Study Guide

Gulliver's Travels Part 2, Chapter 8

By Jonathan Swift

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Part 2, Chapter 8

"The king and queen make a progress to the frontiers. The author attends them. The manner in which he leaves the country very particularly related. He returns to England."

  • Gulliver really wants to go home.
  • He has now spent two years in Brobdingnag, and though his life has been comfortable, he wants to return to a place where he doesn't have to worry about being stomped to death by a puppy.
  • He and Glumdalclitch are going on a tour of the south coast of the kingdom with the Brobdingnagian King and Queen.
  • Both Gulliver and Glumdalclitch have colds, but Gulliver's is mild.
  • He manages to persuade Glumdalclitch to let him go down to the beach with a servant.
  • This servant carries Gulliver's traveling box down to the beach. Once they get to the beach, Gulliver decides to take a nap, so he shuts the entrance to his box and climbs into his hammock.
  • He wakes up when he feels a sudden jolt.
  • It would seem that the servant left Gulliver's box on the beach while going off for whatever reason, and that the box has now been snagged by an eagle.
  • The eagle flies high and then drops Gulliver's box; Gulliver feels by the bobbing of his box that he is at sea.
  • Gulliver feels really bad for Glumdalclitch, who is doubtless going to be blamed for his loss by the Queen.
  • He notices that water is slowly leaking into his box, so he's getting pretty worried for himself, too.
  • He hears something scraping at the two staples attached to the side of his box that has no windows, and wonders what it is.
  • Gulliver calls out, and a voice answers that his box has been lashed to the side of a ship.
  • A sailor saws a hole in the side of his box and Gulliver emerges, very weak.
  • Gulliver has been so long in Brobdingnag that he has lost perspective on regular humans – he's surprised to be surrounded by such small people, even though they are his own height.
  • The sailors salvage some of the contents of Gulliver's box.
  • The captain of the ship, Thomas Wilcox, asks Gulliver to tell him where he has been.
  • The captain thinks that Gulliver is (a) crazy, and/or (b) a convict who has been sent to sea in a giant box as punishment.
  • To prove the truth of his story, Gulliver shows the captain his comb, made from the beard stubble of the King of Brobdingnag, as well as his pants, which are made of mouse skin.
  • The captain agrees that Gulliver is telling the truth,
  • He asks Gulliver if the King or Queen of Brobdingnag were hard of hearing, because Gulliver keeps shouting. After all, Gulliver has spent the last two years yelling to make himself heard by Brobdingnagian giants.
  • The ship arrives back in England on June 3, 1706, 9 months after Gulliver leaves Brobdingnag.
  • He keeps acting as though he expects to see 60-foot people around him, so Gulliver's whole family thinks he has gone nuts.
  • Gulliver's wife tells him never again to go to sea, but there are two more parts left to Gulliver's Travels, so we think he's not going to listen to her.

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