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How does the setting The Land of the Houyhnhnms relate to Swifts look at human nature How does the way Gullivers character change contribute to his purpose One of the most interesting questions about Gullivers Travels is whether the Houyhnhnms represent an ideal of rationality or whether they are the butt of Swifts satire In other words in Book IV is Swift poking fun at the talking horses or does he intend for us to take them seriously as the proper way to act If we look closely at the way that the Houyhnhnms act we can in fact see that 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 when he first sees the Yahoos and they throw excrement on him he responds by doing the same in return until they run away He says I must needs discover some more rational being even though as a human he is already the most rational being there is But if Gulliver is satirised so are the Houyhnhnms They walk on two legs instead of four and seem to be much like people As Gulliver says It was with the utmost astonishment that I witnessed these creatures playing the flute and dancing a Viennese waltz As this quote demonstrates Gulliver is terribly impressed but his admiration for the Houyhnhnms is short-lived because they are so prideful Swifts satire comes out in other ways as well The Yahoos are filthy uncivilised creatures who use their own dung as a weapon In these descriptions Swift criticises both the moral and physical corruption of man Swift portrays the Yahoos as savage animals with human characteristics which is the biggest mockery of mankind in the whole book The Yahoos were so greedy that they would fight over enough food to feed an entire army of
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