How could Gulliver’s character be briefly described based on his experience with the Lilliputians and Blefuscudians?

Expert Answers

An illustration of the letter 'A' in a speech bubbles

Gulliver has a mild and fair disposition, which he exhibits when he is with the Lilliputians. When they have tied him up, he thinks that he can easily free himself from their chains, as they are so small. However, he doesn't attempt to flee, in part because they pierce him with small and relatively painless arrows and in part because he is thankful to them for their hospitality. When a colonel of the Lilliputians rounds up the ringleaders of the crowd that is shooting arrows at Gulliver, the colonel hands these small men to Gulliver. Though he could easily eat them alive, Gulliver instead lets them go free. Later, he also saves part of the palace from fire (which he does by putting his urine on it). In addition, he learns their language and offers the monarch to protect him against the Lilliputians' mortal enemies, the Blefuscudians.

However, Gulliver refuses to violate his ideas about fairness when the Lilliputians ask him to do so. When the monarch of Lilliput wants to enslave the Blefuscudians, Gulliver refuses to support him, saying, "I would never be an instrument of bringing a free and brave people into slavery" (page 33). Eventually, he is accused of treason and must leave Lilliput, but his behavior while he's there shows him to be fair-minded and of a gentle temperament.

Approved by eNotes Editorial Team

We’ll help your grades soar

Start your 48-hour free trial and unlock all the summaries, Q&A, and analyses you need to get better grades now.

  • 30,000+ book summaries
  • 20% study tools discount
  • Ad-free content
  • PDF downloads
  • 300,000+ answers
  • 5-star customer support
Start your 48-Hour Free Trial