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Gulliver's Travels: A Voyage to Lilliput
Summary of A Voyage to Lilliput
Summary of A Voyage to Lilliput | Background Information | Tourist Attractions


Chapters I - VIII

In Gulliver's Travels, Part one, Lemuel Gulliver begins the novel with background information about his family history and education. He was born to a poor family of seven and, as a teenager, he was sent to London to be a surgeon's apprentice. This is when he learned navigational skills and an interest in travel under a man named James Bates. For three years he served as a surgeon on the ship named Swallow. Following that he marries Mary Burton and becomes a London doctor. After his business fails he goes back to sea and travels for six years. He then decides to take one last trip on the ship called Antelope.

The Antelope hits a violent storm and crew members die. Few escape the sinking ship and soon all separate. Gulliver finds his way safely to shore and passes out. He awakes to surprisingly find himself tied to the ground by thread. He soon discovers that six-inch tall miniature humans have captured him. He tries to escape but soon finds himself viciously attacked by the people with arrows. He lies still in response, and watches as they build a stage for a little person to speak to him on. However he cannot understand the persons language.

The people realize he is hungry and thirsty and provide both for him. He thinks of attacking the people but feels grateful for their hospitality ad admires their bravery. The people decide to bring him to their capital city by dragging him on a board on 22 wheels. It takes 900 of the little men to carry him. Once they arrive, his leg is tied to a temple and he only has the freedom to move around and lay inside the building.

In chapter two, after the Lilliputians chain Gulliver to the building, Gulliver is finally allowed to stand up and view the entire countryside, which he the finds out is beautiful. The emperor visits on horseback from his tower and orders his servants to give Gulliver food and drink. Although they cannot understand each other, they still try to communicate. So Gulliver tries to speak every language he knows, but is still unsuccessful. Gulliver is then left alone with a group of soldiers guarding him, but some try to shoot arrows at him. The brigadier, as punishment, ties up six of the soldiers and places them in Gullivers hand. Gulliver puts all soldiers in his pocket except for one. Gulliver pretends he is going to eat this soldier but instead the soldier cuts loose Gullivers ropes. Gulliver then sets the soldier free with the other five.

Since Gulliver treated the six offending soldiers so kindly, the emperor and his court decide to respond with kindness as well. They supply him with large amounts of food and make him clothes. Every morning Gulliver asks the emperor to set him free, but the emperor refuses, saying that Gulliver must be patient. Gulliver also agrees to the Lilliputians to search him of any weapons. After two weeks, a bed of 600 smaller beds were sewn together for Gulliver to sleep on. The news on Gulliver spread quickly throughout the kingdom. Meanwhile, the government tries to decide what to do with him. They are concerned that he might break loose, or that he will eat enough to cause a famine. Some suggest to starve or shoot him in the face to kill him, but they would then be left with huge problem in doing so because it would leave them with a giant corpse and a large health risk.

Through chapter three of the sequence, Gulliver has slowly been gaining the Lilliputians trust and thinks he will soon be set free. They take care of him and entertain him. The entertainment is also an audition for governmental positions. They walk on ropes two feet above ground. Gulliver invites horsemen to exercise on a platform of sticks and a handkerchief on which he built after realizing how dangerous it was. He poses like a giant statue for the troops to march under.

After awhile and some petitioning by Gulliver, the Lilliputians decide to set him free. Before he is let go he had to agree to help the Lilliputians in time of war, check land area around them in time of war, help build, and help send important messages. He agreed and was released from the chains.

In chapter four, Gulliver is released from captivity and goes to the capital city of Lilliput, called Mildenda. After staying there for two weeks, a government official, named Reldresal, comes to see him. Reldresal explains to Gulliver that a rebel group within the kingdom of Lilliput as well as a foreign empire threaten the kingdom. He explains to Gulliver that the rebel group exists because the kingdom is divided into two sections, called Trameckscan and Slameckscan. The two groups are distinguished by the height of their heels. There are the High-heels and there are the Low-heels. Reldresal also explains to Gulliver that the Lilliputians are in fear of an invasion from the island of Blefuscu. Reldresal calls Blefuscu the Other great empire of the universe and describes the history and conflict between the two nations to Gulliver. At the end of it all, Gulliver is asked to help defend Lilliput against its enemies. He does not feel that it is his place, but he offers his services to the emperor anyway.

Gulliver, in chapter five, goes to Blefuscu and makes a plan. He uses iron and cable to make hooks and he attaches their ships to one another and pulls them back to Lilliput. He is greeted as a hero. But then people begin to turn against him when he would not go back. He did not want to encourage injustice. He felt the conflict between the kingdoms were meaningless. Three weeks later, Blefuscu surrenders to Lilliput. However, the Blefuscus also ask Gulliver to visit their kingdom. Gulliver becomes a person of high rank in Lilliput, called a Nardac. He no longer has to perform all of the duties assigned to him in his contract, but he is used to put out a fire in the emperors wifes bedroom by urinating on it.

In chapter six, Gulliver describes in detail the ways of the people and everything else in Lilliput. He notices how everything in their city is proportional to themselves including the plants and animals. Even their eyesight is scaled to their size. He talks of how they are educated but write diagonally on paper. Gulliver also talks about their funeral rituals as well as their criminal system. He is intrigued by how they persecute people for committing fraud and treason. Those people recieved the worst sentences of capital punishment and death. He also compliments their education system and their socialist economic society which cater to good of the overall community rather than individual rights or freedom.

Into chapter seven, Gulliver prepares to leave Lilliput but is so interested in their practices. Before he leaves to Blefuscu, he finds himself being charged with treason by enemies in the government. He is told that his sentence is to have his eyes taken out and starved to death. In fear of his near sentence, Gulliver quickly leaves off to Blefuscu.

Gulliver finds a boat of his size in the water. He requests help from the Blefuscu emperor to help repair it. The Lilliputians send a notice of Gullivers wanting to the emperor of Blefuscu but the emperor denies the request and tells them Gulliver is departing. He sets sail after about a month of work on the boat and arrives back in London. There he makes profits off of stolen miniature animals he took in his pockets from Blefuscu.

Written By:  J.R. Bell, Kiki Fuentes, Michelle Arino, and Hillary Biffle