Title: Gulliver’s Travels
Author: Jonathan Swift
Genre: Fantasy fiction
Publication Date: 1726
When it was first published in 1726, Gulliver’s Travels was the subject of such intense criticism that it was thrust into the center of controversy. The three-part book criticizes three modern aspects of eighteenth-century English society: politics, war, and its stance on modern science. The editors removed large parts of the book after it was published. The book is replete with what could be called universally applicable observations and poignant commentary on human nature. Gulliver’s Travels, and indeed the other works of Jonathan Swift, thus remain relevant even today. A Modest Proposal is perhaps Swift’s second-most-famous work.
The book documents the journeys of Lemuel Gulliver, a surgeon on a ship, who encounters various cultures in his voyages. His misadventures take him to strange, unusual lands that are home to people who are extremely different from him. In Book I, he encounters the physically small people of Lilliput, and he helps them befriend their enemy. In Book II, Gulliver encounters the kingdom of the giants who treat him with kindness and compassion. In Books III and IV, he meets patrons of music and mathematics and the Yahoo people. The last book focuses on his journey of self-discovery. The book ends with Gulliver realizing his similarities with the allegedly uncivilized Yahoos; this part also focuses on the changes caused in him by the many voyages and misadventures.
In its entirety, this is a satiric masterpiece, but its abridged forms are just as famous; in fact, the latter are commonly regarded as children’s classics.
Gulliver’s Travels Biography
Gulliver’s Travels Background
Gulliver’s Travels Characters
Gulliver’s Travels Summary and Analysis
Gulliver’s Travels Themes
Gulliver’s Travels Quotes
Gulliver’s Travels Discussion Questions