In Gulliver's Travels, Swift is parodying and making fun of contemporary travel books. Show how the first section of the book parodies the fantastic lies about strange places and trivial details of traveler’s daily life.

Jonathan Swift's Gulliver's Travels presents a parody of the fantastic travel narratives of Swift's day in such elements as the shipwreck, the arrival in a strange land filled with strange people, the traveler's captivity, the traveler earning the Natives' trust, the detailed description of the Natives' daily lives, the misunderstanding between the traveler and the Natives, and the traveler's escape.

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The travel narratives of Jonathan Swift's era were fantastic to say the least. Even those purporting to be true stories related tales of fabulous creatures, magical people, strange lands, and impossible events. Swift recognized these tales for what they were—largely fictional but highly entertaining—and he wrote Gulliver's Travels in part as a parody (an exaggerated imitation) of them.

In the first section of Gulliver's Travels, Gulliver is shipwrecked (a common element in contemporary travel narratives) and finds himself in Lilliput, surrounded by tiny but fierce human beings that tie up Gulliver and hold him as their prisoner (note that captivity is another common motif of travel narratives). There is some irony here, for Gulliver could probably have squished the Lilliputians without much effort, but he is fascinated by them and decides to earn their trust instead.

Indeed, Gulliver does earn the trust of the Lilliputians (yet another travel narrative motif) and proceeds to describe daily life among them. He goes into significant detail about the Lilliputians' governmental structures, cities, conflicts, occupations, clothing, diet, language, and so on. His account again parodies the travel narratives that present similar information about strange peoples.

Gulliver, however, does not maintain the Lilliputians' favor, for he puts out a fire at the palace by urinating on it, and the Lilliputians convict him of treason. This, too, is a travel narrative motif: there is often some kind of misunderstanding between the visitor and the Natives that leads to violence. Gulliver makes his escape (as do the writers of the travel narratives) and lives to travel yet another day and yet another journey.

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