full title · Gulliver’s Travels, or, Travels into Several Remote Nations of the World, by Lemuel Gulliver
author · Jonathan Swift
type of work · Novel
genre · Satire
language · English
time and place written · Approximately 1712–1726, London and Dublin
date of first publication · 1726 (1735 unabridged)
publisher · George Faulkner (unabridged 1735 edition)
narrator · Lemuel Gulliver
point of view · Gulliver speaks in the first person. He describes other characters and actions as they appear to him.
tone · Gulliver’s tone is gullible and naïve during the first three voyages; in the fourth, it turns cynical and bitter. The intention of the author, Jonathan Swift, is satirical and biting throughout.
tense · Past
setting (time) · Early eighteenth century
setting (place) · Primarily England and the imaginary countries of Lilliput, Blefuscu, Brobdingnag, Laputa, and the land of the Houyhnhnms
protagonist · Lemuel Gulliver
major conflict · On the surface, Gulliver strives to understand the various societies with which he comes into contact and to have these societies understand his native England. Below the surface, Swift is engaged in a conflict with the English society he is satirizing.
rising action · Gulliver’s encounters with other societies eventually lead up to his rejection of human society in the fourth voyage
climax · Gulliver rejects human society in the fourth voyage, specifically when he shuns the generous Don Pedro as a vulgar Yahoo
falling action · Gulliver’s unhappy return to England accentuates his alienation and compels him to buy horses, which remind him of Houyhnhnms, to keep him company
themes · Might versus right; the individual versus society; the limits of human understanding
motifs · Excrement; foreign languages; clothing
symbols · Lilliputians; Brobdingnagians; Laputans; Houyhnhnms; England
foreshadowing · Gulliver’s experiences with various flawed societies foreshadow his ultimate rejection of human society in the fourth voyage.
The type of work is Satire, not Novel, because it happened before the Novel tradition started, and because it is a parody.
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Swift has used his words as swords to criticize all the things in Britain at that time. Someone who knew nothing about Britain could obviously imagine how Britain would be at the time Swift wrote his satire.
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