A satirical novel written by Jonathan Swift, first published in 1726. The story follows Lemuel Gulliver, a ship’s surgeon, who embarks on four voyages to fantastical lands. In each voyage, Gulliver encounters societies that serve as satirical reflections of contemporary politics, human nature, and societal norms.
The first voyage takes him to Lilliput, a land of tiny people, where he becomes a giant among them. The second voyage leads him to Brobdingnag, inhabited by giants, where he is the miniature observer. In the third voyage, Gulliver visits Laputa, a flying island inhabited by intellectuals absorbed in abstract thinking, symbolizing the detachment of the ruling class from practical concerns. The fourth and final voyage brings him to the land of the Houyhnhnms, intelligent horses who rule over the brutish Yahoos, representing Swift’s criticism of human behavior.
Swift employs satire to critique various aspects of 18th-century English society, including government, science, and human folly. “Gulliver’s Travels” remains a classic work of literature known for its imaginative storytelling and biting social commentary.