Topic outline

    • The Little People ‘Gulliver’s Travels’ by Jonathan Swift

      About the passage

      A.  Read to understand

      Answer the following questions.

      1.   What does Gulliver mean when he says ‘our voyage was at first very fine’?

      Ans. From this Gulliver meant that when they started their journey, the sea was calm and they were sailing smoothly. But due to violent storm their ship got wrecked.


      2.   What was the rescue arrangement aboard the Antelope in case of a shipwreck? Did it prove to be useful?

      Ans. The rescue arrangement aboard the Antelope in case of a shipwreck was to use lifeboats. No, it did not prove to be useful because the winds were so strong that it overturned the lifeboats.


      3.   What happened to Gulliver after the shipwreck?

      Ans. After the shipwreck Gulliver swam as his fortune directed him and was pushed forward by wind and tide to a desolate island.

      4.   ‘The creatures ran off a second time.’

           a.   When had the ‘creatures’ run off the first time?

            Ans. The ‘creatures’ run off the first time when Gulliver roared loudly out of sheer astonishment.


           b.   What made them run off the second time?

           Ans. After struggling to get loose, Gulliver was able to break the string and  wrench out the pegs that fastened his left arm to the ground. With a violent pull, he loosened the strings that tied down his hair on the left side. Now, he was able to turn his head about two inches. This made them run off the second time.


      5.   Tolgo phonic’ – who said these words? What happened after these words were spoken?

      Ans. One of the little men cried aloud these words ‘Tolgo phonic’. After these words spoken, they started showering arrows into the air which hurt the Gulliver’s left hand. Sooner his left hand was covered with tiny arrows that pricked him like so many needles.


      6.   What protected Gulliver from the arrows and spears?

      Ans. Gulliver’s leather jacket protected him from the arrows and spears.


      B.  Read to infer

      1.   Answer these questions.

            a.   Why do you think the creatures on the island fastened Gulliver to the ground?

            Ans. The creatures on the island fastened Gulliver to the ground because for them Gulliver was a giant and they considered him as possible threat to their life.


            b.   Would you agree with the statement that Gulliver was the first human to visit the island?

            Ans. Yes, I agree with the statement that Gulliver was the first human to visit the island because for the first time little men saw such a huge creature who looked quite similar to them.


            c.   Gulliver says, ‘I felt at least fifty more of the same kind (as I imagined) following the first.’

      i. What does ‘the first’ refer to?

      Ans. ‘The first’ refer to the little man who was moving on Gulliver’s left leg.


      ii. Where did the ‘fifty more’ follow ‘the first’?

      Ans. The fifty more followed the first onto the body of Gulliver.


      iii. In what way were they ‘of the same kind’?

      Ans. They were of the same kind as they all looked like human creature but were less than six inches high.


      iv. Why does Gulliver say ‘as I imagined’?

      Ans. Gulliver said ‘as I imagined’ because he could not count the exact number as he was tied down by little men. Moreover, they were in huge numbers so, he assumed they were fifty.


            d.   What do you think the phrase ‘Tolgo Phonic’ means? Give reasons for your answer.

            Ans. I think the phrase ‘Tolgo Phonic’ means ‘attack’ because after this phrase was spoken by one of the little men, they all started showering arrows at Gulliver.


            2.   A cause is followed by its effect. Complete this table by filling in the effects of these events from the passage. One has been done for you.

      C.  Discuss

      1.   The passage ends with this line:’… what was in store for me next, I never could have imagined!’ Write down three sentences about what you think might have happened to Gulliver. Share them with the class. Later, you could read the novel Gulliver’s Travels and find out what actually happened.

      Ans. The following might have happened with him.

                               i.        They searched him thoroughly for any possible weapon he might be carrying.

                              ii.        They might chain him and allowed him to move about at the end of his chain.

                             iii.        The people brought him food.


      2.   On October 12, 1492, Christopher Columbus stepped ashore on an island that has come to be known as the Americas. However, it was not what he had set out to find. How do you think he would have reacted to the inhabitants of the island; and how would they have reacted to him?   

      Ans. Christopher Columbus might have communicated with the inhabitants of the island using sign language. Inhabitants of the island might have considered him as one of the people from the mainland who has come to make them slaves.


      3.         Use the Internet to find out more about this voyage and discovery of Christopher     Columbus, and compare notes in the class. You may refer to the following web pages:

      Ans. Answer will vary.