On his second voyage, Gulliver meets the Brobdingnagian giants—they are mostly reasonable and kindly, and they adhere to a sense of justice. Even the farmer who abuses Gulliver at the beginning is gentle with him, and politely takes the trouble to say good-bye to him upon leaving him. The farmer’s daughter, Glumdalclitch, gives Gulliver perhaps the most kindhearted treatment he receives on any of his voyages.

But while the Brobdingnagians do not exploit him for personal or political reasons, as the Lilliputians do, and while his life there is one of satisfaction and quietude, the Brobdingnagians do treat Gulliver as a plaything. When he tries to speak seriously with the king of Brobdingnag about England, the king dismisses the English as odious vermin, showing that deep discussion is not possible for Gulliver here. Likewise, the farmer speaks to Gulliver, showing that he is willing to believe that the relatively tiny Gulliver may be as rational as he himself is, and ultimately his exploitation of Gulliver as a laborer, which nearly starves Gulliver to death, seems less cruel than simpleminded. However, the farmer puts Gulliver on display around Brobdingnag, which clearly shows that he would rather profit from his discovery than converse with him as an equal. Generally, the farmer represents the average Brobdingnagian of no great gifts or intelligence, wielding an extraordinary power over Gulliver simply by virtue of his immense size.

His daughter too showcases Gulliver’s status. Glumdalclitch hangs him to sleep safely in her closet at night and teaches him the Brobdingnagian language by day. She is skilled at sewing and makes Gulliver several sets of new clothes, taking delight in dressing him. When the queen discovers that no one at court is suited to care for Gulliver, she invites Glumdalclitch to live at court as his sole babysitter. To Glumdalclitch, Gulliver is basically a living doll, symbolizing the general status Gulliver has in Brobdingnag.