Gulliver's Voyage to Brobdingnag

Gulliver's Voyage to Brobdingnag
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  • 0:31 ''Gulliver's Travels''
  • 2:15 Chapter One / Chapter Two
  • 2:59 Chapter Three
  • 4:02 Chapters Four & Five
  • 5:01 Chapters Six, Seven & Eight
  • 5:38 Lesson Summary
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Lesson Transcript
Instructor: Debbie Notari
The satirical work, 'Gulliver's Travels,' takes our main character to many surprising locations. In this lesson, we will follow Gulliver to a place called Brobdingnag and see what adventures await him there.

Gulliver's Travels

Gulliver's Travels was written in 1726 by Jonathan Swift. The satire, which uses humor to comment on or ridicule an aspect of the world, follows Lemuel Gulliver through a series of voyages. Gulliver travels to several interesting locales, including Lilliput, which is populated by 6-inch tall people, and Brobdingnag, which is populated by giants. The trip to Brobdingnag constitutes the second volume of Gulliver's Travels.

Travels to Brobdingnag Chapter One

Gulliver's ship encounters a terrible storm. For several days, the sailors battle the squall, and the ship is damaged. Realizing repairs need to be made, they land at what appears to be a large island called Brobdingnag. Several sailors venture out to find provisions, and Gulliver asks if he can tag along.

Sure enough, a surprise awaits them. This peninsula is inhabited by giants. Gulliver runs away from the giant he sees pursuing his fellow sailors on the shore. He comes to a grassy field and notices that the grass is ten feel tall, and the corn stalks, forty feet in height! Soon, Gulliver sees seven giants, harvesting the field with massive scythes. He compares their height to that of the average church steeple and their voices to thunder.

Gulliver fears the giants, making the observation that 'as human creatures are observed to be more savage and cruel in proportion to their bulk, what could I expect but to be a morsel in the mouth of the first among these enormous barbarians that should happen to seize me?' Just when Gulliver thinks he will either be stepped on by a giant or cut with his scythe, he cries out loud enough for the giant to hear. Gulliver is then terrified when the giant picks him up with his thumb and forefinger.

Gulliver is taken in by a farmer giant who realizes that he is not some sort of insect, but an intelligent being. However, the giants' voices are so loud, they hurt Gulliver's ears. At this point, Gulliver and the giants cannot communicate with each other save through gestures. Unlike his time in Lilliput, where Gulliver was tall and powerful compared to the Lilliputians, he is now weak and powerless.

After Gulliver goes to bed, he is attacked by two rats! He survives this horrible experience by killing one of the rats and scaring off the other.

Chapter Two

In chapter two, Gulliver meets the farmer's nine-year-old daughter, who treats Gulliver somewhat like a doll. While Gulliver stays with the giants, he sleeps in a little doll bed. Also, the farmer's daughter, who is very good at sewing, makes several changes of clothes for Gulliver. She gives Gulliver a name, 'Grildrig.' Gulliver begins to learn the giants' language.

After this, the farmer begins to show Gulliver in town and charge other giants money to see him. No doubt this was uncomfortable for Gulliver, but profitable for the giant! Then the farmer travels with Gulliver from town to town. They come to a large city called Lorbrulgrud, meaning 'Pride of the Universe.' Here, Gulliver is shown ten times a day! He learns much of the language through his performances.

Chapter Three

The giant queen buys Gulliver from the farmer, and now he lives at court. The farmer is all too willing to part with Gulliver at this point because Gulliver has lost so much weight that the farmer figures he will die soon. Gulliver is treated well at court, and given food and new clothes. The farmer's daughter, now dubbed 'Glumdalclitch' cares for him. Gulliver dines with the king and queen each day.

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