Gulliver's Travels: Part 3, Chapter 2 - Summary

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SUMMARY

      After alighting on the island, the author finds himself surrounded by people of a strange appearance. Their heads are all reclined either to the right or the left; one of their I eyes turned inward and the other directly up to the zenith. Their outer garments are? adorned with the figures of celestial bodies and musical instruments. The people of quality are attended by flappers who gently strike their ear and mouth with a bladder every now and then to keep them awake and attentive. These men of quality are ! perpetually entangled in various thoughts and thus, quite forgetful. The king also has a flapper on his either side. The king is known for his hospitality to strangers. The author dines with the king and has a two-course meal where all the dishes are cut in the shape of various mathematical figures. The author realizes how much importance is given to mathematics and music. The king appoints a tutor for the author to make him learn their language. The name of the island is Laputa and its capital is on the Lagado. New clothes are made for the author as he is assumed to be ill-clad. The operator takes the measure from various dimensions and after six days brings his clothes that turn out to be very ill-made and out of shape. The houses are also ill-built since the people who design them and people who build them have entirely different levels of understanding. When the island moves towards its capital it flies over many villages and towns where people string their petitions on packthreads that are let down from the island with small weights on the bottom. They receive wine and victuals also from below. The author finds these people in a state of continual disquietude for they always live in fear of various dreadful accidents that can occur in the future as per their astronomical calculations. The author has described the women of the island as vivacious, contemptuous of their husbands and extremely fond of strangers. They are not allowed to leave the island without a license since the people of quality have found that their women do not wish to return from below. The author is also told about a great court lady who is the wife of the prime minister and the mother of his children, who went down to Lagado and hid herself for several months and when she was caught and taken back to the island, she again ran away and did not return since then. When the author meets the king after learning their language with some proficiency, the king does not take interest in asking about the history, religion or manners of the countries he has visited, rather his questions are confined to the state of mathematics.

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