Friday, October 26, 2007

Use Your Allusion: Brobdingnagians

In Swift's Gulliver's Travels, book II, Gulliver encounters a race of enormous giants called Brobdingnagians. The kingdom of the Brobdingnagians is peaceful and orderly and has no known enemies, but the king of Brobdingnag keeps a standing army anyway. Supposedly, the kingdom and government are established on principles of reason and logic.

The giants are used in Gulliver's story to satirize the grossness and selfishness of mankind. The king of Brobdingnag even refers to Gulliver's human race as "the most pernicious race of little odious vermin that nature ever suffered to crawl upon the surface of the earth".

"Brobdingnagian" can be used as an adjective to describe something or someone huge or colossal (such as the cost of our present war in Iraq).

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