This is a course blog for the members of EH236 at the University of South Alabama, Spring 2006.

Sunday, January 22, 2006

Gulliver's Travels: Misanthropic

In Swift's story, Gulliver's Travels, Swift has a very exaggerated, horrible, and very uneducated opinion of humankind. The character in the story, Gulliver, experiences many situations during his voyages. He voyages many different place, but one of his most important and most impacting voyage was when he discovered the land of the Yahoos and the Houyhnhnms.

Upon Gulliver's arrival to the land of the Yahoos and Houyhnhnms, he sees the Yahoos and makes his first judgment, based on his first site of the Yahoos, very quickly. He explains the Yahoos to be very disgusting, uneducated, ruthless, and illmanored. During his stay at the land of the Yahoos and Houyhnhnms, he continued wearing his clothing so as not to dare be compared to the Yahoos, of which he absolutely despised. Gulliver hated the Yahoos so much that he could not even bear the site or smell of the Yahoos. Gulliver did not even recognize the Yahoos as humans. Now the Houyhnhnms, also known as the horses, were a completely different story. He liked the Houyhnhnms very much. He liked them so much, the Houyhnhnms were the only living things on the land of the Yahoos and Houyhnhnms that he even liked to associate with. He even went as far as saying he and the Houyhnhnms could speak to one another. That seemed very far fetched that Gulliver was able to speak horse language, but that is what he liked associating, communicating, and "hanging out" with while he was on the land of the Yahoos and Houyhnhnms.

Once Gulliver was finally rescued from the land of the Yahoos and Houyhnhnms, he was rescued by the European Yahoos. The captain of whom rescued Gulliver wanted to talk to Gulliver but Gulliver tried his best to avoid the captain. Gulliver did not want to be on the boat with the Yahoos so bad that tried to fall overboard of the ship so he would not be riding on the same boat of the Yahoos. The thought that Gulliver was finally able to go home should have been very exciting and relieving for Gulliver, but the thought of having to ride on the same boat with any type of Yahoos was completely devastating to Gulliver.

Once Gulliver finally arrived home, the normal attitude should have been relieved and happy to finally be home, but not Gulliver. Gulliver could not even stand the thought, site, or the company of his own wife and children. He thought of his own family as nasty, gross, and having a bad smell. He would have much rather been with his horse friends, the Houyhnhnms.

The idea of the Yahoos being so disgusting, uneducated, ruthless, an illmanored was portrayed as the character Gulliver's opinion, but Swift is the writer of this story so the idea and opinion must did indeed originate from Swift. Does Swift think that his written opinion of the Yahoos is true, or was this just his opinion to be carried out through Gulliver? The interpretation of the Yahoos were very much absurd and exaggerated.



Blogger Justin said...

Your article does a great job of presenting evidence based on your hypothesis. I also like the way you follow the flow of the story. By starting with Gullivers first chance upon the yahoos to his meeting and conversations with the houyhnhmns. Another misanthropic idea you touch on is the fact that Gulliver did not see himself to be mentally in the same category as the Yahoos. While his appearence was uncanny, he still allows himself to feel superior to the inferior race. By laying out this evidence your response clearly shows Gullivers' travels to be a misanthropical work.

6:10 AM  

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