Summary and Analysis
Part II: Chapter 2
Of all the family, the farmer's daughter is the most fascinated by Gulliver. He seems like a walking, talking doll to her. She enjoys caring for him and even gives him a new name: Grildrig. She takes such good care of Gulliver that he calls her his glumdalclitch (nurse). News of Gulliver's living at the farmer's house spreads quickly, and several visitors come to see him. At the urging of one particular gentleman, the farmer decides to take Gulliver to the market place and to put him on display for others to see (for a price). This being successful, the farmer decides to take Gulliver on tour throughout the kingdom, including visiting the kingdom's metropolis, Lorbrulgrud. There Gulliver performs ten times a day for all who wish to see him. By this time, though, Gulliver has presented far too many performances; he is almost dead with fatigue.
In this chapter, Swift demonstrates that the giants are kind and decent. It is a delicate process because, on the surface, Gulliver seems to be mistreated, yet the farmer is careful with Gulliver, and Glumdalclitch (Gulliver's name for the daughter) is especially loving with him. The farmer, it is true, almost kills Gulliver out of thoughtlessness, but he is never cruel or malicious to Gulliver (as the Lilliputians were). No normal Brobdingnagian is malicious; only children and the deformed are of that temper. These giants are not perfect; they are akin to us. Even the best of us are, sometimes, thoughtless and greedy. As for the rest of us, we are sometimes malicious — like the Lilliputians.
There is a stray political comment in this section that is of interest. Gulliver notes that the King of England himself would have felt isolated and different were he to be in a foreign land. This statement refers to George I. The English, and especially the Tories, made much of George's German origin.
manikin (mannequin) a little man; dwarf; here, being a translation of the name Grildrig, the name given to Gulliver by the farmer's daughter.
pillion a cushion attached behind a saddle for an extra rider.
gimlet-holes holes made by a gimlet, a small boring tool with a handle at right angles to a shaft having at the other end a spiral, pointed cutting edge; here, meaning the holes bored in Gulliver's traveling box.
the Sign of the Green Eagle an inn where Gulliver performed.
Ganges a river in northern India, flowing from the Himalayas into the Bay of Bengal.