“Gulliver’s Travels” Swift in short summary

Traveling to some distant lands of the world of Lemuel Gulliver, first a surgeon, and then a captain of several ships

“Gulliver’s Travels” is a work written at the crossroads of genres: it’s an entertaining, purely novel narrative, a novel-journey; this novel is a pamphlet and at the same time a novel that has distinct features of anti-utopia – a genre that we are accustomed to believe to belong exclusively to the literature of the twentieth century; this is a novel with equally distinct elements of fiction, and the riot of Swift’s imagination truly knows no bounds. Being an anti-utopia novel, this novel is utopian in the full sense, too, especially its last part. And finally, undoubtedly, it is necessary to pay attention to the most important thing: it is a prophetic novel, for while reading and rereading it today, perfectly aware of the unquestionable concreteness of the addressees of Swift’s ruthless, caustic, murderous satire, you

are only thinking about this specifics in the last place. Because everything that his hero encounters in the course of his wanderings, his peculiar Odyssey, all the manifestations of human, let’s say weird, oddities – those that grow into “strangeness”, which are national and supranational in nature, are global in character – all this not only did not die together with those against whom Swift addressed his pamphlet, did not go into oblivion, but, alas, amazes with its relevance. And so – the astounding prophetic gift of the author, his ability to catch and recreate what belongs to human nature, and therefore has a character, so to speak, enduring. and supranational too, a global character – all this not only did not die together with those against whom Swift addressed his pamphlet, did not go into oblivion, but, alas, amazes with its relevance. And so – the astounding prophetic gift of the author, his ability to catch and recreate what belongs to human nature, and therefore has a character, so to speak, enduring. and supranational too, a global character – all this not
only did not die together with those against whom Swift addressed his pamphlet, did not go into oblivion, but, alas, amazes with its relevance. And so – the astounding prophetic gift of the author, his ability to catch and recreate what belongs to human nature, and therefore has a character, so to speak, enduring.

In the book of Swift four parts: his hero makes four trips, the total duration of which in time is sixteen years and seven months. Leaving, more precisely, sailing, each time from a completely concrete, real-life on any map of the port city, he suddenly finds himself in some strange countries, getting acquainted with the customs, way of life, everyday life, laws and traditions that in the course there, and talking about his country, about England. And the first such “stop” is for the Swift hero’s country of Lilliput. But first – two words about the hero himself. In Gulliver merged and some features of its creator, his thoughts, his ideas, a kind of “self-portrait”, but the wisdom of the Swift hero is combined with the “simplicity” of Voltaire Huron. It is this naivety, this strange naivete and allows Gulliver to grasp each time so acute, finding himself in a wild and foreign country, the most important thing. At the same time, and some detachment is always felt in the very intonation of his narrative, calm, unhurried, non-touching irony. As if he is not talking about his own “walking on the agony”, but he looks at everything as if from a time distance, and quite a lot. In a word, sometimes it feels like it’s our contemporary, some unknown genius writer is leading his story. Laughing at us, above ourselves, over human nature and human mores, which seem to him unchanged. Swift is also a modern writer, because the novel he wrote seems to belong to literature, which it was in the twentieth century, and in the second half,

So, the first “stop” is for the Swift hero’s country of Lilliput, where very small people live. Already in this first part of the novel, as well as all subsequent ones, affects the ability of the author to transfer, from a psychological point of view, absolutely accurately and reliably, human feeling, who is among the people who do not like him, to convey his sense of loneliness, abandonment and internal unfreedom, stiffness is precisely what is around – all the others and everything else.

In the detailed, unhurried tone with which Gulliver tells about all the absurdities absurdities with which he is confronted, once in the country of Lilliput, it affects amazing, exquisite sense of humor lurking.

