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I Felt Something Alive Moving On My Left Leg When Bending My Eyes Downwards As Much As I Could I Perceived It To Be A Human Creature Not Six Inches High Shipwrecked And Cast Adrift, Lemuel Gulliver Wakes To Find Himself On Lilliput, An Island Inhabited By Little People, Whose Height Makes Their Quarrels Over Fashion And Fame Seem Ridiculous His Subsequent Encounters With The Crude Giants Of Brobdingnag, The Philosophical Houyhnhnms And The Brutish Yahoos Give Gulliver New, Bitter Insights Into Human Behaviour Swift S Savage Satire View Mankind In A Distorted Hall Of Mirrors As A Diminished, Magnified And Finally Bestial Species, Presenting Us With An Uncompromising Reflection Of OurselvesThis Text, Based On The First Edition Of , Reproduces All Its Original Illustrations And Includes An Introduction By Robert Demaria, Jr, Which Discusses The Ways Gulliver S Travels Has Been Interpreted Since Its First Publication So much than just a fantastical tale of a man journeying to mystical lands This is thinly veiled satiresuper thin.A seafaring Englishman ends up in four fairytale worlds where people are small, gigantic, smarties in the maths, and where people are horses By the second journey you d think he d be done with all this, but in the end he s done with humans and has trouble living amongst his own kind.Written in the old style where listing off occurrences constituted an adventure and a perfectly well constructed story, Gulliver s Travels can be at times a tedious read It s filled with a laundry list of actions I did this and then I did this , and when you think some tension or conflict is a brewin you get simple expedients flatly stated I was faced with an obstacle and so I overcame it by doing this After a time it all becomes trying and uninspiring, making the turning of pages ever difficult However, if you ve come to this book looking for condemnation of the human race s worst foibles, you ve come to the right place Swift dispatches venom towards the leeches of humanity Lawyers, for instance, get blasted left, right and center I m one of those people that feels we re not much better, and sometimes not any better, than base animals, so I was okay with the author s bashing of my fellow man Those who don t understand anything beyond Humans We re 1 aren t going to like this Regardless of its faults, I m glad I finally got around to reading the original, full length version In school I read an abridged and sanitized version, which left out all the mentions of genitalia and bodily functions This is much better with all the pee and tits included PS Check out my video review of Gulliver s Travels here Let s face it Jonathan Swift was a snarky, snarky bitch Gulliver s Travels is like a giant pimp slap across the human race face and I am so glad I finally read this in a non school, non structured environment because I had a whole lot fun with it this time around Swift s wit, insight and delivery are often, though not always, remarkable and he crams well thought out jabs and toe steppings in this slim 250 page novel than I would have thought possible in a work twice this long This is certainly a classic that I believe people should read and experience for themselves outside of any required scholarly endeavors because I think that many of the ills, injustices and idiocies that Swift addresses in this novel are still, unfortunately, very relevant today While Swift is short on resolutions or ideas for improvement one of my disappointments he does a marvelous job of exposing the problems that he perceived as existing within the 18th Century world, most particularly England, and opening the door for a expansive, popular discussion on these issues.Kudos for that, Mr Swift From a plot perspective, Gulliver s Travels is a series of adventures by Lemuel Gulliver to various undiscovered, fictional worlds that act as a backdrop for Swift, through his main character mouthpiece, to scathe, rebuke, poke fun at and or question all manner of political, religious and social institutions, philosophies and groups Everything from blind adherence to political ideologies or religious dogma, to ideological intolerance, to arbitrary social divisions and even the non practical aspects of the rampant scientific explorations so in vogue at the time Few groups were spared from Swift s caustic lens and many of his attacks are vehement bordering on brutal Good That is how such a work should be IMHO Overall, I thought this was very worthwhile and many of Swift s commentaries were piercing, brilliant and exceptionally well done Some of my personal favorites include Parodying the massive waste of energy and resources expended in political infighting in Great Britain between the Whigs and Tories by having the two Lilliputian political parties separated solely by the aesthetic choice between wearing high heels and low heels I can only imagine how this parody played out among the MP of England at the time Making light of the tremendous importance placed on seemingly trivial differences in religious doctrine that often lead to the most acrimonious wars and civil strife by explaining that the genesis of a long and bloody war between rival factions of Lilliputians stems from a disagreement over where to crack eggs One group break their eggs on the small end Small Endians and the other break their eggs on the large end Big Endians What I found most clever about this attack was the use of an ambiguous reference in each side s holy book that states, all true believers break their eggs at the convenient end That is just about perfect satire Mr Swift A biting jab at traditions and customs that people cling to long after there is no practical reason to do so is eloquently made when Gulliver describes the Lilliputians custom of burying their dead head firstThey bury their dead with their heads directly downwards, because they hold an opinion that in eleven thousand moons they are all to rise again, in which period the earth which they conceive to be flat will turn upside down, and by this means they shall, at their resurrection, be found ready standing on their feet The learned among them confess the absurdity of this doctrine, but the practice still continues, in compliance to the vulgarWhen Swift is on his game, he is very, very effective A wonderful anti war statement is made through the horror and disgust with which the King of the giant Brobdingnagians their size depicted as representing moral superiority reacts to Gulliver s description of gunpowder and his offer to teach the Brobdingnagians the formula for producing itI told him of an invention, discovered between three and four hundred years ago, to make a certain powder t hat