full title Gulliver’s Travels, or, Travels into Several Remote Nations of the World, by Lemuel Gulliver
author Jonathan Swift
type of work Novel
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.
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.