Gulliver's Travels (1726, amended 1735), officially Travels into Several Remote Nations of the World, in Four Parts. By Lemuel Gulliver, First a Surgeon, and then a Captain of several Ships, is a novel by Jonathan Swift that is both a satire on human nature and a parody of the "travellers' tales" literary sub-genre. It is Swift's best known full-length work, and a classic of English literature. (From feedbooks.com)
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A Letter from Captain Gulliver to His Cousin Sympson
The book begins with this letter from Gulliver to his cousin Sympson, who apparently encouraged him to publish the stories of his travels. Gulliver wrote this letter after the events that will take place in the story.
Travelogues and "travel tales" were very popular during the time that Swift was writing Gulliver's Travels. European travelers and explorers would publish their diaries or narrative accounts of their travels to "exotic" places such as Africa, Asia, and South America. Often, these tales would include fantastical encounters and experiences that seemed too crazy to be true! Gulliver's Travels, which is fiction, is a parody of those non-fiction books.
According to this paragraph, did Gulliver want to publish his travel tales?
Utopia was a book written by Thomas More and published in 1516. It is a fictional novel about an island where people live in a supposedly perfect society. In this paragraph, Gulliver has heard that some readers think that his own story is fictional, like Utopia was. (This annotation contains a link)
Reading this letter probably leaves you with more questions than answers - a lot of what the narrator (Gulliver) refers to in this letter will make more sense as you get deeper into the story. For now, watch this brief overview of satire - Gulliver's Travels is considered an excellent example of satire, and it's important to be able to recognize when Jonathan Swift is using it throughout the book. (This annotation contains a video)
Part 1 Chapter 1
This map was included in the original edition of Gulliver's Travels before Chapter 1. (This annotation contains an image)
The first paragraph of each chapter gives a brief description of what will occur in the chapter.
This is an artist's illustration of Gulliver's ship. (This annotation contains an image)
An illustration from this scene, where Gulliver finds that he is tied down to the ground. (This annotation contains an image)
Van Diemen's Land was the European name for the island of Tasmania, which is now part of Australia. (This annotation contains a link)
Swift enjoyed playing with words and inventing new ones; watch this clip to learn more: (This annotation contains a video)
What clue does the narrator give that this person is more important than the other people he has met?
What stops Gulliver from trying to smash the small creatures that are walking on his body?
How does the leader respond when Gulliver indicates that he wants to be untied and set free?
Gulliver is transported on a feat of engineering and construction while he is sleeping. (This annotation contains an image)
The 2010 movie adaptation of Gulliver's Travels is only loosely based on Swift's book. Notice how even this brief scene when Gulliver wakes up on the island differs from the book. (This annotation contains a video)
Part 1 Chapter 2
Gulliver begins his travels on the island of Lilliput; later in the book, we will see him travel to Blefuscu. (This annotation contains an image)
Why does Gulliver spend a paragraph explaining how he urinates?
Gulliver's description of his kind actions suggests that he is a ______ character.
When Swift was writing Gulliver's Travels, the monarch of England was King George I. He was not very well liked or respected by the British people because he was German by birth (some doubted he could even speak English). He succeeded Queen Anne in 1714, upsetting many people because Queen Anne had several living relatives who were closer in line to the throne than George. But a law passed in 1701 said that Roman Catholics could not inherit the throne, so Anne's relatives were passed over for King George I. In this description of the emperor of Lilliput, Swift is making an implicit comparison to the unattractive and disliked George I. (This annotation contains an image)
Note that Gulliver often gives very precise figures and quantities in his descriptions - "six hundred persons," "three hundred tailors," "six of his majesty's greatest scholars," etc. These numbers serve two purposes. First, they mimic the style of travelogues during Swift's time, which often gave such exact numbers to prove that they were truthful and not imaginary; in this way, Swift is parodying the genre of travel literature. Second, in Gulliver's case, they emphasize his size in comparison to the tiny Lilliputians - it will take three hundred Lilliputian tailors to sew a single suit for a man of his size!
This inventory of Gulliver's personal possessions is a humorous demonstration of how ordinary objects change depending on perspective. Swift's readers would have recognized all of these objects as small and insignificant, but from the perspective of the tiny Lilliputians, they are huge. For example, the "great piece of coarse-cloth" is probably Gulliver's handkerchief, no larger than a napkin.
