In part 2, Lemuel Gulliver reaches Brobdingnag, where the people are giants in comparison to him. The vast difference in size is the principal element of fantasy that Swift employs: the people are so huge that Gulliver easily fits into the palm of one of their hands, and they often carry him around their pockets. He finds one severe disadvantage in his size in relation to animals, and on several occasions, he has to fight them.
Gulliver sees a huge man pursuing his comrades in the boat, but his first indication that these differences of scale are standard features of the country is the height of the foliage.
That which first surprised me was the length of the grass, which, in those grounds that seemed to be kept for hay, was about twenty feet high ... [I walked through a] field, which was fenced in with a hedge of at least one hundred and twenty feet high, and the trees so lofty that I could make no computation of their altitude.
He soon sees a tall, human-like “monster” approaching:
He appeared as tall as an ordinary spire steeple, and took about ten yards at every stride,
This man is a farm worker who picks him up, takes him to the farm, and turns this curiosity over to his master. Gulliver soon finds himself inside the farmer’s home, confronting not only humans but animals. The mistress’s cat “seemed to be three times larger than an ox.”
After Gulliver is put to bed, he encounters some rats—each “the size of a large mastiff”— in the bedroom. Although frightened, he manages to fend them off and then kill them.
I rose in a fright, and drew out my hanger to defend myself. These horrible animals had the boldness to attack me on both sides, and one of them held his fore-feet at my collar; but I had the good fortune to rip up his belly before he could do me any mischief. He fell down at my feet; and the other, seeing the fate of his comrade, made his escape, but not without one good wound on the back.
One of the ironies Swift introduces is that in Brobdignag, Gulliver himself is associated with fantasy. The people doubt his humanity. When Gulliver is taken into town, the innkeeper sends the town crier to announce the exhibition of
a strange creature ... not so big as a splacnuck (an animal in that country very finely shaped, about six feet long,) and in every part of the body resembling a human creature, could speak several words, and perform a hundred diverting tricks.
Throughout part II, all of Gulliver’s difficulties relate to his tiny size. He is taken to the court, where he entertains the nobility as a minor curiosity. He hopes to escape and find his way home. Another fantastic element enables him to do so. The king has been keeping Gulliver in a “traveling-box” while they tour the country. One day at the seaside, an eagle picks the box up in its beak. He fears it will drop the box and then eat him when he spills out,
I heard a noise just over my head, like the clapping of wings, and then began to perceive the woful condition I was in; that some eagle had got the ring of my box in his beak, with an intent to let it fall on a rock, like a tortoise in a shell, and then pick out my body, and devour it ...
Instead, it carries him out over the sea and drops the box into the water. The stout wooden box protects him, and he survives to be picked up by a boat.