Gulliver's Travels

Differentiate between the Lilliputians and the Brobdingnagians.

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The Lilliputians stand about six inches tall and are ruled by an Emperor who appoints his high court (unfortunately he bases his appointments on rope dancing rather than brains). The court is mischievious- those in power plot against one another. As far as technology, they are master mechanics, their favorite piece of machinery being weapons.

Gulliver tells the reader that everything in Lilliput is proportionate to the Lilliputians' size and that even their eyesight is adjusted so that they can see things closer than Gulliver can.

Gulliver also describes many of Lilliput's laws, telling the reader that dishonesty and false accusations are punished more severely than theft and other terrible things are punished in England. If someone in Lilliput accuses another but is proven to be wrong in the accusation, the accused is punished severely while the falsely accused person is rewarded.

Also, Gulliver tells the reader that children are raised by the state rather than their parents. Different classes learn about different things. The nobility's children, for instance, learn about honor, justice, courage, modesty, clemency, religion, and love of country.


The Brobdingnagians on the other hand are giants. The king laughs at English politics but requests a detailed description of the government of England, which Gulliver relates. The king asks him many questions, challenging various aspects of the government and having particular difficulty with England's violent past. In the end the king concludes that the English are well below the Brobdingnagians, calling them "the most pernicious Race of Little odious Vermin that Nature ever suffered to crawl upon the Surface of the Earth."

Unlike the Lilliputians, the Brobdingnagians abhor weapons and desire peace, but their government also tends to make rash decisions.