Humanity in "Gulliver's Travels" Analytical Essay by serendipity

Humanity in "Gulliver's Travels"
A look at the concept of humanity in Jonathan Swift's "Gulliver's Travels".
# 50503 | 1,569 words | 0 sources | 2004 | US
Published on Apr 15, 2004 in Literature (English) , English (Analysis)

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This paper explains how in the final fantastical voyage in Gulliver's Travels, Gulliver encounters a race of highly intelligent horses whose extreme rationality seduces the protagonist. It explains how Gulliver's increasing hatred for humanity becomes a dark vehicle for Swift's thorough satire of human nature.

From the Paper:

"The Houyhnhnms embody Enlightenment ideals, as they are led by reason over emotion and essentially devoid of passion. However, the horses nevertheless exhibit prejudice in their treatment of the Yahoos and of Gulliver. The Houyhnhnms represent qualities that human beings often blindly strive toward, and Swift shows that pure reason is not necessarily superior to the nuances of human emotion. Gulliver perceives the Yahoos through the Houyhnhnms' eyes, as horrible brutes. Because of their resemblance to human beings in physical and psychological makeup, Gulliver begins to despise humanity. Swift thus presents a paradox: Gulliver's perception of human beings is in many ways correct. However, his sweeping generalizations of human nature results in unproductive behavior. For instance, he refuses to be rescued by the kind Portuguese sailor. After being forced to return to England, he isolates himself from his family and retreats into his own world."

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