Essay by PaperNerd ContributorCollege, Undergraduate September 2001

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In book IV of Gulliver's Travels, Swift divides human nature into animal and rational behavior. The Yahoos represent animal behavior. The Yahoos resemble humans but act like animals. They are described as cunning, malicious, treacherous, and unteachable beast. Rational behavior is represented by the Houyhnhnms, a society of humane horses that are concerned with community and friendship. They are described as truly rational beings. Swift uses the stark contrast between the Yahoo's and the Houyhnhnms to illustrate that the paradox is not between good and bad but between the rational brutishness of man and innocence. In his book JONATHAN SWIFT A CRITICAL BIOGRAPHY, John Murry states ""¦for it is evident that the "˜reason' which the Houyhnms possess, and which Gulliver"¦Comes partly to acquire, is not the faculty of ratiocination at all. It is the gift of discerning and doing what is good"¦ Capable of "˜reason', in this sense, can only man capable of developing in oneself a discernment of the good, and a devotion to pursuing it, and simultaneously of developing an incapacity to pursue evil"� (Murry 339).

In Book IV Gulliver is appalled and repulsed by the Yahoos, "That although he hated the yahoos"¦"� (Swift 200). When he is lined up and compared to them he realizes that they do resemble humans. Soon Gulliver begins to equate Yahoos with the human race, which causes Gulliver to loathe his own species. "The intensity of Gulliver's reactions produces in him a state of shock which causes him to lose his self-esteem as one of the human race"� (Quintana 161). The Houyhnhnms are Gulliver's life and the effect, is the deterioration of his mind. Gulliver is drawn to the world of the Houyhnhnm, but that is not a world that he is allowed to live in. Gulliver...