ABSTRACT

Jonathan Swift's Gulliver's Travels, first published in London in 1726, is arguably the definitive meditation on scale (Swift 1994). It has been read as a satire on governing elites, and on the meaning of civilisation and sanity. It has also been read as an anticipation of science fiction and a forerunner of the modern novel. The text is a parody of travellers’ tales and colonialism. There have been many imitations and sequels, and multiple adaptations for radio, film and television. The book is structured in four parts, each part describing one voyage by the protagonist, Lemuel Gulliver, from his native England to ‘remote nations of the world’. Scale is the central theme of parts one and two – the journeys to Lilliput and Brobdingnag – which satirise power, colonialism and the practices of gentlemen tourists.