In 1726 Swift’s masterpiece “Gulliver’s Travels” appeared. This work made a great sensation in Ireland as well as in England, it equally strirred the interests of those in politics as well as the readers of novels.
In this work Swift intended to satirise the evils of the existing society in the form of fictional travels. It tells about the adventures of a ship surgeon, as related by himself and divided into four parts of four voyages: 1. A voyage to Liliput. 2. A voyage to Brobdignag. 3. A voyage to Laputa. 4. A voyage to the country of Houyhnhnms.
1. The first voyage was to a strange country Lilliput. As the result of a shipwreck Gulliver finds himself in a country, inhabited by a race of people about six inches high. Everything else in this country is on a correspondent scale. Swift meant this small country with it’s shallow interest, corrupted laws and evil customs to symbolize the England of the 18’th centure, the court with it’s
atmosphere of hostility, hypocrizy and flattery where the author felt as lonely as his hero when among the liliputians.
2. Before long Gulliver undertakes another voyage. The ship anchors near the land of the giants to take in a supply of water. While on shore Gulliver is captured by the giants. They are good-natured creatures and treat Gulliver kindly, though they are amused by his small size and look upon him as a plaything.
Brobdingnag is an expression of Swift’s desire to find the ideal and escape from the disgusting world of the Liliputians. The author idealizes an agricultural country ruled by ideal monarch. Swift creates such a monarch in the king of Brobdingnag. He is clever, honest and kind to his people. He hates wars and wants to make his people happy.
3. The third voyage is to Laputa, a flying island Laputa. Swift’s imagination the bitterness of his satire reach their climax in the third part where he shows the academy of sciences in Laputa (the author touches upon all the existing sciences). It is easy enough to understand that in ridiculing the academy of Laputa. Swift ridicults the scientists of the 18’th century. The scientists are shut in their chambers isolated from all the world.
3. In the 4’th part Swift describes Gulliver’s adventures at the Heuyhnhnms – a ideal land where were is neither sickness, dishonesty, non any of the frivo-lities of human scociety. The human race ocupies a position of servility there and a noble race of horces rules the country by reason and justice.
“Gulliver’s travels was one of the greatest works of the period of the Enlightment in world literature. Swift’s democratic ideas expressed in the book had a great influence on the English writers who came after Swift.