Anyway, I have been reading a book that is very interesting. Gulliver's Travels is the book. It is considered classic book written in 1735, revised from its previous version by Jonathan Swift, who is the book's original writer.
The story is about a man named Lemuel Gulliver and his voyages across the globe. It is in first person, and Gulliver himself tells the story. He visits many lands of strange and distinct features and peoples whom he learns much from. Gulliver is a learned man that travels on boats as a ship's surgeon. He knows many languages and learns many more on the four journeys that take him to some of the most bizarre corners of the earth. The many complex human ways are shown in Gulliver's perspective during the journeys, revealing true qualities and ineptitude of people. The imagination and insightfulness of Swift are amazing.
On his first voyage, Dr. Lemuel Gulliver visits the land of Lilliput, supposedly in the South Pacific. In this unusual world, all people are merely six inches tall. The tallest trees are only six feet tall, and the largest building, the palace of the king, was tall enough for Gulliver to leap over, although he would not dare do that, for he must be very careful not to crush anyone or break the buildings. The country of Lilliput is in the process of a war with Blefescu, the neighbor island to the north east. Gulliver becomes aware of the complexities of human ways and our helplessness.
After returning home for ten months, Gulliver sets sail on another trip. After a few complications, he ends up on the peninsula off North America called Brobdingnag. He is found by giant people, with whom he lives with for over two years. The proportions of the people compared to Gulliver seem to be the exact opposite of those on Lilliput. During his stay on Brobdingnag, Gulliver recognizes the simplicity enjoyed by these people and learns from his conversations with the king of this land the silliness of war, the corruption of politics, and the selfishness of people. He presents the essence of our grandiosity through these Brobdingnags.
On his third journey he visits the lands of Lappet, Balnarbi, Glubbdubdrib, Luggnagg, and Japan. All of these countries are located east of Asia, near Japan, the only completely real world in the tales of Lemuel Gulliver. These are lands of scientists and philosophers. In these places, Gulliver sees our own image of knowledge without a purpose and development gone wild.
On his last voyage, he visits the land of the Houyhnhnms, a horse kind of creature that is entirely wise and peaceful. There are also what are known as 'yahoos'. The yahoos resemble humans, although more barbaric, much like animals living in the forest. Gulliver lives with the Houyhnhnms and learns their language in order to converse with them. He eventually realizes that he is also a yahoo and cannot deny that he does have the attributes of the animals he has learned to abhor. The Houyhnhnms ask him to leave after his discussions with them. This trip reveals the savageness and the cruelty of humans, and expresses the author's idea of a perfect civilization.
This story is a wonderful work of literature and I think that it should certainly be taught to students. The story is very perplexing and I barely understood the whole of it when I read certain parts of it over again. It was also a study version, and I was able to read the footnotes and the appendices enabling me to understand it fully.
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