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The Ideals of Jonathan Swift The tale of Gullivers Travels can be described as a written criticism of the society in which Swift lived In each of the worlds Gulliver encountered the problems he saw with the civilizations were actually the political and social aspects Jonathan Swift disliked about his own world He also accomplishes this by giving the inhabitants of these worlds superior traits and attitudes in order to compare them to and belittle the culture that surrounded Swift An example of this could be the intellectual and proper race of houyhnhnms One of the most interesting questions about Gullivers Travels is whether the Houyhnhnms represent his ideal of rationality or whether they are also part of Swifts satire In Book IV is Swift poking fun at the talking horses or does he intend for us to take them seriously If we look closely at the way that the Houyhnhnms act we can see that in fact Swift does not take them seriously he uses them to show the dangers of pride First we have to see that Swift does not even take Gulliver seriously For instance his name sounds much like gullible which suggests that he will believe anything indicating that his perceptions of what is good and bad may not be accurate making the teller of the story bias Also when he first sees the Yahoos and they throw excrement on him he responds by doing the same in return until they run away Even though as a human he is suppose to be the most rational being there is according to our beliefs This here is a perfect example of the way Swift shows the weakness of the human race and how we can easily be influenced to behave immaturely and uncivilized even though we see ourselves as the height of the living world Lemule
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