Gulliver’s Travels is a satire.
Lemuel Gulliver is the narrator of Gulliver’s Travels as well as its protagonist.
Point of View
Gulliver speaks in the first person. He describes other characters and actions as they appear to him.
Gulliver’s tone is gullible and naïve during the first three voyages. In the fourth voage, his tone turns cynical and bitter. The intention of the author, Jonathan Swift, is satirical and biting throughout.
Gulliver’s Travels is told in the past tense.
Setting (Time & Place)
The novel is set in the early 18th century, which is when it was written. It is set primarily in England and the imaginary countries of Lilliput, Blefuscu, Brobdingnag, Laputa, and the land of the Houyhnhnms.
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.
Gulliver’s encounters with other societies eventually lead up to his rejection of human society in the fourth voyage.
The climax of Gulliver’s Travels occurs when Gulliver rejects human society in the fourth voyage—specifically when he shuns the generous Don Pedro as a vulgar Yahoo.
Gulliver’s unhappy return to England accentuates his alienation and compels him to buy horses, which remind him of Houyhnhnms, to keep him company.
Gulliver’s experiences with various flawed societies foreshadow his ultimate rejection of human society in the fourth voyage.