What does Gulliver experience in Lilliput in Gulliver's Travels?

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belarafon | High School Teacher | (Level 2) Educator Emeritus

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After washing ashore on a strange island, Gulliver wakes up to find himself tied to the ground by a race of extremely small humans, who take him prisoner and present him to their rulers.

In a little time I felt something alive moving on my left leg, which advancing gently forward over my breast, came almost up to my chin; when, bending my eyes downwards as much as I could, I perceived it to be a human creature not six inches high, with a bow and arrow in his hands, and a quiver at his back.
(Swift, Gulliver's Travels, eNotes eText)

He is taken as a royal oddity, secured by a chain, and prevented from leaving. For a time, the Lilliputians treat him as an enormous animal to be displayed for entertainment. After saving the royal palace from a terrible fire by means of his full bladder, Gulliver is allowed his freedom as long as he takes care not to destroy anything. Later, he helps Lilliput defeat the rival island of Blefuscu by stealing all of their ships; when he refuses to act as a military weapon -- his earlier act being passive and non-violent -- Gulliver is sentenced to blinding. He escapes to Blefuscu, where he is allowed to refurbish an abandoned ship and leave.


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