Initially, these strange, incredibly small people meet Man Mountain quite friendly: he is provided with housing, special laws are being adopted that somehow streamline his communication with local residents so that it flows equally harmoniously and safely for both sides, provide him with food, which is not easy, because the diet of an uninvited guest in comparison with their own grandiose. With him, the Emperor himself cheerfully talks, after Gulliver’s assistance to him and his entire state of aid, he is greeted with the title of nardak, the highest title in the state. Gulliver acquainted with the customs of the country: what, for example, are the exercises of cable dancers, who serve as a way to get a vacant post at the court. Description of the “ceremonial march” … between the feet of Gulliver, the ceremony of oath, which he brings to fidelity to the state of Lilliput; its text, in which the first part, which lists the titles of “the most powerful emperor, the comfort and terror of the universe,” pays particular attention to himself, is all inimitable! Especially if we take into account the disproportion of this lilliput – and all those epithets that accompany his name. Further, Gulliver is initiated into the political system of the country: it turns out that there are two “warring parties known in the Lliputians, known as the Tremexen and Slemexen”, differing only in that the supporters of one are adherents of… low heels and the other high, between them occur on this, undoubtedly very significant, soil “the most fierce discord”: “they say that high heels are more in line with… the ancient state order” Lilliputians, however, the emperor “decided that in government offices… only low heels should be used…”. Well, not the reforms of Peter the Great, disputes concerning the impact of which on the further “Russian way” do not subside to this day! Even more significant circumstances brought to life the “bitter war” that the “two great empires”-Lilliputius and Blefuscu-are waging: from which side to break the eggs-from the blunt end or on the contrary, from the sharp one. Well, of course, Swift is talking about his contemporary England, divided into supporters of the Tories and Whigs – but their opposition has sunk into oblivion, becoming an attribute of history, but the remarkable allegory-allegory, invented by Swift, is alive. For it is not the Whigs and Tories: no matter how specific parties were called in a particular country in a concrete historical epoch – the Swift allegory turns out to be “for all time”. And it’s not in allusions – the writer guessed the principle on which everything was built, built and built from the century on.

Although, however, Swift’s allegories were, of course, relevant to that country and the era in which he lived and whose political underside he had the opportunity to learn firsthand from his own experience. And therefore, for Lilliputia and Blefuscu, whom the Emperor of Lilliputia, after Gulliver’s removal of the Belfuscan ships, “planned… to turn to his own province and manage it through his governor,” the relations between England and Ireland, which have by no means become a legacy, to this day, painful and disastrous for both countries.

I must say that not only the situations described by Swift, human weaknesses and state foundations amaze with their current sound, but even many purely textual passages. You can endlessly address them. Well, for example: “The language of the Belfusans is just as different from the language of the Lilliputians, how different are the languages ​​of the two European nations, while each of the nations is proud of the antiquity, beauty and expressiveness of its language, and our emperor, taking advantage of his position created by the seizure of the enemy fleet, obliged the embassy to present credentials and conduct negotiations in the Lilliputian language. ” Associations – Swift clearly unplanned – arise by themselves…

Although, where Gulliver goes on to explain the foundations of the Lilliputian legislation, we already hear Swift’s voice – a utopian and idealist; these Lilliputian laws, placing morality above mental merit; laws that suggest denunciation and fraud with crimes that are much heavier than theft, and many others are clearly dear to the author of the novel. As well as the law, which considers ingratitude as a criminal offense; This latter was particularly affected by the utopian dreams of Swift, who knew the price of ingratitude well, both on a personal and state scale.

