Gulliver's giant feet walking in the diminuative forest of the lilliputians

Gulliver's Travels

by Jonathan Swift

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What is the physical appearance of characters in part 1 of Gulliver's Travels?

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It's also worth noting the significance of Gulliver's physical appearance in Part 1, as Swift is playing with physical perspectives to drive home satiric points in the first two parts of the novel. During his adventures in Lilliput, Gulliver is effectively a giant, as the Lilliputians are minuscule compared to humans. Accordingly, their arguments and disputes seem equally trivial and pointless, especially their heated disagreements about wearing low-heels or high-heels and the proper method of breaking open an egg. Indeed, this latter disagreement, as pointless and unnecessary as it might seem to Gulliver, has lead to war between Lilliput and their neighbor Blefuscu, and thus a tiny, trivial disagreement becomes blown entirely out of proportion.

What Swift is doing here is playing with perspective. By blowing up the size of his protagonist, he can highlight the trivial nature of the political and religious disagreements of his day by transforming them into conflicts about heels and eggs. The bite of his satire becomes even more effective once the reader realizes that Lilliput actually looks a lot like England, and thus the island's tiny quarrels become critiques of the supposedly important political and religious conflicts during Swift's day. Thus, Swift illustrates the importance of broadening our perspective, as his bird's-eye view of Lilliput reveals the idiocy of social conflict by turning common disagreements into very small things indeed.

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I am not sure if you are speaking of Gulliver's appearance or the appearance of Lilliput, so I will speak to both.

In Part One, Gulliver has become shipwrecked. He washes up on the shores of Lilliput. Understandably, he is dishelved, wet, and having been at sea some time, a bit smelly. His longish hair is pinned down as he restrained by the Lilliputians. He has managed to hang on to his "buff jerkin" (tan jacket) and his spectacles.

There are many short descriptions of Lilliput in Chapter One, but the reader sees it more clearly as the narrator sees it at the beginning of Chapter Two:

The country round appeared like a continued garden, and the enclosed fields, which were generally forty foot square, resembled so many bed of flowers. These fields were intermingled with wood of half a stang, and the tallest trees, as I could judge, appeared to be seven foot high. I view the town on my left hand, which looked like the painted scene of a city in a theatre.

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