Can you provide a character sketch of the Lilliputians from Gulliver's Travels by Jonathan Swift?  

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iandavidclark3 eNotes educator| Certified Educator

Gulliver meets the Lilliputians during the first voyage in Jonathan Swift's Gulliver's Travels. The Lilliputians are a tiny people, standing at about half a foot high, and their petty personalities match their diminutive size. Swift shows the Lilliputians to be obsessed with absurd and rather meaningless disputes, and their kingdom appears to be wracked by conflicts over trivial disagreements. For example, Gulliver observes that a major conflict has erupted over a squabble over the proper method of cracking open an egg. Big-enders think that it should be cracked open at the larger end of the egg, while Little-enders think it should be cracked open at the smaller end. It goes without saying that this disagreement is ridiculous, but it nonetheless appears to be fairly typical for Lilliputian society.

In general, many scholars believe that Lilliput is meant to parody and poke fun at the contemporary European society of Swift's day. Indeed, a few Lilliputians are thought to be satirical counterparts of historical English politicians. As such, by characterizing the Lilliputians as petty and small-minded people, Swift also satirizes similar qualities in the European community in general.   

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Gulliver's Travels

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