Gulliver’s travels: a voyage to lilliput
Before going to discuss Gulliver’s travel to Lilliput, let us get an overview of the background of Gulliver’s travels. Gulliver’s Travels is the story of a person’s voyages to different parts of the world. The book is divided into four sections, each section describing a different journey. In this paper, we will describe Gulliver’s journey to Lilliput, which makes the first part of the book. Gulliver’s journey to Lilliput was his most adventurous journey where he met people of less than 6 inches of height. The thesis statement for this paper is that journey to a new place makes a person aware of his/her country’s politics, religion, and cultural norms and values.
An Overview of Gulliver’s Voyage to Lilliput
Gulliver was traveling through the East Indies in Asia when he was shipwrecked. He swam to an unfamiliar shore for survival. When Gulliver found himself in the custody of a large group of tiny people, he became worried and upset. He was presented to the Emperor of Lilliput. Upon getting the assurances from Gulliver, the Emperor ordered his armed army personnel to release him and allowed him to live in Lilliput. Gulliver showed a good behavior while living with the tiny people and helped them solve many of their problems. However, he did not fulfill the orders of the Emperor to enslave the Blefuscudians and reduce the country to Lilliput. This refusal of Gulliver led him to the anger of the Emperor who sentenced him to be blinded. Gulliver became frightened because of the situation and managed to swim over to Blefusco for survival. The people of Blefusco welcomed Gulliver and did not return him to the Lilliputians even after getting their message to hand him over. Meanwhile, he was rescued by an English ship, which was passing by the island. The journey came to its end with the return of Gulliver back to his home.
Let us now discuss Gulliver’s experience to Lilliput and answer some questions related to his own country’s religion, politics, morality, and self-awareness in accordance with the thesis statement mentioned above. A journey to a new place makes a person aware of his/her country’s politics. In the first journey of Gulliver, he was imprisoned by the Lilliputians. His imprisonment and struggle for freedom reveal the political aspect of the journey. The king ordered to make Gulliver blind so that he could see the world he way the king wanted to show him. “It would be sufficient for you to see by the eyes of the ministers” (Black 341). If we talk about Gulliver’s own country, England, we can say that at that time, England was the most powerful country of the world. England was perceived as the center of the world politics. There were two main parties, which included High heels, the conservative ones and Low Heels, the progressive ones.
A journey to a new place makes a person aware of his/her country’s religion. Along with describing the political mindset of Lilliputians, Gulliver also highlighted their superstitious mindset. They bury their dead with their heads directly downward, because they hold an opinion, that in eleven thousand moons they are all to rise again” (Swift 61). The Lilliputians seemed to be superstitious and used to fight against those who were accused of making schisms in religion. Gulliver seemed to be criticizing the religious beliefs of both Lilliputians and the English. He was being mocked for the religious war that was going on in England.
The journey to Lilliput made Gulliver aware of the morality of the Lilliputians. Lilliputians took good care of Gulliver and provided him with every comfort that they could. Lilliputians also ensured his safety. “Gulliver is given a strong guard to protect him” (“Gulliver’s Travels”). However, the response of the Emperor towards Gulliver upon not obeying his commands destroyed the image of Lilliputians. Gulliver found himself superior to Lilliputians because of his high morals. He believed that his own country’s morality to be very high as compared to the morality of the Lilliputians.
The journey to Lilliput also made Gulliver aware of his own personality. He learned that morality is more than anything to a person is. He learned that a person should not fulfill the wrong orders of anyone, as he disobeyed the Emperor in the voyage to Lilliput. He also revealed his caring and loving nature in the book. “My gentleness and good behavior had gained so far on the emperor and his court” (Swift 32).
Summing it up, a journey to a new place makes a person aware of his/her country’s politics, religion, and cultural norms and values. Gulliver’s journey to lilliput was full of experiences and adventures, which formed the most attractive part of the whole book.
- “Gulliver’s Travels Summary and Analysis.” Gradesaver.com, n.d. Web. 16 Oct. 2011. <http://www.gradesaver.com/gullivers-travels/study-guide/section1/>
- Black, Joseph. The Broadview Anthology of British Literature: The Restoration and The Eighteenth Century. Toronto: Broadview Press, 2006. Print.
- Swift, Jonathan. Gulliver’s Travels. Vol. 1. London: Jones & Company, 1826. Print.