Gulliver's Travels Questions and Answers
by Jonathan Swift

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How did the king of Brobdingnag receive Gulliver?

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When Gulliver meets the King of Brobdingnag in Book 2 of "Gulliver's Travels", the king at first thinks that Gulliver is a small animal (splacknuck) or is a clockwork toy.  When the king realizes that Gulliver is neither of those, he is astonished and fascinated.  The king then has scholars study Gulliver to determine what Gulliver was.  After the scholars studied Gulliver and still has to simply label him a "freak of nature", the king treats Gulliver kindly by ordeing that good care be taken of Gulliver.  Gulliver began to learn more about the king as well and he wanted to be in his good graces.  Gulliver noted that the king and the entire kingdom lacked some grandeur and, in fact, the king was contemptible of excessive human behaviors.  In an attempt to impress the king with how advanced and civilized Gulliver's home land was, Gulliver told the king much about England, its people, and its government.  The king was contemptuous of the Englsih snobbery, English government, and the English people in general.  The king was one of the most sympathetic people Gulliver encountered in Brobdingnag; he was big in heart as well as stature just as the Emperor of Lilliput was small in all ways.  The king tries to understand Gulliver and his people, but he sees them as mean, narrow-minded people with warped values.  Despite his opinion, however, he never mistreats Gulliver.

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