However, not all of the Emperor’s advisers share his enthusiasm for the Mountain Man, many elevations are not at all like. The indictment, which these people organize, draws all the blessings Gulliver provided for crimes. “Enemies” demand death, and the methods are offered one more terrible than the other. And only the chief secretary for secret affairs, Relstersel, known as Gulliver’s “true friend,” turns out to be truly human: his proposal boils down to the fact that it is enough for Gulliver to put out both eyes; “Such a measure, while satisfying to some extent justice, at the same time will delight the whole world, who will welcome the same meekness of the monarch as the generosity and generosity of persons who have the honor of being his advisors.” In reality, however,

Or here is another example of Swift Providence: “The Lilliputians have a custom instituted by the present emperor and his ministers: if, for the sake of the vengefulness of the monarch or the malice of a favorite, the court condemns someone to cruel punishment, the emperor pronounces in a meeting of the state council a speech depicting his great mercy and kindness as a quality to all known and universally recognized. The speech is immediately announced throughout the empire, and nothing so frightens the people as these eulogies to the imperial mercy, for it is established that the more he space and grandiloquent, so inhuman was the punishment, and innocent victims. ” That’s right, but what about Lilliputia? – Any reader will ask. And in fact – with what? ..

After fleeing to Blefuscu, Gulliver sails on a boat built by him and… accidentally meets an English merchant ship, safely returns to his native penates. With himself, he brings miniature sheep, which in a few years have bred so much that, as Gulliver says, “I hope that they will bring significant benefits to the cloth industry.”

The second strange state, where the restless Gulliver finds himself, is Brobdingning – the state of giants, where Gulliver is already a kind of Lilliputian. Every time, the Swift hero as if falls into a different reality, as if in a kind of “behind the mirror”, and this transition occurs in a matter of days and hours: reality and unreality are very close, you just have to want…

Gulliver and the local population, in comparison with the previous story, seem to change roles, and the appeal of local residents with Gulliver this time exactly corresponds to how Gulliver himself behaved with the Lilliputians, in all the details and details that are so masterfully, you can say, lovingly describes, even writes out Swift. On the example of his hero, he demonstrates the tremendous property of human nature: the ability to adapt to any circumstances, to any life situation, the most fantastic, the most incredible – a property that is deprived of all those mythological, fictitious beings whose guest is Gulliver.

And one more comprehends Gulliver, knowing his fantastic world: the relativity of all our ideas about him. The Swift hero is characterized by the ability to accept the “proposed circumstances”, the same “tolerance” for which several other enlightener, Voltaire, spoke several decades earlier.

In this country, where Gulliver is even more than just a dwarf, he undergoes many adventures, eventually getting back to the royal court, becoming the beloved interlocutor of the king himself. In one of his conversations with his majesty Gulliver tells him about his country – these stories will be repeated more than once in the pages of the novel, and each time Gulliver’s interlocutors will again and again be amazed at what he will tell them, presenting the laws and customs of his country as something quite normal and normal. And for the inexperienced of his interlocutors all the stories of Gulliver seem unlimited absurdity, delirium, sometimes – just an invention, a lie. At the end of the conversation, Gulliver summed up a feature: “My brief historical account of our country over the past century has plunged the king in extreme amazement.” He announced that, in his opinion,

Even more sarcasm sounds in the words of Gulliver himself: “… I had to calmly and patiently listen to this insulting treason of my noble and ardently beloved fatherland… But you can not be too demanding of a king who is completely cut off from the rest of the world and therefore is in complete ignorance of the customs and customs of other nations. This ignorance always gives rise to a certain narrowness of thought and a number of prejudices, which we, like other enlightened Europeans, are completely alien. ” And in fact – foreign, completely alien! Swift’s mockery is so obvious, the allegory is so transparent, and our present-day naturally arising thoughts on this subject are so clear that it is not even worth the trouble of commenting on them.

Equally remarkable is the “naive” judgment of the king over politics: the poor king, it turns out, did not know its basic and fundamental principle: “everything is permitted” – because of its “excessive unnecessary scruples”. Bad politician!

And yet Gulliver, being in the company of such an enlightened monarch, could not fail to feel all the humiliation of his position – the lilliput among giants – and his, in the final analysis, lack of freedom. And he again tears home, to his family, to his, so unfairly and imperfectly arranged country. And having got home, for a long time can not adapt: ​​it seems… too small. Accustomed!