The Lilliputians think that Gulliver's pocketwatch is either an animal or a god because it ticks independently. (This annotation contains an image)
A scimitar is a curved sword. (This annotation contains a link)
Part 1 Chap. 1-2
Part 1 Chapter 3
An artist's illustration of the "candidates for great employments and high favour at court." (This annotation contains an image)
In Lilliput, a person achieves status by ______.
Why does Gulliver stop the military exercises with the Lilliputians?
A Colossus is a giant statue. Pictured below is the Colossus of Rhodes, a statue of the Greek Titan Helios, which was considered one of the Seven Wonders of the Ancient World. Gulliver could easily be a "living Colossus" because he is so much larger than the Lilliputians. (This annotation contains an image)
What is the first promise that Gulliver agrees to?
Why does the narrator not list everything that the emperor tells him in this scene?
Part 1 Chapter 4
What precautions did the Lilliputians take to make sure that nobody was crushed when Gulliver walked through the city?
What other book is Gulliver writing?
If Lilliput is meant to represent Great Britain, then Blefuscu is probably France, which was Great Britain's rival for centuries. When Swift was writing Gulliver's Travels, Great Britain and France were not directly at war, but they were both attempting to gain control of the rest of the world through colonization. (This annotation contains an image)
The Tramecksans and Slamecksans probably represent the Tories and the Whigs, the two political parties in Great Britain during this time. The Whigs were known for supporting the King George I and the aristocratic class. The Tories were known for supporting the Church of England and the landed gentry; they also supported the return of Queen Anne's family members to the throne, instead of the German King George.
The dispute between the Big-Endians and the Little-Endians mimics the dispute between Catholics and Protestants. In 1517, a Catholic monk named Martin Luther (pictured below) published an essay criticizing some corrupt practices of the Catholic Church. This sparked what is known as the Protestant Reformation, where a growing number of Europeans split off from the Catholic Church and formed different sects of Christianity, called Protestantism. In 1537, the Church of England formally separated from the Catholic Church. Conflicts between the religious ideology of the Catholics and Protestants caused outright wars and political tension. By comparing the arguments between the Protestants and the Catholics to the argument over which end to break an egg, Swift is suggesting that the differences are not as important as people believe they are. (This annotation contains an image)
Part 1 Chap. 3-4
Part 1 Chapter 5
How does Gulliver protect his eyes from the arrows of the Belfuscudians?
Like Lilliput and Blefuscu, England and France are separated by a narrow strip of water called the English Channel. (This annotation contains an image)
How does Gulliver feel about the emperor's plan to conquer Blefuscu?
What is Gulliver's attitude toward the Blefuscudian ambassadors?
Based on the context of this paragraph, what is the most likely definition of "BURGLUM"?
Here is a clip of the scene which you have just read, from the 1996 TV movie of Gulliver's Travels, starring Ted Danson as Gulliver. (If prompted, select "Watch this Video on YouTube" to play the video.) (This annotation contains a video)
Part 1 Chapter 6
By reminding his readers of Gulliver's "own dear country," Swift invites comparison between Lilliput and Great Britain. Remember that Gulliver's Travels is a satire - by describing Lilliput's "laws and customs," Swift may be mocking or criticizing the laws and customs of Great Britain.
In contrast, Europe's personification of Justice depicts a lady with a sword in one hand (for punishment), a set of scales in the other (for equality), and a blindfold over her eyes (for impartiality). We can see that each image of Justice represents what its society values. (This annotation contains an image)
Why do the Lilliputians distrust parents to raise and educate their own children?
In Lilliput, it is clear that the society does not value _____.
Like in other parts of this chapter, Swift uses the description of Lilliputian society to criticize his own. In this case, he is criticizing the treatment of the poor in Great Britain. A few years after publishing Gulliver's Travels, Swift published a satirical essay titled "A Modest Proposal for Preventing Children of Poor People From being a Burden to Their Parents or Country, and for making them Beneficial to the Publick." In the essay, Swift suggests that the poor Irish people should sell their babies as food for wealthier people. It is clear from both Gulliver's Travels and "A Modest Proposal" that Swift was very concerned with the situation of the poor in his society. (This annotation contains an image)
Gulliver eats and drinks with the Lilliputians. (This annotation contains an image)
Part 1 Chap. 5-6
In 18th century Great Britain (and evidently in Lilliput), it was considered scandalous for a woman to visit a man in private, without a chaperone. In this paragraph, Gulliver wants to "set the record straight" to make sure that the woman's reputation does not suffer.
