Reflections on Size and Gulliver’s Travels


Little is cute.

Big is scary.

Why do we classify sizes based on their relative threat to us?

Giants are evil. This is almost-universally agreed upon. It’s as if, deep down inside, we must continually acknowledge this fact: if I was big enough, I would stomp all my enemies. In Gulliver, though, we find this reversed: he is big enough. But he does not stomp these enemies. He is amused by them.

Maybe that’s the problem. We cannot bear to be unimportant. We cannot bear to be laughed at. If giants do exist, they must be threatened by us.

In Farmer Giles of Ham, by Tolkien, the giant is not malicious, merely stupid. He steps on the cows as an accident and considers the farmer no more than a gnat. But the farmer, unable to recognize his insignificance, considers himself a hero, who has driven off the giant by the strength of his blunderbuss.

Similarly, The Lilliputians consider themselves the ‘owners’ of Gulliver, who merely puts up with them. If Gulliver was two ounces more courageous, he could have escaped speedily the moment he awoke.

We scream. We are NOT inferior! We are important!

Maybe, if we realized our relative insignificance, we would be one step closer to realizing our true significance: infinitesmally small creatures made in the image of a God who loves us.

Maybe, instead of railing against Him, we would trust him.

Categories: Musings | 1 Comment

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One thought on “Reflections on Size and Gulliver’s Travels

  1. kartik verma


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