Humanity In Gulliver’s Travels

June 23, 2022 by Essay Writer

‘Jonathan Swift 1667–1745 was born in Dublin to an Irish family. He spent his time in a gentle pursuit of reading. Swift’s work followed the progress of the study and is a major part of the most important 18th-century English literature, and there is still a general misunderstanding about him. Characterization of Swift as a human being on a false vision proves to be unfortunate. The Victorian era had a great relationship with this point of view, with eminent figures including William Thackeray encouraging readers to avoid certain parts of Swift writing because he was not transparent. But Swift’s pessimism could not be seen as separate from what Louis Landau calls intellectual currents’. (Brackett)

The word Houyhnhnm expresses the perfection of nature and is the horse in their tongue. On the last Gulliver’s trip, he went to the country of Houyhnhnm. It is a great civilization of adult horses that possesses wise minds and a group of humans but their naked form claim and they called Yahoos.  As Swift has said in Gulliver’s travels in the four parts he connects his satire with the positions and events of Gulliver’s adventures in different countries of fantasy. Swift describes to his readers that the land of Houyhnhnms as a perfect ideal city. There are many examples and ideas presented by Swift to prove the idea of ​​utopia. By horses because he considered them the most rational creatures of the world and Yahoos creatures must be censored. Swift has decimated human society by making an animal more intelligent and powerful than humans. This paper argues Gulliver’s travel to Houyhnhnm.

First, Gulliver starts slowly to discover the ocean. He gradually has a passion for Houyhnhnms and enjoys talking to them about the culture of their world. And begins to learn their language and describes to them England in details. Swift mentioned to that when he said:

‘The author learns to learn the language, and he helps them, his master, in teaching him the language he describes. Many of Houyhnhnms comes out of quality out of curiosity to see the author, giving his master a short account of his journey’. (Part4.ch3).

He also tells them about England’s political situation and the Constitution. He also found this community fun and interesting but still strange to him and trying to be part of it. After further observation, Gulliver discovered Yahoos and discovered that the creature looked like a human being. Also, for Houyhnhnms Gulliver is a type of Yahoos that can speak and he is more additive than them and not much distorted and he is not in a shame form like them.

Gulliver talks to his master and provides a wide range of information, and that Yahoos is the governed creature in the United Kingdom. The English people use them for reasons of travel and race. They train horses to be very quick and ready for things like that and that is clear when Gulliver said:

‘Yahoo was the only animal that prevailed in my country’ (Williams)

Second, Swift made us feel what Gulliver was feeling gradually. He allowed to us to see the whole picture through his eyes rather than to tell us that the horses were clever and wise.

Gulliver stayed in their land for two years and continued to talk about England and it is war with France that is proven when he said:

‘The author informs him of the state of England, the reasons for the war between England and France, the author starts to explain the English Constitution’. (Part4.ch5) In addition to explaining the causes of the war between the two countries England and France and the regime. He tries to focus on a group of men. And how they grew up in their youth to prove the words every example. Colour Black White and Black White colour for multiple purposes. Gulliver strongly criticizes the lawyers in this process by giving several examples of a series of situations because for Mr. Houyhnhnm. Nature and reason are sufficient evidence for animal.

Third, Gulliver continues to explain the case of England over and over again, but it remains a difficult process due to language barriers between him and the other people. With many difficulties and obstacles, Gulliver describes to his master ways of using the money, the resources that are being manufactured, and the value of minerals in the plains. Swift moves to more detail through Gulliver and explains the various professions in which people are involved, including professions such as medicine. He points out how human beings are bad and selfish. He had an extravagance and a loathing for the Yahoos. Gulliver was so impressed by Houyhnhnm. He considered himself one of them, even though they thought that he is one from Yahoo was changing himself disguise as a camouflage based on their despicable view of humans. Gulliver decides then that he is independent of his entire life in their land. But after a long-term observation of the nature of Gulliver and listening to him, Houyhnhnm draws their observations on this issue and asserts that the human is a Yahoo with a difference in some of his qualities. Gulliver observes and explains how both represent the same qualities and similarities. Where Houyhnhnm compares the similarities between humans and Yahoo by putting them all in the same positions and proving that their revenge is the same revenge. He does this by demonstrating examples of how to fight Yahoo with each other and how to eat root and be miserable. Swift paints for readers a balanced comparison of all creatures and shows in some way the unwillingness of Yahoo to show off. He acknowledges that the Gulliver’s people have a different system of learning and art. But he says human nature is no different from Yahoo.

Gulliver may have despaired of distinguishing himself from Yahoo but has failed. Because it is the simplicity of the science of Houyhnhnms but it is not a world where he is allowed to live there. He is forced to return to his own world. Gulliver is expelled from his one perfect world. It becomes unclear that Swift is describing his ideal society while at the same time provoking it to be unattainable by humans. After Gulliver’s return to England, he became depressed. Gulliver continued to behave himself in ways that indicated. In Gulliver’s opinion, that he was more interested than Yahoo. Hailing and talking to horses is ironic, While Gulliver thinks of his family as a Yahoos with shame bodies. As experts said:

‘By the time Gulliver returned to the house, his love for his wife Mary had turned into hate and disgust. Describes his wife as one of the types of Yahoo, and regrets the horror he feels when he thinks that he has signed up with her to produce more Yahoos’. (DeGategno)

At the end of Part IV, Captain Pedro’s advice reminds Gulliver of what it means to be human to balance the passion of Yahoo and rationality of Houyhnhnm. On his return to England he shows his family that he has lost balance as a condition of human sanctions. He forgot the complexity of people and their feelings and emotions. For a year, Gulliver could not stand near his family, He bought two horses and talks to them every day for four hours. His sad attempt to find satisfaction in his conversation with horses shows that at the end of the novel he refuses to recognize the limits of Houyhnhnms and his ability to be anything more than a human being.

Works cited

· Brackett, Virginia. “Swift, Jonathan.” The Facts on File Companion to British Poetry, 17th and 18th Centuries, Facts on File, 2008. Bloom’s Literature, online.infobase.com/Auth/Index?aid=&itemid=&articleId=11155. Accessed 12 Mar. 2019.

· DeGategno, Paul J., and R. Jay Stubblefield. “Mary Burton Gulliver.” Critical Companion to Jonathan Swift, Facts on File, 2006. Bloom’s Literature, online.infobase.com/Auth/Index?aid=&itemid=&articleId=59042. Accessed 11 Mar. 2019.

· Williams, Kathleen. “Animal Rationis Capax.” Gulliver’s Travels – Jonathan Swift, Original Edition, Chelsea House, 2018. Bloom’s Literature, online.infobase.com/Auth/Index?aid=&itemid=&articleId=531832. Accessed 12 Mar. 2019.


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