The elements of fictional writing are well thought out and artistically placed together by the author to weave a good story. An important element of every fictional story is its theme. The theme in a story is its underlying message, or 'big idea.' One of the more prominent themes thriving within Gulliver's Travels is that of power. Power is a recurring theme throughout the novel. It presents itself through the governing style on the first island of Lilliput. The island is ruled by an Emperor with ultimate power among the Lilliputians. He has a palace, servants, and the power to appoint men for war. Gulliver shows his loyalty to the Emperor when he narrates, "I desired the Secretary to present my humble duty to the Emperor, and to let him know, that I thought it would not become me, who was a foreigner, to interfere with parties; but I was ready, with the hazard of my life, to defend his person and state against all invaders" (86; ch. 8; book 1). Power is secondly recognized on Brobdingnag, first when the author is taken by a farmer as a servant, then showing a second tier of power when the farmer sells Gulliver to the Queen, then another tier of power when the Queen presents Gulliver to the King. Much like the Lilliputian Emperor, the King has the highest authority and resides in a grand palace with servants. Lastly, in the country of the Houyhnhnms, power is exemplified through the social statuses of each inhabitant. The so called yahoos living inland are ridiculed by the Houyhnhnms, and they, too have servants and have made one of Gulliver. Although there are many themes that are appropriate for this novel, a theme of power is best suited to sum up the whole story.
Fictional stories when analyzed may have parallels in their plot and/or characters. Gulliver's Travels has many parallels to other stories in both its characters and its story line. For example, the majority of the book is set on islands much like the setting in both Lord of the Flies by William Golding, and Treasure Island by Robert Louis Stevenson.