In part three of the book Gulliver falls first to the flying island of Laputu. Again, everything that he observes and describes is the height of absurdity, while the author’s intonation of Gulliver-Swift is still imperturbable and meaningful, full of unconcealed irony and sarcasm. And again everything is recognizable: as trifles of a purely everyday quality, such as the “fondness for news and politics” inherent in the Laputians, and the fear that always lives in their minds, owing to which “the Laputians are constantly in such anxiety that they can not sleep peacefully in their beds, nor enjoy the ordinary pleasures and joys of life. ” The visible incarnation of the absurd as the basis of life on the island is the flapper, whose purpose is to get listeners to focus on what they are being told at the moment. But the allegations of a more ambitious quality are present in this part of Swift’s book: concerning rulers and power, and how to influence “disobedient subjects”, and much more. And when Gulliver descends to the “continent” from the island and gets to his capital, the city of Lagado, he will be shocked by the combination of boundless ruin and poverty that will be seen everywhere, and peculiar oases of order and prosperity: it turns out that these oases are all that is left of past, normal life. And then some “projectors” appeared who, having visited the island and “returned to the ground… became imbued with contempt for all… institutions and began to compile projects for the re-creation of science, art, laws, language and technology in a new way.” First, the Academy of Projectors arose in the capital, and then in all of any significant cities in the country. The description of Gulliver’s visit to the Academy, his conversations with learned men, is unparalleled in sarcasm, combined with contempt-contempt in the first place for those who so fool and lead their noses… And linguistic improvements! A school of political projectors!

Tired of all these miracles, Gulliver decided to sail to England, but on his way home for some reason, first, the island of Glabboddrib, and then the kingdom of Lagnegg. I must say that as Gulliver moves from one outlandish country to another, Swift’s fantasy becomes more and more turbulent, and his contemptuous poisonousness is becoming ever more ruthless. This is how he describes the manners at the court of King Luggnegga.

And in the fourth and final part of the novel, Gulliver finds himself in the country of Houyhnhnms. Guingmanns are horses, but it is in them that Gulliver finally finds human traits, that is, those features that Swift would like to see in people. And in the service of the Houyhnhnms there live angry and vile creatures – ehu, like two drops of water similar to a man, only devoid of the cover of civility, and therefore appearing as disgusting creatures, true savages next to well-bred, highly moral, respectable horses, where the honor and honor are, and nobility, and dignity, and modesty, and a habit of abstinence…

Once again tells Gulliver about his country, about its customs, manners, political structure, traditions – and once again, more precisely, more than ever, the story is first met by his listener-interlocutor first distrust, then – bewilderment, then – indignation: how can one live so incongruously with the laws of nature? So unnatural to human nature – that’s the pathos of misunderstanding from the horse-guingnma. The design of their community is the version of utopia that Swift allowed himself in the finale of his novel-pamphlet Swift: the old writer, who has lost faith in human nature, with unexpected naivety almost chants primitive joys, a return to nature – something very reminiscent of Voltaire’s “Simple-minded” . But Swift was not “simple-minded,” and therefore his utopia looks utopian even for himself. And this is manifested above all in the fact that it is these cute and respectable guingnms who drive out of their “herd” the “stranger” who has come into him, Gulliver. For he is too similar to an echo, and they do not care until Gulliver’s similarity to these creatures is only in the structure of the body and nothing more. No, they decide, since he is an ehu, then he should live next to the eh, and not among “decent people”, I mean horses. Utopia did not work out, and Gulliver had in vain dreamed of spending the rest of his days among these good-looking good animals. The idea of ​​tolerance is alien even to them. Therefore, the general meeting of the Houyhnhnms, in the description of Swift, resembling the scholarship of his well-known almost all the Platonic Academy, accepts the “exhortation” – to expel Gulliver, as belonging to the breed eh.

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“Gulliver’s Travels” Swift in short summary