Short summary - Gulliver's Travels by Jonathan Swift

Summary of the work - Sykalo Eugen 2023

Short summary - Gulliver's Travels by Jonathan Swift

As a literary teacher, I am delighted to provide you with a detailed analysis of Jonathan Swift's classic masterpiece, "Gulliver's Travels". This book is an extraordinary tale that showcases Swift's wit, satire, and imagination.

The novel is divided into four parts that narrate the journey of Lemuel Gulliver, a physician, and adventurer. Gulliver travels to four different places, each with its unique society and inhabitants.

Part I - A Voyage to Lilliput

In the first part, Gulliver finds himself shipwrecked on the island of Lilliput, where he discovers a race of tiny people only six inches tall. Despite their size, these people have a complex and hierarchical society with strict laws and customs. Gulliver becomes a giant in their eyes and is subsequently taken captive. He eventually gains their trust and helps them in their war against their neighboring country, Blefuscu.

The first part of the book is a satire on the British government and society of the time. Swift uses the Lilliputians to criticize the pettiness, corruption, and absurdity of the politicians and leaders of his time.

Part II - A Voyage to Brobdingnag

In the second part, Gulliver is thrown overboard and washes up on the shores of Brobdingnag, a land of giants. Here, Gulliver is the one who is tiny, and he becomes a plaything for the Brobdingnagians. Despite his small size, Gulliver educates the king about European history and culture.

The second part of the book is a contrast to the first. Swift uses the Brobdingnagians to highlight the flaws and vices of European society. He exposes the hypocrisy, greed, and brutality of the human race.

Part III - A Voyage to Laputa, Balnibarbi, Luggnagg, Glubbdubdrib, and Japan

The third part is a collection of Gulliver's experiences in several different places. He visits Laputa, a floating island inhabited by scientists and intellectuals who are so preoccupied with their work that they are disconnected from reality. Gulliver then travels to Balnibarbi, a country ruled by corrupt politicians and philosophers. He also visits Luggnagg, where he encounters immortals who are doomed to live forever. Finally, Gulliver visits the Island of Sorcerers, where he speaks to the dead and learns about history.

The third part is a satire on the intellectual and scientific community of the time. Swift highlights their detachment from society and ridicules their useless and impractical inventions.

Part IV - A Voyage to the Land of the Houyhnhnms

The fourth and final part is the most significant and the darkest. Gulliver lands on the shores of the Land of the Houyhnhnms, a society of intelligent horses who live in harmony with nature. They are rational and peaceful, and their civilization is a contrast to the Yahoos, a race of brutal and savage creatures who resemble humans.

The fourth part is Swift's ultimate criticism of humanity. He portrays the Yahoos as a reflection of the worst aspects of human nature, such as greed, violence, and lust. The Houyhnhnms, on the other hand, represent Swift's ideal society, a utopia where reason, harmony, and nature coexist.


In conclusion, "Gulliver's Travels" is a masterpiece that uses satire, parody, and fantasy to criticize the flaws and vices of humanity. Swift's use of humor and irony is masterful, and his message is still relevant today. The book is a must-read for anyone who wants to understand the complexities of the human condition.