Study Guide

Gulliver's Travels Part 3, Chapter 11

By Jonathan Swift

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Part 3, Chapter 11

"The author leaves Luggnagg, and sails to Japan. From thence he returns in a Dutch ship to Amsterdam, and from Amsterdam to England"

  • The Luggnaggian King offers Gulliver a job at court, but Gulliver wants to go home.
  • The King sends him off with a generous gift of gold.
  • Gulliver heads to Japan, where he uses a letter of recommendation from the Luggnaggian King to get an audience with the Emperor of Japan.
  • The two talk to each other using Dutch.
  • Gulliver tells the Emperor that he is a Dutch merchant looking for passage to "Nangasac" (3.10.4) – presumably Nagasaki, home to a large Dutch settlement in the eighteenth century.
  • Gulliver also asks the Emperor if he could please be excused from the Dutch custom of trampling on the cross, as a favor to his patron, the King of Luggnagg.
  • The Emperor agrees, but warns Gulliver not to let any of the Dutch know or he'll have his throat cut on the trip home.
  • Gulliver, of course, has lived in Holland – you may remember, way back in Part 1, Chapter 1, Gulliver mentions studying medicine at the University of Leiden.
  • His Dutch is great, and he manages to convince some Dutch sailors to let him sail with them.
  • They all ask if he's had a chance to stomp on the crucifix yet, and he dodges the question by saying he has "satisfied the Emperor [...] in all particulars" (3.11.5).
  • Gulliver's trip home is uneventful, and he finally gets to see his family after 5 and a half years away.

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