weekly and immersed himself in the creation of political pamphlets. When the Tories with whom he collaborated were in danger of being overthrown, he returned to Ireland and was appointed Dean of St. Patrick's Cathedral. Here he created his most famous work, Gulliver's Travels, which was published in 1726.
What is the novel about
At first glance, it seems that the novel "Gulliver's Travels" simply tells about the adventures of the protagonist. He is a navigator and loves traveling to different countries. When a ship is in distress, fate brings it to amazing lands. And then only his future fate depends on his own ingenuity and ingenuity. But Jonathan Swift is a great master of satire. In the novel, he managed to reflect the state structure of England at that time and tell about the life of his contemporaries. The morals and way of life are shown with irony, especially vividly he ridiculed the vices that suffered most of his compatriots. The writer hoped that many of the heroes of the book would recognize themselves.
The book is divided into four parts. Each of them tells about the adventures of Gulliver at different times.
The first part "Journey to Lilliput"
At the beginning of the work, the author introduces the main character to the readers. Lemuel Gulliver graduated from Cambridge, then studied medical sciences in Leiden. Gulliver alternated service as a doctor on a ship with work on land, his wife was waiting for him in London.
In May 1699, the surgeon set off as part of a team for the South Sea. After a violent storm, the ship was carried to the northwest of Australia. In the fog, he crashed on the coastal rocks, none of the team escaped. Only Gulliver swam to the deserted coast, fell helpless and was in a dream for nine hours. When Gulliver woke up, he felt that his arms and legs were tightly bound with ropes, and dozens of little people were moving along his body. When the sailor tried to shake them, arrows fell in response. A platform was built near Gulliver, and an important dignitary climbed up to it. His language was not understandable to the hero, so he had to express himself with gestures. The traveler was fed, and sleeping pills were added to the wine. On a large cart, the bound prisoner was taken to the capital and placed in the temple, and his left hand was chained.
An unusual country was called Lilliputia. Its inhabitants, a little more than Gulliver's nail, called the prisoner "a mountain man". The population reacted to the traveler amicably, he answered them in kind. Every day dozens of people came to the temple to gawk at the unprecedented giant. The emperor provided him with food and provided servants, teachers taught him the language.
Every day, the head of state gathered a council and decided the same question: what to do with the prisoner? After all, he could run away or his presence could lead the country to starvation. Together with the emperor's mercy for liberation, the hero got the opportunity to walk around the country. I had to give up my weapon, I managed to hide only the telescope and glasses. He first visited the capital Mildendo and the main palace. On the rope, he saw people dancing - they were trying to earn a position. On the seashore, the traveler found his hat, and was very happy about it. The sailor aroused the confidence of the Lilliputians, but he had an enemy - Admiral Bolgolam. From the chief secretary, Gulliver learned that Lilliputia was at war with the neighboring country of Blefuscu. In gratitude for the warm welcome, he agreed to help his rescuers. Gulliver set off on foot to the neighboring island, cut the anchors of the enemy fleet and brought all fifty ships to the capital port of Lilliput.
The next part of the story is like a fairy tale. The giant continued to study the features of the life of the state. In the land of the Lilliputians, pages were written diagonally, and the dead were placed in the grave upside down. Ingratitude was considered a criminal offense, and judges were punished for false denunciations. Most of all, the Englishman was struck by the fact that the children were brought up far from their parents and believed that they did not owe them anything. Once Gulliver got into an unpleasant story when the Lord Chancellor was jealous of his own wife. When a fire suddenly broke out in the imperial palace, the giant urinated on him, and for his salvation he received a high reward and a new accusation from Bolgolam.
After defeating Blefuscu with the help of Gulliver, who received the name "horror and joy of the universe", the emperor wanted to completely subjugate the neighboring state. This time the giant refused, for which he fell out of favor. He was declared a traitor and forced to flee to a neighboring country. The hero considered his stay in Blefuscu too burdensome, so he made a boat and went in search of a home. He was lucky when an English ship met on the way of a desperate daredevil, and it was it that brought the traveler home.
