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Once kick the world and the world and you will live together at a reasonably good understanding Jonathan Swift When Gullivers Travels was first published in 1726 Swift instantly became historys most famous misanthrope Thackeray was not alone in his outrage when he denounced it as past all sense of manliness and shame filthy in word filthy in thought furious raging obscene quoted in Hogan 1979 648 Since then few literary works have been so dissected discussed and disagreed apon It is the magnum opus of one of the English languages greatest satirists but certainly does not offer any easy answers It is written like the typical travel book of the day but instead of offering a relaxing escape from the real world it brings us face to face with reality in all its complexity Of the four books comprising the work by far the most controversial has been the last A Voyage to the Houyhnhnms In it the narrator Gulliver is deposited by mutineers on an island inhabited by two species The Yahoos are dirty savage and barbaric with no capacity for reason These wretched creatures physically resemble humans but immediately fill Gulliver with loathing The Houyhnhnms on the other hand are a race of talking horses governed completely by reason They lead natural simple lives and use the Yahoos for menial labour They are so honest they cannot conceive of the notion of dishonesty They regard Gulliver as a precocious Yahoo and after a few years banish him from the Island Gulliver is heartbroken having developed a love for these serene creatures and their way of life He spends the rest of his life in England trying talk to horses and regarding his fellow humans only with Hatred Disgust and Contempt Until the 20th century criticism of book four tended to equate Gulliver with Swift Gulliver would rather jump from the ship that rescued him than re-enter human society He cannot
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