Gulliver's Travels

Gulliver's experiences on being shipwrecked on the shore of Lilliput are full of surprises and strange events. explain his reactions and feelings on walking up from a sleep of exhaustion and finding himself bound to the ground

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When Gulliver awakens, he is lying on his back. He finds himself unable to sit up or move at all. His "Arms and Legs were strongly fastened on each side to the Ground; and [his] Hair, which was long and thick, tied down in the same manner." He feels something moving along his body almost up to his chin, at which point he sees that it is "a human Creature not six Inches high, with a Bow and Arrow in his Hands, and a Quiver at his Back." Gulliver will later learn that these creatures are called Lilliputians. Startled by this sight, Gulliver roars out and soon manages to free his left arm. The frightened Lilliputians fire dozens of tiny arrows into his hand, face, and body until he lies calmly. The Lilliputians then build a stage to Gulliver's side that is about a foot and a half tall, upon which a "Person of Quality" stands and makes a ten-minute speech to Gulliver in a language he cannot understand.

Gulliver signals that he wants food and drink, so the people bring baskets of meat and several loaves of bread, which he eats three at a time because they are so tiny to him. The Lilliputians also bring two barrels of drink, which he enjoys even though they are smaller than a half a pint together.

Gulliver admits that as he lies on the ground he often thinks of taking up fifty of the small creatures in his hand and crushing them-but he does not want to be pricked with arrows again, and he has given his "Promise of Honour" to behave in exchange for good treatment.

After he has eaten, Gulliver signals to the people to move out of the way. He relieves himself by "making Water." He promptly falls asleep because his drink had a sleeping medicine in it. Once they are sure he is asleep, the Lilliputians, who are excellent mathematicians, transport Gulliver to the Capital. They use a large platform with twenty-two wheels pulled by dozens of four-and-a-half-inch horses, dragging Gulliver half of a mile. After he awakens, Gulliver finds that he is chained by his leg in the capital, but he is able to move in a circle of about two yards in diameter. More than one hundred thousand Lilliputians come out to see Gulliver.

Gulliver fears the tiny arrows of the Lilliputians, he could almost certainly escape if he put his mind to it. Why does he choose to stay? Perhaps he is curious about the Lilliputians, their culture, language, and ways of living. Gulliver's curiosity and thirst for knowledge were established in the first few paragraphs of the novel. Or perhaps Gulliver enjoys the power that comes with being a giant. Even as a prisoner in Lilliput, Gulliver is the most powerful being on the island.