a proper quantity of this powder would drive a ball of iron or lead, with such violence and speed, as nothing was able to sustain its force That the largest balls thus discharged, would not only destroy whole ranks of an army at once, but batter the strongest walls to the ground, sink down ships, with a thousand men in each, to the bottom of the sea, and when linked together by a chain, would cut through masts and rigging, divide hundreds of bodies in the middle, and lay all waste before them That we often put this powder into large hollow balls of iron, and discharged them by an engine into some city we were besieging, which would rip up the pavements, tear the houses to pieces, burst and throw splinters on every side, dashing out the brains of all who came near The king was struck with horror at the description I had given of those terrible engines, and the proposal I had made He was amazed, how so impotent and groveling an insect as I could entertain such inhuman ideas, and in so familiar a manner, as to appear wholly unmoved at all the scenes of blood and desolation which I had painted as the common effects of those destructive machines whereof, he said, some evil genius, enemy to mankind, must have been the first contriver As for himself, he protested, that although few things delighted him so much as new discoveries in art or in nature, yet he would rather lose half his kingdom, than be privy to such a secret which he commanded me, as I valued any life, never to mention any. Sorry for the long quote, but I thought that was a particularly moving passage My personal favorite purely from an enjoyment standpoint is the depiction of the scientifically adept and common senseless Laputans who exemplify Swift s serious gripe against scientific research that doesn t have a practical and foreseeable benefit to society The first man I saw was of a meagre aspect, with sooty hands and face H e has been eight years upon a project for extracting sunbeams out of cucumbers, which were to be put in phials hermetically sealed, and let out to warm the air in raw inclement summers He told me, he did not doubt, that, in eight years , he should be able to supply the governor s gardens with sunshine, at a reasonable rate. Gulliver s exploration of the scientific academy of Laputa was my favorite part of the novel and I thought Swift s satiric chops were at there sharpest in relaying the societal dysfunction of the Laputans Now I must drop some ice in the bath water As much as there was to enjoy in this work, I was not as blown away by it as I would have liked to have been For one thing, I thought that Swift s prose was merely serviceable and I didn t find much in the way of eloquence in his delivery It was missing the ear pleasing lyrical quality that I have come to expect when reading classic literature The writing wasn t bad by any means but it wasn t as enjoyable or memorable as I had hoped This may be an unfair critique given that this book s legacy lies with its content, but the lack of beautiful prose kept me from being able to enjoy the interludes and non meaty passages of the work Also, some of Swift s critiques fell a bit flat and didn t resonate with me as much as those mentioned above For instance, the recasting of famous historical figures like Alexander, Hannibal and Caesar as being subject to the moral frailties of the human animal than the established texts would have us believe Swift uses this as the springboard to discuss the less than wholesome practices of securing political power today and that is a good thing I just found the use of the legends of antiquity unnecessary and not particularly effective That s probably a personal bias of mine as I have always found those figures fascinating to read about Here s my biggest problem One of the principal arguments that Swift makes in his novel is that balance and moderation are the keys to success both individually and as a people Extremes of behavior and belief are the seeds from which disastrous consequences are born, according to Swift That s easy to say and it has an attractive ring to it, but I wish Swift had done a little with it This walkmy right into my biggest complaint about the story the ending I thought that the ambiguity of Gulliver s condition at the end of the novel was a bit of a cop out It appears as though the reader is left to determine whether Gulliver was 1 a man disgusted with humanity as a result of his exposure to the morally righteous and logically rational Houyhnhnm or 2 a man whose ill conceived and intemperate worship of, and infatuation with the Houyhnhnm made him just another unbalanced yahoo whose loss of perspective and left him deranged Part of the answer of this would stem from determining whether Swift was holding up the Houyhnhnms as a model to follow or whether their own passionless adherence to logic was itself a subject of parody However, as with the end, I think Swift was less than certain of his position or of the position he wanted to state and thus left too much ambiguity to the reader Now I understand that often these kinds of soft endings are perfect as they allow the reader to interpret the work for themselves However, here where Swift has been bludgeoning the reader with his opinions throughout the entire work, to suddenly punt and not clearly express a case for his protagonist seems to be a miss That said, I am the first to acknowledge that it is anywhere from a distinct possibility to a metaphysical certainty that the miss here is on my part, but that was how I saw it I wanted Swift to wrap up and summarize the effect of the journey on Gulliver and provide a statement about what should be drawn from his experience so that a better road could be paved for using his travels to address the problems on which it shined its light 3.0 to 3.5 stars Still HIGHLY RECOMMENDED Okay, I didn t finish this sucker It was poor I was kind of shocked I was thinking why does no one point out that this is a giant rip off of Honey I Shrunk the Kids and Honey I Blew Up the Kid It s painfully obvious I don t see why this Danial Defoe mope has not had his ass sued, maybe he avoided that by writing his ripoff in a long ass frankly boring olde worlde style so that all the lawyers would fall asleep before they got their writ typed up The other stuff that isn t Lillypoot and Borodbynag or whatever is talking horses and shit and I m pretty sure they re in Lord of the Rings so ripoff although I never saw that movie all the way through because it s kind of boring and also kind of some real geek types have PMed me saying that Daniel Dafoe didn t write thia d it was Jonathon Swift I mean, get a life They re all dead right they re like deader than dead who cares lol. 30 1700.