Copper, brass on soapstone base. Figures approximately 6 inches in height. Total height 8-13 inches.
The word lilliputian comes from Jonathan Swift's 1726 novel, Gulliver's Travels. Lilliput is the name of a fictional island whose people, the Lilliputians, stand only about six inches high. The lilliputians symbolize humankind’s wildly excessive pride in its own tiny existence. Swift fully intended the irony of representing the tiniest race visited by Gulliver as by far the most vain, and smug, both collectively and individually. There is more backbiting and conspiracy, more of the pettiness of small minds who imagine themselves to be grand, in Lilliput than anywhere else in Gulliver’s Travels. Gulliver is a naïve consumer of the Lilliputians’ grandiose imaginings: he is both flattered by the attention and cowed by their threats of punishment, forgetting that they have no real physical power over him. The lilliputians symbolize misplaced human pride, and point out Gulliver’s inability to see it correctly. Perhaps now more than ever, the Lilliputians seem an incredibly appropriate reminder that, in the big picture of life, we have each just a very tiny part.