Gulliver’s Travels is a novel written by Jonathan Swift. It is currently published by the Penguin Group. Books like Gulliver’s Travels are an integral part of language arts curriculum. This story follows a man by the name of Lemuel Gulliver, who has a love for traveling that often gets him in to troublesome situations.
The story begins with Lemuel Gulliver taking his first journey at sea after his business as a surgeon does not prove profitable. In the first voyage, Gulliver is shipwrecked on the island of Lilliput, which is inhabited by little people. After being convicted of treason, Gulliver escapes. He begins a second voyage, which lands him on the island of Brobdingnag. This island is full of giants who use Gulliver for their own amusement. Again, Gulliver escapes.
Gulliver’s Travel’s summary continues when Gulliver takes two more voyages. In the last voyage, Gulliver is banished from the country of Houyhnhnms because he is not a horse like the other creatures.
This book is important for children to read because it reveals the differences between various cultures and religions. The book also examines humans as individuals, and humans as part of a community.
This Gulliver’s Travels passage reveals Gulliver’s view that the justice system in England is corrupt. "I said there was a society of men among us, bred up from their youth in the art of proving by words multiplied for the purpose, that white is black, and black is white, according as they are paid. To this society all the rest of the people are slaves."
Another Gulliver’s Travel passage demonstrates Gulliver’s disdain for philosophers who were more concerned with knowledge than helping those who were living in poverty and struggling to survive. ". . . there is nothing so extravagant and irrational which some philosophers have not maintained for truth."
Since Gulliver’s Travels is a novel meant to be read by high school students, teachers can organize a few fun word games to go along with the book. First, teachers can break the students up in to four groups. Each group can create an island map based on one of Gulliver’s four voyages. The map should represent the type of people and their culture as described in the book. Additionally, teachers can put together a Gulliver’s Travels spelling list and students can use this list to practice not only their spelling, but also their knowledge of the book. Finally, students can get together to play the Gulliver’s Travels board game produced by Milton and Bradley.