Study Guide

Gulliver's Travels Part 3, Chapter 7

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Part 3, Chapter 7

"The author leaves Lagado: arrives at Maldonada. No ship ready. He takes a short voyage to Glubbdubdrib. His reception by the governor."

  • Gulliver claims that Balnibarbi is situated in the Pacific, west of California, which has not yet been charted (much like Brobdingnag).
  • To the north of Lagado is the island of Luggnagg, which is not far southeast of Japan.
  • These two countries have trade relations, so Gulliver plans to go to Luggnagg, sail for Japan, and then head for Europe.
  • Gulliver has to wait for a month before a boat will arrive at the port city of Maldonada to take him to Luggnagg.
  • Since he has nothing to do for a month, a local guy suggests that he try visiting the small island of Glubbdubdrib, an island of sorcerers.
  • These sorcerers are very private and only marry among each other.
  • The Governor of Glubbdubdrib can raise the dead, but only for one day, and he can't call them back again until three months have gone by.
  • Gulliver goes to meet this Governor, who asks Gulliver about his adventures.
  • All of the servants in the Governor's household are ghosts.
  • After 10 days on Glubbdubdrib, Gulliver stops worrying about the ghosts so much, which leads the Governor to make him an offer: Gulliver can speak to any ghosts he chooses and as many as he wants.
  • The one thing he has to promise is that he will only ask them questions about their own time.
  • Gulliver agrees, and gets to speak to:
    1. Alexander the Great (who died from drinking too much);
    2. Hannibal (who is supposed to have broken a rock blocking him from crossing the Alps using vinegar, but who tells Gulliver that really, he had no vinegar in his camp (source: Robert Greenberg, Editor, Gulliver's Travels: An Annotated Text With Critical Essays. New York: Norton, 1961, 167).);
    3. Julius Caesar and Pompey the Great in the midst of their greatest battles;
    4. Brutus, Julius Caesar's assassin, whom Gulliver admires for his bravery and commitment to the end of dictatorship.
  • Gulliver doesn't want to bore the reader with a complete list of who he spoke to, but most of his conversations were with great men of history who killed tyrants and fought for liberty.

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