Remember that Flimnap, the treasurer, is meant to serve as a parallel to Robert Walpole, the First Lord of the Treasury during King George I's reign. With that information, we can see that Swift is criticizing Walpole's influence over King George.
Part 1 Chapter 7
In the context of this sentence, "meanness" most likely means
Normally, impeachment is the process of removing a government official by office. For example, in 1998, American president Bill Clinton was impeached by the House of Representatives for lying to a federal jury about his role in a sexual affair. The Senate did not vote to impeach him, so Clinton remained in office. In this chapter, Gulliver is being impeached for treason, but he is not a government official in Lilliput, nor is he a citizen of Lilliput. This indicates that his enemies are just trying to find a way to get rid of him.
Which character was particularly disturbed by Gulliver's treatment of the Blefuscudian ambassadors?
Through the statement of the government official, what criticism does Swift make of princes and rulers?
Here, Swift warns his readers of the dangers of making accusations. If somebody can accuse another person of having traitorous thoughts (in their "heart") without even acting on them, it is too easy to ruin political enemies.
Why is this paragraph an example of irony?
Where does the irony in this sentence come from?
In this chapter, we saw several examples of irony. Watch this brief video for a refresher on verbal irony, which we will encounter more in the upcoming chapters. (This annotation contains a video)
Part 1 Chapter 8
Gulliver finds a ship his size. (This annotation contains an image)
The emperor of Blefuscu (This annotation contains an image)
It was common for explorers and travelers to take plants and animals back with them to their native country to breed and grow them. For example, Christopher Columbus brought corn back with him to Spain. Spanish priests brought tomatoes to Europe from Mexico.
Why would the captain believe that Gulliver was "raving"?
Part 1 Chap. 7-8
Part 2 Chapter 1
This map was included before the start of this chapter in the first edition of Gulliver's Travels. As we can see, Brobdingnag appears to be in North America, perhaps near Alaska. (This annotation contains an image)
Like with Gulliver's precise accounts of the numbers and sizes in Lilliput, here he is giving incredibly detailed information about the path of their ship. Again, Swift is mocking the travel writers who gave such detailed accounts in an attempt to prove that they were true.
Unless you're familiar with sailing, much of this paragraph was probably lost on you! Swift is purposely using very technical sailing language to make fun of people who believe that using sophisticated words or technical language will make them appear wiser.
A huge creature, walking in the sea ... (This annotation contains an image)
How has Gulliver's perspective changed since he was in Lilliput?
The fact that the gold coins are so tiny as to be almost invisible suggests that money
How do humans typically respond to creatures or items that are miniature in size? (Think about how we respond to puppies or kittens.)
Gulliver tries to control his emotions because he worries that the cat
Gulliver meets the cat. (This annotation contains an image)
What does Gulliver realize is true of beauty?
"Two rats crept up the curtains, and ran smelling back-wards and forwards on the bed." (This annotation contains an image)
What is Gulliver's reason for giving such a detailed account of his experiences in this chapter?
Part 2 Chapter 2
Mannikin, also spelled manikin, means "small human."
What does the farmer plan to do with Gulliver?
How does Gulliver react to being put on display like this?
Glumdalclitch holding the box with Gulliver inside (This annotation contains an image)
Part 2 Chap. 1-2
Part 2 Chapter 3
A guinea was a gold coin equal to twenty-one shillings, or one pound and one shilling. In modern American dollars, one thousand guineas is approximately $16,000. (This annotation contains an image)
What is Gulliver's tone in his speech to the queen?
What proof do the scientists have that Gulliver is NOT an embryo?
Lusus naturae is Latin for "freak of nature."
In the queen's court, Gulliver is treated like a _____.
What is the prince's attitude toward Gulliver when he asks him this question?
How has Gulliver's attitude about his home and his people changed from the beginning of the book?
Why is the queen's dwarf so cruel to Gulliver?
Gulliver is pestered by the flies. (This annotation contains an image)
After reading about Gulliver's time in the court, watch this scene from the 1960 film, The 3 Worlds of Gulliver, which was loosely based on the book. (This annotation contains a video)
Part 2 Chapter 4
Tartary was the medieval European name for central Asia. Gulliver suggests that Brobdingnag is in North America, but that it must extend much further into the Pacific Ocean than Europeans had assumed. (This annotation contains an image)
Why are the beggars so disgusting to Gulliver?
