What Is The Purpose Of The Agreement Between Gulliver And The Lilliputians
Swift closely associates her satire with Gulliver`s perceptions and adventures. In Gulliver`s first adventure, he begins on a boat that sinks on a submerged rock. He swims ashore, and when he wakes up, he finds himself tied to the ground and surrounded by tiny people, the Lilliputians. “The irony is present from the beginning in Gulliver`s simultaneous line as a giant and a prisoner” (Reilly 167). Gulliver is surprised by “the fearlessness of these little mortals who dare to climb my body and walk” (I.i.16), but he admires this quality in them. Gulliver eventually learned their language and entered into a contract with them for his freedom. However, he was bound by this agreement to protect Lilliput from the invasion by the people of Blefuscu. The Lilliputians tell him the following story: in Lilliput, years ago, people broke eggs at the end. But the grandfather of the present king cut his egg once in this way, so that the king of the time, the father of the present king`s grandfather, issued an edict so that all the eggs would be broken at the small end. Some of the men resisted, and they took refuge in Blefuscu, and “for six and thirty finite moons” the two sides were at war (I.IV.48). Of course, such an argument would be quite ridiculous to Gulliver, for he could hardly distinguish the difference at the ends of their eggs.
For Swift, Lilliput is analogous to England and Blefuscu with France. With this event of history, Swift satirical the unnecessary quarrels and struggles between the two nations. The absurd and complicated method by which Gulliver must swear on the articles is another aspect of Whig politics: petty bureaucratic harassment. The Whigs attacked the Tory Treaty of Utrecht, claiming that the peace treaty was not valid because the royal guarantee was not properly countersigned. At Lilliputien Ercourt, Gulliver struggled to hold his right foot in his left hand and place the middle finger of his right hand with his right thumb on the top of his head. But this is how he must “counter” his agreement. If the thumb is not directly on the ear, sworn loyalty is technically called into question. During Gulliver`s fourth journey, Swift`s satire reaches its climax, where “Swift has put her most biting and hard lines, which speak not only against the government, but against human nature itself” (Glicksman).