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Word Count: 839
One of the most interesting questions about Gullivers Travels is whether the Houyhnhnms represent an ideal of rationality or whether on the other hand 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 see that in fact Swift does not take them seriously he uses them to show the dangers First we have to see that Swift does not even take Gullver seriously For instance his name sounds much like gullible which suggests that he will believe anything 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 He says I must needs discover some more rational being 203 even though as a human he is already the most rational being there is This is why Swift refers to Erasmus Darwins discovery of the origin of the species and the voyage of the Beagle--to show how Gulliver knows that people are at the top of the But if Lemule Gulliver is satirized so are the Houyhnhnms whose voices sound like the call of castrati 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 Vienese waltz To my mind they seemed like the greatest humans ever seen in court even more dextrous than the Lord Edmund Burke 162 As this quote demonstrates Gulliver is terribly impressed but his admiration for the Houyhnhnms is short-lived because they are
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