Gullivers Travels Essay

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Gulliver’s Travels, by Jonathan Swift, is regarded as one of the greatest satires in modern history. The purpose of the book, although some of his contemporaries didn’t realize it, is to ridicule his government, his rulers, and human nature as a whole. His generalization of the human condition doesn’t manifest itself completely until Part IV of the book, where the main character, Lemuel Gulliver, finds himself on an island inhabited by two main species – the Houyhnhnms, horse-like animals, and the Yahoos, human-like animals. The difference between this island and reality as we know it is the fact that the Houyhnhnms are intelligent, noble creatures governed wholly by reason, and the Yahoos are…show more content…
This seems too inhuman, and it appears that it would be impossible to be that intelligent and noble, yet still disregard the importance of death. Overall, however, Gulliver’s view of the Houyhnhnm is a perfectionistic vision of how human nature, for the most part, should be – ruled by reason.
The “negative'; extreme of human nature that Gulliver encounters is the Yahoos. The Yahoos are naked, dirty creatures that physically resemble humans: “My horror and astonishment are not to be described, when I observed, in this abominable animal, a perfect human figure…'; (Swift 186). Immediately, Gulliver does not want to be considered one of the Yahoos. He never takes off his clothes to reveal his likeness to the Yahoo body. The Houyhnhnms still regard Gulliver, however, as either a “noble Yahoo'; or something in between a Yahoo and a Houyhnhnm -- it seems they are unable to decide. At one point, one of the Houyhnhnms describes Gulliver’s body to be extremely inefficient: “That I could not walk with any security, for if either of my hinder feet slipped, I must inevitably fall. He then began to find fault with other parts of my body, the flatness of my face, the prominence of my nose, my eyes placed directly in front, so

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