jueves, 22 de marzo de 2012

Gulliver´s Travels by Jonathan Swift

Is it a fantastic adventure book? Or should we call it a highly original satire on human nature? The classic novel Gulliver´s Travels is claimed to be one of the best attacks against the vanity and hypocrisy of contemporary courts. First published in 1726, it tells the story of a surgeon (Lemuel Gulliver) who is rabidly interested in travelling, although it is that love for travelling that brings his downfall.
The book has four parts; each of them describes a long Gulliver´s journey.
Along the first part Gulliver ships to the South Seas, but the boat is reached by a violent storm. After fighting against the sea violence, Gulliver loses his entire crew and finds himself in an odd place which is inhabited by tiny people less than 6 inches tall. The island is named Lilliput. The Lilliputians are obviously afraid; however, after giving assurances of his good behaviour, he becomes a favourite among people. The idyll is broken when Gulliver refuses to reduce the island nation of Blefuscu to a province of Lilliput. He is accused of treason and sentenced to be blinded. Nevertheless, he manages to escape with the assistance of kind friends. He comes back to the sea where he is rescued by a passing ship.
Two months after his return to England he ships back on board the sailing boat Adventure. Again, the ship is steered off course by storms. They run out of fresh water, which forces them to go inland. There he is abandoned by his companions. Curiously, in this country Gulliver is the tiniest person, since its inhabitants are giants. Gulliver is founded by a farmer, who decides to look after him for his daughter´s enjoyment. Nevertheless, as expected, he ends up in court so he is bought by the Queen. Here, at the court, he is in trouble with Queen´s dwarf. Finally he leaves Brobdingnad on his floating house and is rescued by a ship.
After staying a long while with his family, the profit mobile makes him return to sea.
Now he goes ashore in Laputa, where he meets odd people who are devoted to the arts of music and mathematics. They have curious and useless inventions.
Before addressing to Japan, he stops in Glubbdubdrid, an island inhabited by wizards. He also visits Luggnagg, whose citizens are immortal.
In his fourth voyage, Gulliver becomes a member of the horse household. So fine he finds himself among the horses that he doesn´t want to return to England. Nonetheless, he is rescued, against his will, by a Portuguese ship.
Gulliver´s adventures are far from reality; however the book made me think about some people´s behaviours.
In spite of the fact that I found it difficult to understand, I can recommend reading it, but only to lovers of classical literature.
Rosa Menéndez. Advanced level. Year 2

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