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Of all the institutions satirized in Jonathon Swifts Gullivers Travels one that has perhaps been less scrutinized is the destruction of the English language Throughout the travels language is the key obstacle in Gullivers understanding of various cultures Only in book four however is the role of language central to Swifts satiric meaning His condemnation of English Society is more explicitly an indictment of those that intend to corrupt the English language by promoting lies change and euphemisms According to Swift the English language is extremely flawed His reasoning has to do with change noting that those who attempt to polish and refine it are hastening its corruption Swift fears that as the language continues to drift from the English of the past its lessons its wisdom are hidden behind the opaque surface of a language that simultaneously is and is not ours Montag 114 As the language of the future is altered the past will soon become unintelligible The result is a society with an uncertain history destined for political decline Rather than merely point out the flaws of the English language and its handling Swift offers a solution He suggests that there be created a Standardized form of the English language One that would incorporate the English of the past with that of the present The result would be improved language and discourse that would uncover the roots of many present evils and allow them to be dug out Kelly 20 In book 4 of Gullivers Travels the language of the Houyhnhnms seems in every way to embody Swifts ideal of the perfect language The Houyhnhnm language although seeming rather ridiculous to Humans is perfect simple in meaning and entirely unchanged They use no Euphemisms and tell things the way they are in truth for they know no alternative While the Houyhnhnms are governed by reason and practicality their language is primitive only in the sense that it is pure and uncorrupted It
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