Why does Gulliver cooperate with the Liliputians ?

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Gulliver cooperates with the Lilliputians because he is so interested in them. He could, obviously, squash them underfoot, but he seems to be fascinated with and impressed by them, especially their military. Gulliver is interested in learning their language and finding out about their culture, almost from an anthropological perspective,...

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Gulliver cooperates with the Lilliputians because he is so interested in them. He could, obviously, squash them underfoot, but he seems to be fascinated with and impressed by them, especially their military. Gulliver is interested in learning their language and finding out about their culture, almost from an anthropological perspective, and he therefore needs to win them over. In addition to this, Gulliver finds the Lilliputians to be very beautiful, with very fine skin and dainty features (of course, this has a great deal to do with their very small size relative to Gulliver himself). Gulliver is also, at first, honored by audiences with the emperor as well as several other notable personages. In short, he is treated relatively well (after the Lilliputians get over their fear of him and before he angers the emperor by refusing to enslave the citizens of Blefuscu), and he wants to maintain good relationships in order to continue to learn about this place.

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We should remember that Gulliver is a prisoner of the Lilliputians. Under the circumstances, it's in his best interests to cooperate with them. If he does, then he figures that perhaps they'll untie him, and maybe let him go. The Liliputians' arrows are tiny—by Gulliver's standards, of course—but they still hurt like mad when several of them are fired into his hand. It's not surprising, then, that Gulliver should want to cooperate.

Apart from anything else, he's well and truly out of his comfort zone, completely adrift in a strange environment where everyone's six inches tall. Although it must be tempting for him to use his vastly superior size and physical strength to crush the Liliputians, he charitably refrains from doing so. Gulliver really isn't that kind of man. Far better, then, to get this strange race of people on his side and make them accept him.

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