Gulliver's Travels Book Summary - Gulliver's Travels Book explained in key points

Gulliver's Travels summary

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Gulliver's Travels by Jonathan Swift is a classic satirical novel that follows Lemuel Gulliver as he encounters fantastical lands and societies, offering sharp commentary on human nature and society.

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    Gulliver's Travels
    Summary of key ideas

    Part 1: The Voyage to Lilliput

    In Gulliver's Travels by Jonathan Swift, we are introduced to Lemuel Gulliver, a surgeon and sea captain. Gulliver embarks on a series of voyages, the first of which takes him to the island of Lilliput. Here, he encounters a race of tiny people, the Lilliputians, who are only six inches tall. Despite their size, the Lilliputians are fiercely political and embroiled in a war with their neighbors, the Blefuscudians, over the correct way to crack an egg.

    Gulliver becomes embroiled in their politics and is eventually charged with treason. He manages to escape to Blefuscu, where he is able to repair a boat and set sail for England. However, his adventures are far from over.

    Part 2: The Voyage to Brobdingnag

    In the second part of Gulliver's Travels, Gulliver sets sail again, only to be shipwrecked in a land inhabited by giants, the Brobdingnagians. Here, Gulliver is the tiny one, and he faces numerous dangers and humiliations. He is eventually sold to the queen and becomes a court favorite, but he is constantly in danger due to his size.

    During his time in Brobdingnag, Gulliver is able to observe the flaws of humanity from a new perspective. He is horrified by the physical imperfections of the human body and the moral imperfections of human society. After a series of misadventures, Gulliver manages to escape and return to England.

    Part 3: The Voyage to Laputa, Balnibarbi, Luggnagg, Glubbdubdrib, and Japan

    In the third part of Gulliver's Travels, Gulliver embarks on another journey, this time to the flying island of Laputa. Here, he encounters a society of intellectuals who are so absorbed in their own thoughts that they need to be reminded to pay attention to the world around them. Gulliver also visits the lands of Balnibarbi, Luggnagg, and Glubbdubdrib, each with its own peculiarities.

    During his time in these lands, Gulliver meets sorcerers who can summon the dead and rulers who are obsessed with impractical scientific experiments. He also encounters the Struldbrugs, a race of people who are immortal but continue to age, leading to lives of increasing misery. Gulliver's final stop is Japan, where he is able to board a ship back to England.

    Part 4: The Voyage to the Country of the Houyhnhnms

    In the final part of Gulliver's Travels, Gulliver embarks on his last journey, which takes him to the land of the Houyhnhnms. Here, he encounters a race of intelligent horses who live in harmony with a savage and bestial race of creatures called Yahoos, who are shockingly similar to humans.

    Initially, Gulliver is repulsed by the Yahoos, but he soon realizes that they are, in fact, human beings. The Houyhnhnms, on the other hand, are rational, virtuous, and live in a utopian society. Gulliver is so impressed by the Houyhnhnms that he comes to see humanity in a new light, and he begins to view himself as a Yahoo.


    As Gulliver's Travels concludes, Gulliver returns to England, but he is unable to shake off the disgust he feels towards humanity. He becomes a recluse, spending his days in the company of horses and avoiding the company of humans. The novel ends with Gulliver's profound disillusionment with human society and his deep longing for the rational and virtuous world of the Houyhnhnms.

    In summary, Gulliver's Travels is a biting satire that uses the device of a travelogue to explore the flaws and follies of human nature and society. Through Gulliver's encounters with various fantastical lands and their inhabitants, Swift offers a scathing critique of politics, science, and human behavior, leaving the reader with much to ponder about the nature of humanity.

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    What is Gulliver's Travels about?

    Gulliver's Travels (1726) by Jonathan Swift is a classic satirical novel that follows Lemuel Gulliver as he travels to different fantastical lands. Through Gulliver's adventures, Swift provides a critical commentary on human nature, society, and politics, addressing themes such as power, corruption, and the absurdity of human behavior.

    Gulliver's Travels Review

    Gulliver's Travels (1726) by Jonathan Swift is a timeless classic that takes readers on a journey through fantastical lands and satirical critiques. Here's why this book is definitely worth reading:

    • With its sharp wit and clever social commentary, the book offers a thought-provoking exploration of human nature and society.
    • Gulliver's encounters with strange civilizations like the tiny Lilliputians and the giants of Brobdingnag make for an intriguing and entertaining read.
    • The book's complex themes and multiple layers of interpretation ensure that it remains engaging and intellectually stimulating, leaving readers with plenty to ponder.

    Who should read Gulliver's Travels?

    • Anyone interested in satirical and thought-provoking literature
    • Readers who enjoy imaginative and fantastical stories
    • Those looking for a critique of human nature and society through the lens of travel adventures

    About the Author

    Jonathan Swift was an Irish writer and clergyman best known for his satirical works. Born in 1667, Swift studied at Trinity College in Dublin and later became a prominent figure in the literary world. Some of his most famous works include "A Modest Proposal" and "A Tale of a Tub." However, Swift's most renowned book is undoubtedly "Gulliver's Travels," a timeless classic that continues to captivate readers with its imaginative and thought-provoking storytelling. Throughout his career, Swift used his sharp wit and keen observations to critique the society and politics of his time.

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    Gulliver's Travels FAQs 

    What is the main message of Gulliver's Travels?

    The main message of Gulliver's Travels is a satirical critique of society, politics, and human nature.

    How long does it take to read Gulliver's Travels?

    The reading time for Gulliver's Travels varies depending on the reader's speed, but it typically takes several hours. However, the Blinkist summary can be read in just 15 minutes.

    Is Gulliver's Travels a good book? Is it worth reading?

    Gulliver's Travels is a thought-provoking and entertaining read. It offers insightful commentary on human behavior and societal norms.

    Who is the author of Gulliver's Travels?

    Jonathan Swift is the author of Gulliver's Travels.

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