The following sample essay on Bodily functions in Lilliput BY GabrtelaGM Bodily Functions in Lilliput Swift’s satirical work, Gulliver’s Travels, tells the story of Lemuel Gulliver, a surgeon that by way of sea travels finds himself in four different, amazing lands. First: a land of six-inch tall human-like beings. Secondly: a land of giants. Thirdly: a floating island. Fourthly: a land ruled by thinking and talking horses. For the purpose of this essay, I will only take into consideration the first of these four voyages.
Gulliver finds himself stranded in a beach, tied by hundreds of tiny wires. Surrounding him are tiny creatures holding this wires. One can only imagine the fear the Lilliputians must have felt at the sight of such a giant. However, slowly but surely, they start to take a liking to this enormous man. They sharewith him their culture, their food, and provide him with a house. There are two main instances, during this first Journey, in which we are faced head- on with bodily functions.
The first of these is when Gulliver describes how, after rriving to his new house in Lilliput for the first time; he had a major bowel movement: “l had been for some hours extremely pressed by the necessities of nature; which was no wonder, it being almost two days since I had last disburdened myself. I was under great difficulties between urgency and shame. The best expedient I could think of, was to creep into my house, which I accordingly did; and shutting the gate after me, I went as far as the length of my chain would suffer, and discharged my body of that uneasy load.
He goes on to say that, after this first “so uncleanly an action”, he would go outside any time he had this basic human need. Of course the excrement, which was of an equally impressive size a Gulliver compared to the Lilliputians, could not be left outside his house to pollute the air around it. Servants would come every day with wheel-barrows to remove this waste. The second time we are faced with a bodily function is the very point in which Gulliver’s favor with the people of Lilliput really started to go downhill. He had been among these people for while, when one night he was informed that the Queen’s quarters were on fire.
He runs to help and realizes the entire castle is in danger of catching fire. Seeing no manner of assisting, he suddenly remembers that he had a lot of wine to drink that evening and that he hadn’t yet “discharged” any of it. “The heat I had contracted by coming very near the flames, and by laboring to quench them, made the wine begin to operate by urine; which I voided in such a quantity, and applied so ell to the proper places, that in three minutes the fire was wholly extinguished, and the rest of that noble pile, which had cost so many ages in erecting, preserved from destruction. In this manner he does save the castle from becoming a pile of ashes, but by doing so he also gets the undying hate of the Queen, who is understandably appalled that a man urinated all over her rooms. We can see, from these two examples of the role Swift gives to bodily functions in reader uncomfortable or even disgusted, all for the purpose of assisting the satire.