Voyage to Brobdingnag Chapter 7

                                                                               CHAPTER -7


The King : The king is extremely sharp and sensible. He was kind and gentle. He refuses Gulliver’s suggestion to manufacture gunpowder and be more powerful than his opponents. He feels that big books are not needed to rule the country. Only commonsense, reason and justice are enough.

This chapter does not contribute to the development of story. It is full of irony and satire. The king’s humane ideas are regarded by Gulliver as showing ‘narrow-mindedness’ There is irony in Gulliver’s assessment of the king’s intelligence.


The king had a very narrow outlook. He could not understand whatever Gulliver explained to him. He formed an unfavourable opinion about English life. Since he had been leading a wholly isolated life, he could not come to right conclusions. This was the reason that he at once rejected Gulliver’s suggestion that he should manufacture gunpowder. Gulliver was ready to reveal the recipe for it. When Gulliver told him that he knew a method by which gunpowder could be made, he was horrified. The instrument of destruction, Gulliver explained, could arm the king against his opponents. But the king openly refused. He said that it was shocking that Gulliver who was no better than a small insect could have such inhuman ideas. In his opinion some evil genius cruel to mankind must have invented gunpowder, the instrument of destruction. He said that he would rather lose half his kingdom than learn the recipe for manufacturing gunpowder.
Gulliver did not disclose to the king his own opinions. He felt that the king was narrow-minded. He had unnecessary scruples about the use of gun- powder. The gunpowder, once made, could make the king a master of the lives and liberties of his people. AgaIn the king displayed his narrow- mindedness when he said that there was no need of books. Only commonsense, reason and justice were needed to run the government. According to Gulliver, the king was a fool not to realize that vast treatises were needed on how to run the government.

The king was of the opinion that if a man could make two ears of corn or two blades of grass grow upon that piece of land where only one grew before, he did more service to the country than all the politicians put together.
According to Gulliver, the learning of the people in Brobdingnag was limited only to morality, poetry, history and mathematics, and so it was defective.
They had no notion about the steps that should be taken to promote what was useful in human life. It was considered to be a big crime to write a comment upon any law. Moreover, their libraries were not large. The King’s own library contained not more than one thousand books. Their style of writing was clear and smooth; they avoided superfluous words and expressions. With regard to military affairs, the king’s army had only one hundred and seventy six thousand soldiers and thirty two thousand horses. Besides this, the army consisted of businessmen of the cities and farmers of the countryside.. Their commanders were only the noblemen who received no pay. According to the Brobdingnagians, there should have been no need to have an army, but many years ago, these people had been troubled with the same ailment to which human beings are subject, namely, the nobles trying to acquire power, the people raising their voice to attain liberty and the king trying to be a despot.

Very Short answer type questions and answers

Q.1. Do you think the king was narrow- minded?
Ans.The king was not narrow-minded. He was rather gentle and humane.

Q2.What recipe or formula was GulIiver ready to reveal to the king ?
Ans.The formula to manufacture gunpowder.

Q.3.Which three things, according to the king, are needed to govern the people?
Ans.Commonsense, reason and justice.

Q4. The tradesmen and the farmers formed the army of Brobdingnaglan king. Who commanded these men ?
Ans.The nobility and the gentry commanded these men.

Q.5.How many soldiers and horses were there in Brobdingnagian army?
Ans.There were In 176000 soldiers and 32000 horses in the army.

Short answer type questions and answers
Q.1.Why, according to Gulliver, did the klngform unfavourable Opiflis about English life?
Ans.Gulliver felt that the king was living wholly isolated from the rest of the world. He had a narrow outlook, so he was not able to draw right conclusion.

Q.2.What did Gulliver suggest to the king ? Did the king accept his suggestion?
Ans.Gulliver suggested to the king that he should make himself more powerful k, manufacturing gunpowder. He was ready to reveal to the king the recipe for it.
No, he did not accept the suggestion. The king summarily rejected the suggestion.

Q.3.Do you agree with Gulliver that the king’s views betrayed ‘his narrow principles and short views’?
Ans. No, I do not agree with GuLliver. The king’s views do not show his narrow principles. On the other hand, they show his humanity. The king was ready to lose half his kingdom but he was not prepared to learn the secret of gunpowder manufacturing.

Q.4.According to the king, which qualities are required to run the government?
Ans.The king is of the opinion that there is no need to read and write elaborate treatises on how to govern the people. He feels that only three things are needed to govern the people. They are commonsense, reason and justice.

Q.5.Comment on the army of the  Brodingnagian King?
Ans.This army actually consisted of tradesmen in various cities and farmers in the countryside. Their commanders were the nobility and gentry who received no wages.