Gulliver's Travels


Jonathan Swift

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Gulliver's Travels: Book 2, Chapter 4 Summary & Analysis

Gulliver describes the kingdom of Brobdingnag, which is on a rocky peninsula which Gulliver surmises must be in between Japan and northwest America. Gulliver frequently leaves the palace on expeditions with Glumdalclitch, who carries him in a specially made and furnished box. On one trip, Gulliver is fascinated to see beggars crawling with visible lice and gauged with immense wounds. Gulliver is eager to see the “chief temple,” but is unimpressed by the sight of it, thinking that, in proportion to the size of the inhabitants, it is nowhere near as impressive as Salisbury steeple in England.
The geographical orientation between “real” countries makes the tale seem more “true.” Though it can be a nuisance, Gulliver’s different perspective can also work in his favor. He can see things—like the lice—invisible to those around him. His worldly knowledge also enables him to make comparisons and judgments that the Brobdingnagans, who have never been to England, can’t.
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