Gulliver's Travels is a satire that follows the protagonist, Lemuel Gulliver, as he voyages to various exotic fictional locales. Each of the fantastic races he encounters in his travels satirizes some aspect of British life, politics, or religion. Through his encounters with various exotic societies, Gulliver comes to have a clearer and more objective understanding of his own society. The major episodes in the work are voyages to four different lands:
Lilliputians: Gulliver is captured by this race of tiny people and learns about their warlike society and their tendency to have absurdly passionate arguments about such trivia as what end of an egg one should open. He saves the palace from a fire by urinating on it and because of this is accused of treason. He manages to escape.
Brobdingnagians: The Brobdingnagians, a race of giants, are well-governed, with an admirable and practical educational system. Gulliver is kept as a pet and has terrifying encounters with animals such as mice, which in this land are his own size. He eventually escapes.
Laputa: This is a land of philosophers and mathematicians concerned with abstract speculation and having few practical interests. They are technologically advanced.
Houyhnhms: This is a land of intelligent horses who have barbaric primates called "yahoos" as slaves. They are an advanced and wise race who are horrified by Gulliver's descriptions of England, and they expel him from the island.