How is Gulliver viewed by the people of Brobdingnag?
Part 2 Chap. 3-4
Part 2 Chapter 5
Why does the dwarf shake the apples onto Gulliver?
How does Gulliver describe these dangerous events?
Public executions were common in Swift's time. People would gather in a public square to see criminals executed, and they would often taunt and jeer at them until they were killed. Despite its widespread use, by the 18th century, some people were calling for an end to capital punishment.
What makes the wind for Gulliver to go sailing?
Gulliver believes that the monkey thinks that he is _____.
How does Gulliver want to be perceived when he delivers this speech?
Now that you have read about Gulliver's interactions with the queen, watch this scene from the 1996 version of Gulliver's Travels. (If prompted, select the "Watch this Video on Youtube link.") (This annotation contains a video)
Part 2 Chapter 6
Gulliver makes a set of chairs similar to the cane chair pictured below, except that he weaves the back and the set out of the queen's hair instead of cane. (This annotation contains a link)
A spinet is a small piano. It was a popular instrument in the 18th century. (This annotation contains an image)
Demosthenes was a Greek orator and Cicero was a Roman politician. Both are famous for their oratory (speaking) skills.
The two islands are Great Britain and Ireland; the three kingdoms are England, Scotland, and Ireland. In 1707, shortly before Gulliver's Travels was published, the kingdoms of England and Scotland were joined to create Great Britain.
What is Gulliver's tone in his description of Great Britain to the king of Brobdingnag?
While the king's questions are posed as hypothetical, Swift's readers would recognize that all of the potential scenarios that he suggests actually were happening in British society. Through the king's questions, Swift gives a harsh critique of his society.
All of the king's questions serve to suggest that the systems and society which Gulliver has described are _____.
What is the king's concern with having a standing army?
Through the king's statement, Swift offers a(n) ______ view of Great Britain.
Part 2 Chap. 5-6
Part 2 Chapter 7
In this paragraph, how does Gulliver describe his relationship to his home country of Great Britain?
Dionysius of Halicarnassus (c. 60 BCE - 7 BCE) was a Greek historian.
Gulliver is describing a significant technological advancement - gunpowder. It was invented in the 9th century in China, and by the 18th century, it was in widespread use across Europe, in handguns and in cannons. (This annotation contains an image)
What does Gulliver's shock at the king's refusal to use gunpowder reveal about the European worldview at this time?
Gulliver's tone indicates that he thinks that a view of government based on "common sense and reason, justice and lenity" is _____.
What do the Brodningnabians value in their writing?
This statement is an example of which literary device?
This cartoon version of Gulliver's Travels shows the events of Part 2 of the book, including a preview of how Gulliver will leave Brobdingnag. (This annotation contains a video)
Part 2 Chapter 8
This statement is one of the rare instances when Gulliver mentions _____.
What is Gulliver's primary emotion at this point of the chapter?
After being with the giant Brobdingnags for so long, how does Gulliver view humans his size now?
Why does Gulliver want to know about the size of the eagles?
How does Gulliver prove that his story of Brobdingnag is true?
What is ironic about Gulliver's dismissal of travel books?
New Holland was the European name for Australia, given by a Dutch explorer. This map of an actual historical voyage shows the route from New Holland (in the lower right corner) around the Cape of Good Hope (on the southern tip of Africa) and then north to England. (This annotation contains an image)
Part 2 Chap. 7-8
Part 3 Chapter 1
What is Gulliver's primary motivation in agreeing to go on another voyage?
In Gulliver's insult, the "heathen" is _____ and the "brother christian" is ____.
The location of "latitude of 46 N. and longitude of 183" does not actually exist, as latitudes and longitudes range from -180 to 180 degrees. However, the location is probably somewhere in the northern Pacific Ocean, slightly south of where Alaska and Russia meet. (This annotation contains an image)
Gulliver observes a floating island. (This annotation contains an image)
In the next chapter, you will read about the land of Laputa. Many scholars believe that Swift is satirizing the over-reliance on reason that came out of the Enlightenment. For a brief refresher on the Enlightenment, watch this video. (This annotation contains a video)
Part 3 Chapter 2
A map of Laputa, the floating island, and Balnibarbi, the land beneath it, where Gulliver landed. (This annotation contains an image)
What is the purpose of the "flapper"?
