Gulliver’s travels a novel written by Jonathan swift in the year 1726.We all have heard the story of Gulliver when we were in junior classes,and i personally was really fascinated by this story. Gulliver’s travels as i knew as a child was a story about a man called Gulliver who reached an island called Lilliput accidentally,There he was tied by small threads n there were really tiny creatures around him who looked like normal humans but were very very small in size,They at first showered needle like arrows on Gulliver thinking that he might be dangerous but after much of ado Gulliver was finally successful in conveying that he intends no harm to them.The Lilliputians then started taking care of him,gave him medical treatments,ample food to eat and a place to lodge in.They did all possible things to make him feel comfortable and slowly they developed a bond with Gulliver.
In the beginning of my fourth semester,i went to buy my books with the list of books prescribed for this semester in my hand.The first book in my list was Gulliver’s travels i was quite astonished to see its name in the list.I was thinking what is wrong with the university people how can they prescribe such an easy book for the students of english hons.I use to love the hindi remake of Gulliver’s travels Janjantaram mamantaram starred by Javed jafri,i found it funny so i use to watch it every time it was telecast-ed.
Now when i bought this book i opened the content page first and to much of my surprise i saw that the book is divided into four parts and The voyage to Lilliput was just a small part of that book.The other parts were something i had never heard about ,they had a very unimpressive name which were difficult to pronounce.I closed the book and thought that my journey with Swift’s Gulliver’s travels is going to be be difficult.
One thing was clear to me that its not gonna be the story i use to love as a child.I clearly had no interest left to read the book but the course i am pursuing often forces us to read the books which we don’t intend to read.
I started reading and thankfully the first part was the one i knew so i quickly got over with it.My voyage to Lilliput with Gulliver soon got over.After reading the first part,i read one of the critical reviews about it which says “The Lilliputians ,a tiny race of people,represent much of what is petty and small minded about the English and humankind in general.They are physically and morally smaller than Gulliver.They are pompous,self important ,self serving,hypocritical and surprisingly dangerous and cruel in spite of their small sizes.”
Never ever have i thought that this cute story about tiny creatures has got a political allegory.Swift is actually trying to present the state of European government and the petty differences between religions.
I began reading the next part “The voyage to Brobdingnag”.
The story here is more or less similar to that of Lilliput,the major difference here is the size.There Gulliver was the largest creature but here he was the smallest.The Brobdingnagian were the race of giants who were physically and morally bigger than Gulliver.He was treated as a doll or a plaything by the brobdingnagians.Here Swift has shown his anti feminist views by describing the size of the female breast so precisely and describing every minute details about it.Gulliver also discussed the English politics and society with the king.To which he was not clearly impressed,He even accused Gulliver of representing the “Most pugnacious race of Little odious vermin”.
I personally was not really happy with the second part i somewhere felt that Swift was not being reasonable enough when he wrote this.
The last two parts which i think was the worst of all.
“The voyage to Laputa”
The story about a flying island where Gulliver reaches accidentally.They represent the folly of theoretical knowledge that has no relation to the human life.
The Last part “The voyage to Houyhnhms “
It’s a story about an island ruled by the horses and the manlike creatures who were known as yahoos were their servants.
The last two parts of this book has disappointed me to a great extent,i cannot see a single sign of reality and not a single reason to like it and understand the deep meaning which swift is trying to convey through his book.He has used the same plot over and over again.It’s like everytime he goes for a voyage and gets stuck in an stupid island meets different creatures who at times can be life threatening but he being he survives every time and comes back safely to his native place after so many years of spending his life there.
My perception about Gulliver’s travels has definitely changed after reading all the parts,What i desire most in the other novels is missing here .Being a realistic person i don’t really find a strong reason to call it a great book.Many of my readers may not agree with what i said but this is all i feel about this novel.My journey with Gulliver’s travels was not as good as i thought.I would prefer clinging to my childhood memory about the story of Gulliver the voyager.