After an unfortunate series of events—namely, torment by the little people of Lilliput, escape, stormy diversion of his voyage home, and, finally, abandonment—Gulliver ends up in Brobdingnag, a curious land occupied by giants, 12 times the size of Gulliver, you, and me. And so, Gulliver has the opportunity (or misfortune) of examining everything and everyone in a more intimate capacity than normally possible. What does he see?
But, the most hateful Sight of all was the Lice crawling on their Cloathes [sic]: I could see distinctly the Limbs of these Vermin with my naked Eye, much better than those of an European Louse through a Microscope; and their Snouts with which they rooted like Swine. They were the first I had ever beheld; and I should have been curious enough to dissect one of them, if I had had proper Instruments (which I unluckily left behind me in the Ship) although indeed the Sight was so nauseous, that it perfectly turned my Stomach.1
Fantus SA, Pollack RJ, Norton SA. Pediculosis in Jonathan Swift’s Gulliver’s Travels. JAMA Dermatol. 2014;150(2):162. doi:10.1001/jamadermatol.2013.9360
Coronavirus Resource Center
Customize your JAMA Network experience by selecting one or more topics from the list below.