At the beginning of the story, the first and most widely known of Captain Gulliver's voyages was that of the one to Laputa. The voyage begins with Captain Gulliver and his men shipwrecking. Everyone except Gulliver drowned, and when he reaches shore he falls asleep from exhaustion. Upon awakening, Gulliver finds himself bound and tied to the ground where he has his first confrontation with the Lilliputians. The men as Gulliver explains are only inches tall. These people eventually move him to Lilliput which is their kingdom. There Gulliver, still a prisoner, meets the emperor whom he describes as being an exceptionally tall man of eleven inches. His features were strong and masculine, with an Austrian lip, and and arched nose. Gulliver describes the Lilliputians originally as an attractive rationally conducted people, but in chapter IV we learn of their violent internal factions, unceasing civil squabbles, and their bloody war with a neighboring country. The bloody war, in fact, is the means by which Gulliver receives his freedom from the Lilliputians. The Emperor, described before, asks Gulliver to help him make a strike against their quarrelling neighbors. The war was caused over the king cutting his finger while breaking an egg. He ordered that all people must break the egg from the narrow end or suffer execution. Not wishing to do so, many people fled and began their own civilization and now are fighting the Lilliputians. But as mentioned, the Emperor asks Gulliver to assist in the war. Gulliver does so by wading through the river, tying ropes to their battleships, and towing them back to Lilliput. With the enemy receiving such a devastating blow dealt by the loss of their ships, they form a treaty with Lilliput. Out of gratitude, Gulliver is given his freedom from the Emperor. Having received his freedom, Gulliver remains in Lilliput to study the people and their ways of life. Chapter VI gives examples of their learning, laws, customs, and methods of educating the young. For example; children are separated from their parents early in life and sent to live with another family. And if they are poor, they learn a trade. The noble children, however, receive schooling in books, governing, and leadership skills. There were problems forming in Lilliput with Captain Gulliver regarding his nourishment. Because of his size (Lilliputians averaged that of his thumbnail) Gulliver was requiring an enormous amount of food. So much in fact, that the Emperor was growing broke. Another incident that occurred was a fire inside the Lilliputian's kingdom. In order to extinguish it, Gulliver has to urinate on it. Though Gulliver managed to extinguish the flames, he broke a rule of Lilliput. The rule was that nobody was allowed to urinate within the kingdom limits. For this, the the large appetite of the man mountain (as we was named by the people) and other small incidents, it had been decided that Gulliver was to be executed. In learning this from a Lilliputian friend, Captain Gulliver requested to visit the neighboring tribe now that peace had been established. The Emperor agreed and there he found at sea a lifeboat which he swam out and retrieved. Upon retrieval Gulliver planned his escape, and with provisions given to him by the neighboring village, he set out to sea. Along with his provisions Gulliver took some of Laputas small animals, such as oxen. He planned to breed them in England. In fact, after being rescued by a passing ship, Gulliver gave the Captain a pair for payment for his passage. Once home he sold them, after having toured with his schooling and apprenticeship, and his keen knowledge of the sea. The story covers many of Gullivers separate voyages, and in each, there is something to be learned. These yearnings illustrate similarities of a society native to his own; through politics, customs, and ways of life; as well as differences. In a sense it allows the reader to see their own faults as well as triumphs. Swift once said of Gulliver's Travels that he was writing a history of his own travels. These travels were of large volume and were to give account of countries unknown. The story, whether Swift's life account or not, does just that. Gulliver's Travels takes the reader to far away unknown countries, giving great description and detail to the areas nature, the people, as well as the coordinates to which these civilizations can be found. Whether the story be written from fact or just satire and good humor, Gulliver's Travel is a great adventure story packed to the binding with life, adventure, politics, and humor. Captain Gulliver's life travel is just that; the travels of one man. Another mans travel may be of no importance or worth recording, but Captain Gullivers is a voyage of life, his life. The story challenges one to question their own journey. A journey of the past, and the many journeys that still lie ahead.
A Summary of Gulliver's Voyage to Laputa