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

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SUMMARY

      The author here gives an account of the flying island. He describes this island as exactly circular with a diameter of 7,837 yards. The thickness, the basins, the rivers, etc. are elaborately explained. The author also furnishes details of a lodestone of prodigious size, upon which the fate of this flying island depends. It is because of this huge magnet that this island is able to rise and fall, and move from one place to another. Further, the author praises this race for their advancement in astronomy. The rebellions and insurrections that arise in the lands below are suppressed by two methods. To apply the first and the mildest method, the island hovers over the particular land in such a way that people below should not get sunlight and rain, and consequently be threatened by death and disease. Stones are pelted from the island if the mutineers do not give in. In the second method, the island is made to land upon that particular town or land crushing all the houses with the inhabitants. Till now, the king has never had to adopt the last resort.

      The author is told about an extraordinary accident which would have put an end to the continuation of that monarchy if the island was not lifted up on time. This accident happened when the people of Lindalino shut the town gates, seized on the governor and erected four great towers, one at each corner of the town with a lodestone and huge rock in the center of the town with a huge lodestone on top. These lodestones attracted the island almost forcing it to crash on the towers at tremendous speed. The astronomers and operators on the island succeeded in saving the island only by moving it upwards with great effort. This incident forced the king to accept all the demands of the town, The author is assured by a great minister that if the island had descended and could not raise itself the citizens were determined to kill the king and all his servants. The author also learns that neither the king nor his two elder sons are permitted to leave the island as per a fundamental law. The queen can leave the island only when she is past childbearing.

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