History, Politics & Culture of Laputa & Luggnagg
Laputa is a flying island or rock, about 4.5 miles in diameter, with an adamantine base, which its inhabitants can maneuver in any direction using magnetic levitation. Its population consists mainly of educated people, who are fond of mathematics, astronomy, music and technology, but fail to make practical use of their knowledge (the rest are their servants).
They had mastered magnetic levitation and discovered the two moons of Mars. However, they were unable to construct well-designed clothing or buildings, because they took measurements with instruments such as quadrants and a compass rather than with tape measures.
Gulliver's Map of Balnibarbi
It is a male-dominated society. Wives often request to leave the island to visit the land below; however, these requests are almost never granted because the women never want to return voluntarily. The land beneath the floating island, within the region it can travel, is known as Balnibarbi and is controlled by the king of Laputa, with the ground capital being the city of Lagado.
The tyrannical king controls the mainland mostly by threatening to cover rebel regions with the island's shadow, thus blocking sunlight and rain, or by throwing rocks at rebellious surface cities. In extreme cases, the island is lowered on the cities below in order to crush them, although this has not been successful every time, notably in the case of Lindalino. The rebellion of Lindalino against Laputa is an allegory of Ireland's revolt against England, and England's (meaning: the Whig government's) violent foreign and internal politics The absurd inventions of the Laputans mock the Royal Society.
Gulliver's map of Luggnagg
Luggnagg is an island kingdom located one hundred leagues southeast of Japan. It has two principal ports, Clumegnig on the southeast coast, which is visited by ships from Maldonada (the port city of Balnibarbi), and Glanguenstald in the southwest, which has commerce with Japan. The capital of Luggnagg is Traldragdubb.
Notable among the inhabitants of Luggnagg are the struldbrugs, , unfortunates who are immortal, but not forever young, but rather forever old, complete with the infirmities of old age and considered legally dead at the age of eighty.