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Gullivers Travels - Satire in Lilliput Generations of schoolchildren raised on the first Book of Gullivers Travels have loved it as a delightful visit to a fantasy kingdom full of creatures they can relate tolittle creatures like themselves Few casual readers look deeply enough to recognize the satire just below the surface But Jonathan Swift was one of the great satirists of his or any other age and Gullivers Travels is surely the apex of his art Gullivers Travels tells the story of Lemuel Gulliver a ships surgeon who has a number of rather extraordinary adventures comprising four sections or Books In Book I his ship is blown off course and Gulliver is shipwrecked He wakes up flat on his back on the shore and discovers that he cannot move he has been bound to the earth by thousands of tiny crisscrossing threads He soon discovers that his captors are tiny men about six inches high natives of the land of Lilliput He is released from his prone position only to be confined in a ruined temple by ninety-one tiny but unbreakable chains In spite of his predicament Gulliver is at first impressed by the intelligence and organizational abilities of the Lilliputians In this section Swift introduces us to the essential conflict of Book I the naive ordinary but compassionate Everyman at the mercy of an army of people with small minds Because they are technologically adept Gulliver does not yet see how small-minded the Lilliputians are In Chapter II the Emperor of Lilliput arrives to take a look at the giant and Gulliver is equally impressed by the Emperor and his courtiers They are handsome and richly dressed and the Emperor attempts to speak to Gulliver civilly although they are unable to understand one another The Emperor decrees that every morning Gulliver is to be delivered six beeves forty sheep and other victuals along with as much bread and wine
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