Tuesday, May 10, 2011

Gulliver’s Travels book review

Jonathan Swift penned his most well-known novel, Gulliver’s Travels, in 1726. Most readers are familiar with the first part of the book – Gulliver’s journey to Lilliput where he is taken captive by the diminutive Lilliputians, and later lives among them for several months. But the full novel is actually written in four parts where Gulliver travels to several other locations, meeting other strange and fascinating creatures.
In part two, he finds himself in danger of being crushed by the huge inhabitants of Brobdinghag whose size is roughly twelve times that of Gulliver. Gulliver is rescued from this community by an eagle, who seizes the traveling box in which Gulliver sleeps, and drops it into the ocean where he is picked up by an English vessel.
Part three introduces the reader to the flying island of Laputa where the inhabitants are thrilled by music and mathematics, but have no practical skills.
Finally (in part four), Gulliver makes his way to the country of the Houyhnhnms who are actually horses who rule the country and the deformed creatures (“Yahoos”) who are, in fact,  human beings in their base form. Gulliver is welcomed into a horse’s household, and eventually rejects humans as merely Yahoos with very little reasoning ability which simply adds to the vices Nature has given them. Eventually Gulliver is expelled from the country as he is seen as a danger to civilization.
Gulliver’s Travels is primarily a satire which pokes fun at European government, and the petty differences between religions. The Lilliputians perhaps are the most petty of all – squabbling over the size of their shoe heels, and going to war with their closest neighbors because of a disagreement over how to eat an egg. The book becomes darker as it progresses, with Gulliver moving from an optimistic and rather innocent character, to one whose view of the world becomes more cynical.
Although I found this novel to be an interesting read, I must admit that some of the long, circular sentences left me skimming at times. This book is full of cultural, political and religious references which might be best explored as part of a book club or in a classroom. For the reader simply looking for an entertaining book, Gulliver’s Travels might be a little too deep.
Despite some of my reservations, Gulliver’s Travels is a good classic novel. As with many people, my favorite section was the first. It is hard not to be delighted with Gulliver’s time spent in Lilliput.

In the movie Gulliver fakes being a travel writer and gets sent to the Bermudian triangle to write a report about it. While Gulliver is in the triangle he gets sucked into a giant spinning pillar of water and faints. When Gulliver wakes up he finds himself covers in tiny people called Lilliputian. The book is deferent from the movie is several ways. The movie is set in modern time where as the book is set in a time where people still use boats to travel the world.  the themes of the book and movie are different because in the book it takes things in society and points out all the wierd problems. In the movie the theme is "there are no small people only small jobs". Now would somebody tell me what that means?  

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