Gulliver's Travels

some entertaining diversions and games are mentioned in third chapter. what do these throw on the people of Lilliput, their emperor and every one else?

gulliver's kindness.

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hese games make the Lilliputians look silly but they are really satiric of the people of England. By describing a society that chooses its highest officials with silly competitions like seeing who can jump the highest on a tight-rope, Swift is poking fun at the way officials are chosen in England. He is also commenting on the disturbing trend of politicians who are willing to do whatever it takes to gain favor in the court-including humiliating themselves. The danger of ambition is also figured here; jumping badly can lead to death.

Having Gulliver stand with his legs apart so that the Lilliputian armies can walk through is also a ridiculous idea. It is a comment on the pomp and circumstance of English armies. To Swift it seems that armies are often more concerned with looking impressive than with being impressive. This scene might also be an allusion to the Colossus of Rhodes, described in Julius Caesar by Shakespeare as a larger-than-life figure that men could walk through the legs of.