Gulliver's Travels

Gulliver's Travels

Clothing Symbol Icon
Clothing in Gulliver’s Travels symbolizes perspective and thus each population that Gulliver visits sports different garments. The tiny clothes of the Lilliputians differ from the immense clothing of the Brobdingnaggians as their small size endows them with a different view of the world from that of the giant Brobdingnaggians; the Laputians’ elaborate robes decorated with astronomical and mathematical symbols are the opposite of the Houyhnhmns’ nakedness, as their preoccupations with theory and abstraction are utterly distinct from the Houyhnhmns down-to-earth wisdom. Though Gulliver comes to each country wearing his own clothes, those clothes gradually fall apart and he is outfitted in native garments. Likewise, Gulliver enters each country carrying his own ideas and opinions but, as he immerses himself in the new society, his mindset is shaped by the people around him until his perspective starts to match theirs.

Clothing Quotes in Gulliver's Travels

The Gulliver's Travels quotes below all refer to the symbol of Clothing. For each quote, you can also see the other characters and themes related to it (each theme is indicated by its own dot and icon, like this one:
Perspective Theme Icon
). Note: all page and citation info for the quotes below refers to the Penguin Classics edition of Gulliver's Travels published in 2003.
Book 1, Chapter 2 Quotes

In the right coat-pocket of the great man-mountain…after the strictest search, we found only one great piece of coarse cloth, large enough to be a foot-cloth for your majesty’s chief room of state.

Related Characters: The Lilliputians (speaker), Lemuel Gulliver
Related Symbols: Clothing
Page Number: 35
Explanation and Analysis:

Lorem ipsum dolor sit amet, consectetur adipiscing elit, sed do eiusmod tempor incididunt ut labore et dolore magna aliqua. Ut enim ad minim veniam, quis nostrud exercitation ullamco laboris nisi ut aliquip ex ea commodo consequat. Duis aute irure dolor in reprehenderit in voluptate velit esse cillum dolore eu fugiat nulla pariatur. Excepteur sint occaecat cupidatat non proident, sunt in culpa qui officia deserunt mollit anim id est laborum.

Unlock explanations and citation info for this and every other Gulliver's Travels quote.

Plus so much more...

Get LitCharts A+
Already a LitCharts A+ member? Sign in!
Get the entire Gulliver's Travels LitChart as a printable PDF.
Gulliver s travels.pdf.medium

Clothing Symbol Timeline in Gulliver's Travels

The timeline below shows where the symbol Clothing appears in Gulliver's Travels. The colored dots and icons indicate which themes are associated with that appearance.
Book 1, Chapter 6
Perspective Theme Icon
Society and the State Theme Icon
Truth and Deception Theme Icon
...goes on to describe the prodigious efforts made by hundreds of the Lilliputian servants to clothe and feed him. He notes that once he had the Lilliputian emperor and the whole... (full context)
Book 2, Chapter 2
Perspective Theme Icon
Society and the State Theme Icon
...for by the Brobdingnagan farmer’s nine-year-old daughter Glumdalclitch. Glumdalclitch tends him diligently, making him new clothes, washing those clothes regularly, and teaching him the Brobdingnagian language. Gulliver says that he owes... (full context)
Book 2, Chapter 3
Perspective Theme Icon
...housed in a special chamber and Gulliver is fixed up with a custom-made bed and clothes of highest quality. The king and queen are fond of dining with Gulliver, who entertains... (full context)
Book 2, Chapter 8
Perspective Theme Icon
Knowledge Theme Icon
Truth and Deception Theme Icon
...convince the crew that his account of Brobdingnag is true. He shows them his mouse-skin trousers. The captain believes him and encourages him to write up his adventures for all to... (full context)
Book 3, Chapter 2
Perspective Theme Icon
Moral vs. Physical Power Theme Icon
...individuals. Many of them don’t hold their heads up straight. Some are cross-eyed. All wear clothes elaborately decorated with celestial bodies and musical instruments. Amongst these people walk servants carrying a... (full context)
Perspective Theme Icon
Knowledge Theme Icon
At the Laputian king’s orders, Gulliver is measured for clothes using a quadrant, a ruler, and compasses, and the resultant clothes are very misshapen due... (full context)
Book 4, Chapter 1
Perspective Theme Icon
...in a mysterious language. They approach Gulliver and delicately examine and admire each item of his clothing . Gulliver concludes that the horses must be magicians who have turned themselves into horses.... (full context)
Book 4, Chapter 2
Perspective Theme Icon
...Gulliver sees they think he is a Yahoo too, except for the presence of his clothes, which the horses seem to think are a part of his body. (full context)
Perspective Theme Icon
...except for a very old visiting horse, who has them warm. Gulliver shows them that his gloves are removable, which pleases the horses. They teach him more words. Later, Gulliver accepts some... (full context)
Book 4, Chapter 3
Perspective Theme Icon
Truth and Deception Theme Icon
The Houyhnhnms continue to think that Gulliver’s clothes are a part of his body and Gulliver takes care to undress only in their... (full context)
Book 4, Chapter 4
Perspective Theme Icon
Moral vs. Physical Power Theme Icon
Society and the State Theme Icon
Truth and Deception Theme Icon
...the unattractiveness and awkwardness of Gulliver’s features and the weakness of his body that needed clothes. The master horse also wonders how the creatures of Europe are able to overcome the... (full context)
Book 4, Chapter 7
Perspective Theme Icon
Society and the State Theme Icon
...of one another’s bodies (which the master horse assumes is the real reason for Europeans’ clothes); greedily hoard food; overeat; purge; suffer sickness from immoderation (which is cured by eating their... (full context)
Book 4, Chapter 11
Perspective Theme Icon
Society and the State Theme Icon
...not to return to live with Yahoos and laugh at his horsey voice and strange clothes. When they insist he board their ship to return to Europe, he is extremely reluctant... (full context)
Perspective Theme Icon
Truth and Deception Theme Icon
...Portugal, takes Gulliver into his own bachelor’s home and gives him a new set of clothes. He helps Gulliver ease slowly back into familiarity with human society. He eventually convinces Gulliver... (full context)