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Summary of Gulliver’s Travels Part 3 Chapter 6

Summary of Gulliver’s Travels Part 3 Chapter 6

A further account of the academy. The narrator proposes some improvements, which are honourably received.

Gulliver then visited professors who were studying issues of government. He sarcastically referred to them as being ‘wholly out of their senses’. They proposed schemes for persuading monarchs to choose favourites based on their wisdom, capacity and virtue; of teaching ministers to consider the public good; of rewarding merit, great abilities, eminent services; of instructing princes to know their true interest, by placing it on the same foundation with that of their people; of choosing for employments, persons qualified to exercise them, with many other ‘wild’, ‘impossible’ schemes.

However, not all of them were so visionary. One of the political projectors suggested that, if a political assembly is like a body, then it stands to reason that cures for the body might also cure problems in the assembly itself. So, he suggested that all senators should receive regular medical treatment to make sure that they didn’t fall into greed, corruption, or bribery. He also suggested various ‘cures’ for the weak memories and poor decision-making of senators. He also opined that, if political parties became violent, a hundred leaders from each political party could be taken and their brains split in such a manner that the brain may be equally divided and the portion cut-off to be interchanged, applying each to the head of his opposite party-man. In this way, each skull would have half a conservative and half a liberal brain in it. Then they could argue it out among themselves.

To raise money, there was a proposal to tax everything bad in a man, as decided by his neighbours. A second fellow suggested that they tax everything good about a man, again, as assessed by his neighbours. The problem was ensuring that jealous neighbours would not unjustly accuse each other. Another claimed that women should be taxed according to their beauty and skill at dressing.

To choose who would serve in high office, a professor proposed a raffle, which would keep hope alive among senators who might otherwise turn against the crown. Another professor advised that one could tell if a man was plotting against the government by measuring and analyzing his excrement. Gulliver offered to tell this professor about a land he had seen, ‘Tribnia’, which its residents called ‘Langden’.

Gulliver informed them that the plots in ‘Tribnia’ were generally hatched by informers who wanted to raise their own reputations by making up stuff. Usually, the accusers decided who to target in advance so they could raid the homes of the accused. There, they stole all the letters belonging to the accused so they could find ‘proof of treason by assigning special meanings and fake codes to the words of the accused. If making false allegations failed, these people had two other methods even more effectual. They could decipher all initial letters into political meanings. Or by transposing the letters of the alphabet in any suspected paper, they could give it any meaning they chose, thereby, they laid open the deepest designs of a discontented party.

Gulliver grew tired of the academy and began to yearn for a return to England.