Gulliver's dinner is served in the form of
How does the Laputian tailor make Gulliver's clothing?
Gulliver suggests that the Laputians' dedication to mathematics and music is
Which of the following events do the Laputians NOT fear will happen?
Part 3 Chap. 1-2
Why does Gulliver think that the reader might mistake the story of the woman who ran away from her husband as a "European or English story"?
Part 3 Chapter 3
By moving the location of the island, the king can control ____.
This paragraph is intentionally confusing. It is almost impossible to follow Gulliver's description of the movements of the island. Swift does this intentionally to mock the scientific writing of his time, which used this convention of describing processes and movements with letters A, B, C, etc.
Swift was writing during the time of the Scientific Revolution, when great advancements were made in understanding of physics and astronomy, in particular. Pictured below is Sir Isaac Newton (1642-1727), who was a contemporary of Jonathan Swift. (This annotation contains an image)
Why would it be dangerous for the king to land the island on top of a rebellious town?
Part 3 Chapter 4
Why does Gulliver wish to leave the island?
Gulliver leaves _____ to go to _____, the capital of which is ______.
What does Gulliver notice about the people of Lagado?
Why does Munodi believe he has to rebuild his house and plantation?
Swift was probably using the Royal Society of London for Improving Natural Knowledge (a science academy) as his model for the academy of Lagado. (This annotation contains an image)
Part 2 Chap. 3-4
Part 3 Chapter 5
In the following chapters, Gulliver visits the Academy of Lagado to learn about their scientific advancements. Swift uses these chapters, in part, to satirize the Royal Society of London, which actually conducted several of the experiments that Gulliver describes. For a brief overview of the Scientific Revolution, watch this video. Then, as you read this chapter, try to figure out what Swift is criticizing about science. (This annotation contains a video)
What do all of the experiments that Gulliver observes have in common?
The doctor's experiment with the bellows and the dog (This annotation contains an image)
What is ironic about the artist's experiment with "naked sheep"?
The book-writing machine (This annotation contains an image)
When Swift writes, "Such constant irreconcilable enemies to science are the common people," he is being _____.
According to this method, how do people learn new information?
Part 3 Chapter 6
Why is this statement an example of satire?
This doctor believes that the corruption and ineffectiveness of government is caused by
What does the doctor suggest for political parties that cannot agree?
How does the professor propose to find people who are conspiring against the government?
In this method of finding traitors, the first step is to
Part 3 Chap. 5-6
Part 3 Chapter 7
The great island of Luggnagg (This annotation contains an image)
Necromancy is the magical skill of raising people from the dead. It was considered "black magic."
Who are the "spirits" that Gulliver becomes familiar with?
Alexander the Great (356-323 BCE) was the king of Macedonia who expanded his empire to many parts of the Middle East and Asia. (This annotation contains an image)
Marcus Junius Brutus (85-42 BCE) was a Roman politician who is best known for assassinating his close friend, Julius Caesar. (This annotation contains an image)
Part 3 Chapter 8
Aristotle (384-322 BCE) was a Greek philosopher. His writings created the first comprehensive system of Western philosophy. Along with Plato and Socrates, he is considered one of the founders of Western philosophy. (This annotation contains an image)
How does Aristotle feel about scientific theories?
This paragraph contains a juxtaposition of ______ and ________.
What is Gulliver's tone in this paragraph?
In this paragraph, the ugly physical appearance of modern humans is a metaphor for
Part 3 Chap. 7-8
Part 3 Chapter 9
This is historically accurate. In 1609, formal trade relations were established between the Japanese and the Dutch. In 1637, all Western countries except Holland were expelled from Japan. European countries were not permitted to enter Japan until 1854.
In this sentence, the word capital likely means
What is ironic about this statement describing the "good prince"?
Part 3 Chapter 10
What does it mean if a child is born with a red circle on its forehead?
Why does Gulliver rejoice when he hears that Struldbrugs exist?
In this simile, the "pinks and tulips in a garden" are a comparison to _____.
According to the Luggnaggian interpreter, what do humans wish for above all else?
Here is an artistic representation of Struldbrugs. (This annotation contains an image)
How does the interpreter describe the life of the Struldbrugs?
