Study Guide

Gulliver's Travels Part 3, Chapter 9

By Jonathan Swift

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Part 3, Chapter 9

"The author returns to Maldonada. Sails to the kingdom of Luggnagg. The author confined. He is sent for to court. The manner of his admittance. The king's great lenity to his subjects."

  • Gulliver finally leaves Glubbdubdrib and heads for Luggnagg. He arrives in Luggnagg on April 21, 1708.
  • Gulliver starts speaking to a customs officer in Luggnagg, where he pretends to be Dutch.
  • Since Gulliver's eventual destination is Japan, and the Japanese will only allow Dutch traders access to their harbors, he figures this is a good plan.
  • (By the way, kudos to Swift for being absolutely correct on this historical point – after 1637, Japan refused to allow non-Dutch European traders onto its islands until the 1850s.)
  • Gulliver gets held up in Luggnagg by red tape, so he hires an interpreter who speaks both Luggnagg and Balnibarbi and answers frequent questions about his travels and the countries he has seen.
  • Eventually, Gulliver is granted an audience with the King of Luggnagg.
  • The King orders Gulliver to follow the local custom of crawling to the King's feet and licking the dust in front of his footstool. Seriously.
  • If the King wants one of his court dead, he has poison sprinkled on the floor in front of him where they have to eat it.
  • Gulliver exchanges ritual greetings with the King and then speaks to him through his interpreter.
  • Apparently, the King really likes Gulliver: he gives him some money and lets him stay at the palace.
  • Gulliver lives in Luggnagg for three months, but decides that, overall, it will be safer to go home to his wife and kids.

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