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Summary of Gulliver’s Travels Part 3 Chapter 4

Summary of Gulliver’s Travels Part 3 Chapter 4

The narrator leaves Laputa; is conveyed to Balnibarbi and arrives at the metropolis. A description of the metropolis and the adjoining country is given. The narrator is hospitably received by a great lord.

Gulliver felt neglected on Laputa since the inhabitants seemed interested only in mathematics and music and were far superior to him in their knowledge. He was bored by their conversation and wanted to leave. There was one lord of the court whom Gulliver found to be intelligent and curious and who had done many great things for the state, but he got no respect because he had no ear for music and no talent for mathematics. He and Gulliver bonded because they could talk sensibly to each other. Gulliver asked this lord to petition the king to let him leave the island. The king agreed, gave him some money and he was let down on the mountains above Lagado.

He visited another lord, named Munodi and was invited to stay at his home. Gulliver was disappointed at the sight of Lagado. Though the town was about half the size of London, it had houses very strangely built and most of them out of repair. The people in the streets walked fast, looked wild, their eyes fixed and were generally in rags. He expressed his opinion on the poverty of Lagado to Lord Munodi, who suggested that they kept that conversation for a later time, when they were safely at Lord Munodi’s own estates.

They then travelled to Munodi’s country house, passing many barren fields before arriving at Munodi’s estates. Lord Munodi’s estates were beautiful, well-cultivated and seemed prosperous—totally the opposite of the other Balnibarbi lands. He said that the other lords criticised him heavily for the ‘mismanagement’ of his land—he had left his orchards, fields and home in the old model of his forefathers, while the rest of Balnibarbi had gone over to new ideas of farming.

Munodi explained that forty years ago some people had gone to Laputa and returned with new ideas about mathematics and art. They decided to establish an academy in Lagado to develop new theories on agriculture and construction and to initiate projects to improve the lives of the city’s inhabitants. The professors promised all kinds of miracles—auto-ripening fruit, reduction of working hours, etc., but the problem was—all their calculations didn’t actually work. The new techniques left the country in ruin. Lord Munodi promised to get Gulliver an invitation to Lagado’s Royal Academy if he wanted it, which Gulliver did since he was once intrigued by projects of this sort himself.