Gulliver sees the Struldbrugs. (This annotation contains an image)
Part 3 Chapter 11
Unlike the other places that Gulliver visits (Lilliput, Brobdingnag, Laputa, etc.), Japan actually exists! During the time that Swift was writing Gulliver's Travels, Europeans knew very little about Japan, so Swift's readers might have considered Japan just as fantastical as the other places that he describes. Scholars have a hard time identifying the "small port-town called Xamoschi," although some believe that it might be near Tokyo. (This annotation contains an image)
In the 17th and 18th centuries in Japan, Christians were heavily persecuted. In order to prove that a visitor was NOT a Christian, they were forced to step on an image of a crucifix or the Virgin Mary (under the belief that a Christian would refuse to do something blasphemous). The policy was stopped when Japan was opened to foreign trade in 1856. Gulliver asks the Emperor of Japan to excuse him from having to "trample upon the crucifix." (This annotation contains an image)
Part 3 Chap. 9-11
Part 4 Chapter 1
Gulliver's ship is traveling south in the Atlantic Ocean, and stops briefly in Teneriffe, one of the Canary Islands. (This annotation contains an image)
Why does Gulliver hit the horse with the flat side of his sword?
Gulliver has landed in the country of the Houyhmnhms. (This annotation contains an image)
What signs does Gulliver have that the horses are intelligent?
Why is Gulliver so confident that he could understand the language of the horses?
Although the word Houyhnhnm seems unpronounceable, Swift meant for it to imitate the sound of a horse neighing or whinnying. It is pronounced "winnum."
Part 4 Chapter 2
Gulliver has found himself in the Land of the Houyhnhnms. (This annotation contains an image)
What kind of person does Gulliver expect to meet?
Here is an illustration of the "detestable creatures," the Yahoos. (This annotation contains an image)
"I observed in this abominable animal, a perfect human figure." (This annotation contains an image)
Why are the horses confused about the difference between Gulliver and the Yahoos?
What is the tone of Gulliver's description of the horses?
How did Gulliver's diet change after living with the Houyhnhms?
Part 4 Chap. 1-2
Part 4 Chapter 3
What is the connotation of words like "teachableness, civility, and cleanliness"? What does that indicate about the Yahoos?
Gulliver converses with his horse master. (This annotation contains an image)
Why had Gulliver tried to hide the fact that his clothes could come off his body?
Why does Gulliver's master want him to focus so specifically on learning the Houyhnhnm language?
After reading this chapter, watch this clip of the 1996 version of Gulliver's Travels, in which Gulliver explains his experiences with the Houyhnhms. (If prompted, click the "Watch this Video on Youtube" link.) (This annotation contains a video)
Part 4 Chapter 4
What does the fact that the Houyhnhnms do not have lies tell us about them?
Although parts of Gulliver's experiences in these chapters are meant to be satirical in depicting the Yahoos, Swift may have also intended to criticize animal cruelty, particularly toward horses. All of what Gulliver describes in this passage was certainly commonplace during Swift's time.
What does the Houyhnhnm horse suggest about humans ("Yahoos")?
Part 4 Chap. 3-4
A "circumlocution" is when you talk about something in a roundabout or indirect way. Sometimes people use circumlocutions to avoid saying the actual word, and sometimes they use it when they do not know the actual word. In this case, why does Gulliver need to use circumlocutions to describe his crew's crimes?
Part 4 Chapter 5
This chapter mentions of a lot of events that would have been recent to Swift's readers. Watch this brief video for some context about the "Glorious Revolution," in which one king was replaced by his daughter and son-in-law. (This annotation contains a video)
What is significant about Gulliver's use of the word "barbarous"?
Unlike the other opinions that Gulliver mentions, the difference of opinion over "whether flesh be bread, or bread be flesh; whether the juice of a certain berry be blood or wine" was actually a very contentious one. Gulliver is referring to the different theologies of Catholicism and Protestantism. Catholics believed that the Eucharist (eating a small piece of bread and drinking a sip of wine) was the actual body and blood of Jesus Christ. Protestants believed that it was a symbolic gesture to remember Christ. Gulliver is not exaggerating when he said that this difference of opinion cost millions of lives; the Wars of Religion went on for nearly a century and involved nearly all of modern-day Europe.
What is the tone of the section of text "Sometimes the quarrel between two princes... as possibly as he can"?
What is ironic about this statement?
According to the Houyhnhnm, reasonable creatures do not need laws because
How does Gulliver feel about lawyers?
Part 4 Chapter 6
Gulliver explains European society. (This annotation contains an image)
Why, according to Gulliver, do Europeans drink wine?
