Saturday, April 14, 2012

Beginning My Voyage With Gulliver's Travels


Gulliver’s Travels by Jonathan Swift
Signet Classic, 1960

Part I  “A Voyage to Lilliput”

Chapter I
Lemuel Gulliver briefly tells his readers of his schooling, how he studied under a surgeon, had a desire to travel, worked as a surgeon aboard a ship for several years, married Mary Burton, returned to the sea once more, and was shipwrecked.  As he survived and made his way to shore on the Island of Lilliput, he found himself tied up and prisoner of a people who were hardly six-inches high; and although they treated him well, so long as he did not threaten them, they brought him restrained to their capital city and gave him a place to sleep as well as food and drink.

Chapter II
At Gulliver’s first opportunity to view the city, he is pleased by the nature of the surrounding scene and then goes into a long paragraph about “disburthening” himself.  (Use your imagination.)  He meets the Emperor and spends several weeks learning the language of the people; an agreement is made how to keep and maintain such a large visitor; and finally, Gulliver’s person is searched, in which he must deliver over many of his personal items, such as money, a knife, a razor, a watch, snuff box, journal, and two pistols.

Chapter III
Gulliver was making good progress learning the language of the people and often petitioned the Emperor for his liberty.  By consenting to several articles laid out by the council, such as supporting them against their enemies, using only the high roads, taking leave of their territory only with the Emperor’s seal, and helping the workmen, Gulliver was finally released from his chains.

Chapter IV
With his new freedom of mobility and in the nine months of his residing at Lilliput, Gulliver asks to visit the metropolis of Mildendo and to see the Emperor’s splendid palace.  In addition, the principle Secretary, Reldresal, spoke with Gulliver about two great inconveniences that burden their people: one conflict at home between the Tramecksan and Slamecksan groups because one prefers a low heel shoe and the other a higher heel; and one conflict abroad with the Island of Blefuscu because the Big-Endians of that Island reject ignoring the fundamental doctrine of breaking their eggs at the bigger end, hence causing great war between the two empires.

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