What is the theme of Gulliver's Travels?

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beateach eNotes educator| Certified Educator

A theme of Gulliver's Travels is that your circumstances and situation shape the way you view life, shaping your reality. As Gulliver travels he is surrounded by characters who are very different than he. He is a giant in the land of the Lilliputians and a little person in the land of the Brobdingnag. He is treated differently and reacts differently in each situation, including how he uses his might or intellect. On the other hand, the characters in the lands he visits use their might and intellect to work against Gulliver, and each other.

In each of the lands that Gulliver visits, the sociology of the societies is distinct when it comes to family, child rearing, identity, and how they respond to conflict, and vice versa how Gulliver responds to them. Each of them is affected by the reality of the expectations set by their upbringing and social norms.