What is Gulliver's attitude toward physicians?
According to Gulliver, when it comes to leaders and heads of state, we should believe
Part 4 Chap. 5-6
Part 4 Chapter 7
Who is Gulliver referring to when he says "those excellent quadripeds"?
What was Gulliver's other motive for describing European life so truthfully?
What does the Houyhnhnm master suspect that Gulliver has done?
What did Gulliver describe that helped the Houyhnhnm understand "the same principle of avarice"?
What literary device is used in this paragraph?
What is ironic about Gulliver's assertion that he could vindicate humans in this paragraph?
Part 4 Chapter 8
Why does Gulliver want to see the Yahoos for himself?
Which word has the most positive connotation in this sentence?
Remember that Swift was writing during the Enlightenment, or "Age of Reason." As you read Gulliver's description of the Houyhnhnms, try to determine whether Swift is praising or criticizing these creatures who "cultivate reason" and "are wholly governed by it."
What is the Houyhnhnms' motivation in caring for their young?
What is the danger in educating males differently from females, according to the Houyhnhnm?
Part 4 Chap. 7-8
Part 4 Chapter 9
In this sentence, the Yahoos are described as ____.
"In my own and other countries, the Yahoos acted as the governing, rational animal, and held the Houyhnhnms in servitude." In other words, the ____ are the governing, rational animal, and the ____ are held in servitude.
Why do the Houyhnhnms have no need of written history?
What is the likely reason that the Houyhnhnms do not feel "joy or grief" when another one dies?
What word do the Houyhnhnms use when they need to describe something evil?
Part 4 Chapter 10
To what would Gulliver attribute this "perfect health of body and tranquility of mind"?
What is the effect of such a long list in this paragraph?
By this point, what is Gulliver's attitude toward the Houyhnhnms?
What two options does the council give the Houyhnhnm?
Since Gulliver has been living with the Houyhnhnms, how has his view of himself changed?
What is the most disturbing material used to build Gulliver's canoe?
"Gulliver Taking His Final Leave of the Land of the Houyhnhnms," a painting by English artist Sawrey Gilpin in 1769. (This annotation contains an image)
Part 4 Chap. 9-10
Part 4 Chapter 11
How has his experience with the Houyhnhnms changed Gulliver's perspective on humankind?
Remember, New Holland was the name that European explorers gave to Australia. Below is a map of Australia from 1699, which illustrates the topography of the land and the islands to the west of it. (This annotation contains an image)
"They found me flat on my face behind the stone." (This annotation contains an image)
How is Gulliver biased against humans now?
What is unusual about Gulliver's statement?
The Tribunal of the Holy Office of the Inquisition, or the "Spanish Inquisition," was a part of the Spanish court designed to maintain strict Catholicism. It heavily persecuted Muslims, Jews, and non-Christians. It was established in 1478 and ended in 1834. Gulliver is smart to suspect that he would be tried by the Inquisition if he were to talk about Houyhnhnms; the Inquisition would have considered the idea that a species of animal was superior to humans as heresy (going against Christian belief). (This annotation contains an image)
Gulliver is reunited with his family. (This annotation contains an image)
Part 4 Chapter 12
An important note before reading on: (This annotation contains a video)
Why is it particularly important that Gulliver emphasize that his account is truthful?
"Nec si miserum Fortuna Sinonem Finxit, vanum etiam, mendacemqua improba finget" is Latin for "Though Fortune has made Sinon wretched, she has not made him untrue and a liar." This is a quotation from Virgil's The Aeneid, when the character Sinon lies to the Trojan people and convinces them to bring the horse into the walled city of Troy. The Trojan Horse actually contains the Greek army, and they conquer the city of Troy. So the statement is completely untrue - Sinon is very much a liar. Swift probably included this quotation as a satirical reminder that Gulliver's tales are not true whatsoever, despite his claims that they are.
In other words, some people in England were critical of Gulliver for not claiming the various lands that he visited as English colonies. He proceeds to explain why none of them would work well as colonies.
Swift (through Gulliver) is intensely critical of the way that countries gain colonies. During the time that he was writing this, America was still a British colony, and European countries like Britain, France, and Spain were at the height of expanding their empires. Swift's opinion of colonization would not have been very popular.
What is ironic about this statement?
Why is Gulliver not provoked by the people that he lists?
Part 4 Chap. 11-12