Gulliver's Travels

Essay by PaperNerd ContributorCollege, Undergraduate November 2001

download word file, 4 pages 3.0

Downloaded 11 times

One very interesting theme in Jonathan Swift's famous book Gulliver's Travels is Gulliver's encounter with Houyhnhnm society, and the pride that overcomes him even though he had no basis for this pride.

Gulliver arrives on the island of the Houyhnhnms after he was marooned from his ship by pirates. He wanders around the island and is soon confronted by hideously scary, hairy beasts resembling monkeys without tails who hurl excrement at him. Later on in the day he meets two horses who are intrigued by the fact that although he looks similar to the aforementioned beasts, he is cleaner and wears clothes. He tries to talk to them but can only distinguish two words in their language: "Yahoo"� and "Houyhnhnm"�. After they are done discussing their discovery they lead him to their homes.

It is when Gulliver arrives there that he really begins to find out what is going on.

He sees that these horses are masters over the hideous creatures. He balks at the horses when they compare him to the creatures or "Yahoos"� as they are known on the island. In their minds he looks almost identical to a Yahoo except for his clothes and fair complexion. Fortunately for Gulliver the horses house him in his own quarters between themselves and the Yahoos.

Upon further interaction with the Houyhnhnms, Gulliver begins to understand their language and can interact with them. He shows them how to write and tells them of the mutiny that landed him on their island. The Houyhnhnms were unable to understand when he tried to get across the notion of a lie. There was no known word in the Houyhnhnm language for "lie"�. However, they did tell him what the word "Houyhnhnm"� means; it means "perfection of nature."�...