Gulliver's Travels, while a magnificent, enthralling children's tale, hides Jonathan Swift's extensive and sometimes cynical use of satire. During Swift's period of writing Gulliver's Travels (1726), was a time of great change in Britain and the rest of Europe. Swift shares his views and sentiments about these changes, specifically in "A Voyage to Lilliput- and "A Voyage to the Houyhnhnms-, with his gripping, elaborate satire, which is still surprisingly easy to follow. Sometimes beneficent and other times vitriolic, his satire is easily recognizable and stunningly brilliant. In Gulliver's Travels, the character of Gulliver is first a reflection of Swift's own views, and later a complete contrast to Swift's ideas, and eventually becoming as much a figure of satire as the strange lands he visits.
The first race visited by Gulliver is the Lilliputians. A string of unusual events brings Gulliver to the Island of Lilliput, where he meets a few characters, who bear a stark resemblance to authority figures in England. Gulliver's boat, the Antelope, after a ravaging plague, is inadequately manned, and is thrust onto the rocks, sending Gulliver overboard, and into the churning sea and he floated at the mercy of the ocean. When he finally arrived at land, he immediately finds a place to sleep. Upon awakening he finds himself held fast to the ground by tiny ropes. Terrified by a strange tingling he feels, he says, "I felt something alive moving on my left leg I perceived it to be a human creature not six inches high-(Swift 38). In this, the first of four journeys in Gulliver's Travels, Swift is reflecting on the current political and morale actions of the modernized Western European countries, England and France predominately . He views these cultures with apparent animosity, and portrays them as very small people, which is also reflective of his view of their character and courage.