Right from the start, Gulliver establishes himself as a commoner. Born in Nottinghamshire amongst four siblings, Gulliver attended school and studied medicine. Gulliver marries and has children before embarking on his voyages and leads a fairly typical life. Additionally, Gulliver’s experiences are described very frankly and objectively. Swift depicts Gulliver as such to allow the reader to relate to Gulliver and accept his partialities with less apprehension. It’d be unreasonable for Swift to portray Gulliver as a nobleman because, statistically, there have always been more commoners than nobleman. Additionally, literacy rates were sufficiently high during the early 18th century to assume the text would be read by citizens of varying classes.
The first book covers Gulliver’s encounters with the Lilliputians. The Lilliputians are a race of small and peculiar humanoids with oddly specific particularities. For example, rather than electing government officials based on merit and credibility, the Lilliputians elect officials by having them...
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... transported into English waters. By chance, an eagle transports Gulliver back to English waters to be rescued. Upon seeing Englishmen again, he remarks them as being pigmies after being used to seeing Brobdingnagians all the time. Gulliver’s perception of the world has changed during his visit to Brobdingnag. On his return home, it seemed as if he was the giant now. He begins to think of his people as contemptible little creatures just as how the Brobdingnagians thought of him. He even remarks that he could not look at himself while in Brobdingnag. “For indeed while I was in that prince’s country, I could never endure to look in a glass after my eyes had been accustomed to such prodigious objects, because the comparison gave me so despicable a conceit of myself” (Swift 149). Gulliver’s views have started to change, foreshadowing his result at the end of the book.
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