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Word Count: 700
In the last part of the novel Gullivers Travels by Jonathan Swift a dichotomy is established which crtiticizes two extreme ideas of man The Houynhnms a race of horses are meant to symbolize man as a supremely rational being and the Yahoos a primitive vulgar version of humans are made to symbolize man as an animal The narrator Gulliver is a sort of reference point between the two since in physical appearance he seems to be a Yahoo but his ability to reason enables him to relate well to the Houynhnms Readers have interrpreted the rational horses in a number of different ways Some feel that the Houynhnms are the ideal to which humans should strive to attain Others feel that the Houynhnms are as evil as the Yahoos It is my opinion that Swift uses the Houynhnms and the Yahoos to illustrate both ends of the unattainable spectrum of reason and why both are completely undesireable ways of life It is implausable to think that the Houyhnhmns are the ideal way for man to be They have no writing system as well as no passions no love for family or friends no real opinions and they are governed solely by Reason Their lack of strong feelings can be understood through their attitude to their offspring They have no fondness for their Colts or Foles but the Care they take in educating them proceeds from the dictates of Reason Indeed Love plays no part in even the institution of matrimony Mates are selected based on their coloring and to produce offspring that will enhance the species as a whole Even death evokes no emotion among the Houyhnhnms If they can avoid Casualties they die only of Old Age and are buried in the obscurest Places that can be found their Friends and Relations expressing neither Joy nor Grief at their Departure Why would the human ideal be existing as emotion-less passion-less creatures devoid of feeling
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