Lemuel Gulliver, ship's surgeon and castaway, has awaken in Lilliput, where the size of the tiny inhabitants makes their concerns and quarrels seem ridiculous. A second journey takes him to the kingdom of giants, where again his size gives him new adrift by pirates, Gulliver's final voyage brings him to the land of the Houyhnhms, horses with reason, who share their domain with the brutish Yahoos. He returns to England a changed man.
Swift's corrosive satire embraces all aspects of humanity. It is witty when dealing with foibles and frailty, bitterly when facing pride and stupidity, but compassionate and unsentimental when focused upon suffering.