Gullivers Travels: A Voyage to Laputa

Essay by anistheoneHigh School, 12th gradeA+, November 2004

download word file, 3 pages 3.0

Downloaded 25 times

The Laputans can be effectively characterized as a group of absentminded intellectuals who live on the floating island of Laputa. Gulliver encounters these people in his third voyage. The Laputans are parodies of theoreticians, who have scant regard for any practical results of their own research, they are so absorbed in their own thoughts that they must be shaken out of their meditations by flappers. These servants walk around with Laputans all day, holding special rattle-like equipment in their hands, which they rattle at the person's ear when two Laputans wish to converse. During Gulliver's stay at Laputa, he observes many distinctive characteristics of the people living here. They often start on an ambitious new project, only to leave it half-finished due to the physical complexities of construction. They speculate about the trajectory of comets or the eventual impact on the sun, while they should be thinking of improved ways to manage themselves and their property.

Gulliver feels neglected on Laputa, since the inhabitants seem interested only in mathematics and music and are far superior to him in their knowledge.

The King of Laputa is a man of mathematical obsession who explains the laws of his land to Gulliver. He also decrees that the lands below Laputa should obey his laws. If they don't, they will have to face the consequences. He manages his kingdom in a very impractical manner, he is constantly pondering on the abstract matters of the universe rather than daily needs such as good housing, management etc. Much like the rest of his Laputan subjects he often thought of ideas that were almost physically impossible to construct. Gulliver also noticed that "although they are dexterous enough on a piece of

paper, in the management of the rule, the pencil and the divider,