Wednesday, January 27, 2010

Gulliver’s Travels

This is an okay book written by Jonathan Swift. Lemuel Gulliver, the narrator, is a sea-faring surgeon who undertakes four voyages to unknown countries. First he discovers Lilliput and is a giant amongst people who are no taller than 6 inches. Next he visits Brobdingnag, a land of giants that are up to 60 feet tall. His next voyage is to Laputa, a flying island, whose culture is mainly a satire of the Royal Society. His final voyage is to the land of Houyhnhnms, where horses speak and rule, and obscene humanoid creatures known as Yahoos are their slaves. By the time Gulliver arrives back in England to stay, he feels disgust towards all humans, including his wife.

The book was originally published in 1726. The idea of aerial bombardment as a method of warfare was likely mentioned for this first time in this novel. The name of the website Yahoo! was taken from this book. The story became an instant success, selling out its first run in less than a week. The captain who invites Gulliver to serve as a surgeon aboard his ship on the disastrous third voyage is named Robinson, from Daniel Defoe’s novel Robinson Crusoe. In Fahrenheit 451, Montag briefly reads a section of Gulliver's Travels to his wife. A television miniseries based on the story was released in 1996 starring Ted Danson and Mary Steenburgen and was about 3 hours long. A new film with Jack Black is expected to be released in December.

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