The second part "Journey to Brobdingneg"
The traveler's diary continued with a new adventure. Less than two months later, he set off on another voyage. When the ship ran out of fresh water supplies, the sailors landed on an unfamiliar shore. Gulliver and other members of the team began to pursue the giant, the hero ended up in a barley field. A local peasant rescued him and brought him home. The unprecedented creature was treated with respect, seated at a common table and put to sleep on the bed. Gulliver was especially fond of the owner's daughter, she took care of him and gave a new name Grildrig.
Two months later, the giant began to take our hero to the fairs and cities of the country, where he gave performances and amused the audience. So one day they ended up in the royal court. The court scientists tried to unravel the secret of its mechanism, but to no avail. The king and queen fell in love with Gulliver. They gave him new clothes and shelter, and he became a regular guest at royal dinners. The only one who was angry and jealous of the sailor was the dwarf. He constantly exposed the hero's life to dangers: he dipped him in cream, shook apples on his head, put him in a cage with a monkey, which almost took the little man's life. Around the ship's doctor every now and then there were dangers in the form of huge rats, flies and wasps. Regular hair seemed to him as thick as a log, and in the pelvis he could do rowing.
The hero was struck by the ignorance of the head of state. He listened with interest to his stories about England, but was categorically against the emergence of something new, progressive in his country. Together with the royal family, Gulliver traveled extensively. An unexpected incident changed the fate of the hero. His travel box was grabbed by an eagle and thrown down into the sea, where the traveler was picked up by English sailors.
The third part "Journey to Laputa, Balnibarbi, Luggnagg, Glabbdobdrib and Japan"
In the summer of 1706, the ship of the doctor came to the pirates during a new voyage. The Dutch villains were merciless, the team was captured. The Japanese took pity on Gulliver and gave him a boat. The lone wanderer was spotted by the inhabitants of the island hovering in the sky, held by a large magnet. The population of the island was fascinated by music and geometry, but at the same time it seemed uncollected and scattered. On the flying island, almost everyone was considered an academician. The professors were engaged in useless research, such as obtaining sunlight from cucumbers and gunpowder from ice, they tried to build a house starting from the roof and use pigs to plow the land. They "reinvent the wheel" as if life had stopped in place. The country is in decline, poverty reigns all around, and valuable "scientific discoveries" are only on paper. Taxes on the island depended on the presence of a person's flaws or merits, and all those who thought differently were offered to exchange a part of the brain.
The hero met wizards who knew how to summon the spirits of celebrities. Gulliver was able to communicate with Homer, Arstothel, Descartes. In Luggnagg, the traveler met good-natured people, because they were immortal from birth. However, immortality was not as beautiful as the inhabitants dreamed of it. When old age and illness approached, eternal life seemed gloomy to them, and they more and more often recalled youth. After that, the ship's doctor went to Japan, and from there he returned to Europe.
The fourth part "A Journey to the Country of Guyhnhnms"
Gulliver set off on a new journey four years later. On the way, most of the crew was struck by illness, and the new members of the crew turned out to be robbers. The villains abandoned the captain on a deserted island, but intelligent animal people came to his aid. Horses had their own language, they are modest, well-mannered and noble. The exact opposite of them are monkeys, disgusting creatures that horses considered pets. After living for almost three years in this country, Gulliver decided to stay on the island, but the Island Council announced a verdict: the captain must take a place among the monkeys or leave the island. After that, the sailor returned home, where the long-awaited meeting with his wife and children took place.
This is how the adventures of Lemuel Gulliver, described in the novel by the writer Jonathan Swift, end. The main character's travels lasted a total of sixteen years. A brief retelling of the novel in four parts only partially conveys the fabulous atmosphere that is inherent in the work. To fully experience it, you need to read the immortal work "Gulliver's Travels" on your own.