Essay PreviewMore ↓
Gulliver's Travels – Comparison of Yahoos to Humans
The comparison of Yahoos to humans in Book Four of Jonathon Swift's Gulliver's Travels is entirely inappropriate. The Yahoos are shown as base creatures of barbaric nature and with little or no aptitude for learning. Swift's use of these lowly creatures to symbolize man is harsh, however, it does serve to enhance his satire to a certain degree. Nonetheless, his comparison is inaccurate and degrading to Mankind.
In his novel, Jonathon Swift uses the Yahoo, a creature with a great likeness to humans except in the amount of hair and the colors of their skin, to represent the nature of Man. He implies that we are all "...strong and hardy, but of a cowardly Spirit, and by consequence, insolent, abject, and cruel."(p. ). Perhaps he is right about some people, but this is not true of all Mankind. Most people are not insolent or cruel, and many have truly courageous Spirits. Any man or woman who joins the army in the time of the "War on Terrorism" can not be a coward. In the World Wars, millions of people died for the love of their country, can you call that cowardice?
As well, millions of institutions of higher learning have been established across the world. The Yahoos are shown to be ignorant and without any ability to learn. Human beings are constantly in the pursuit of knowledge, going to extreme lengths to satiate their boundless curiosity for the way things work within their world, and even without. Without a doubt, many human beings possess similar qualities to those of the Yahoos. We are capable of great cruelty, but also of great compassion. We can be insolent and rude, or we can be respectful and polite. We can be cowardly, but we are also capable of great feats of bravery. Mankind is not limited to the aspects of his nature that are unpleasant; he is constantly striving to surpass those negative characteristics.
Swift's comparison may be inaccurate, but it is also quite effective. In one's mind's eye, one can almost see the lowly creatures. Picking out only those negative aspects of our natures and magnifying them allows us to see them clearly, without making excuses for ourselves.
How to Cite this Page
"Gulliver's Travels – Comparing the Yahoos to Humans." 123HelpMe.com. 23 Feb 2020
Need Writing Help?
Get feedback on grammar, clarity, concision and logic instantly.Check your paper »
- The corruption throughout England was out of hand from being large at stake, to being very minor and personal things. Because politics, religion, science and people were surrounding Jonathan Swift corrupted, he had to have a sort of “mouthpiece” to let his opinions all out. He did so by writing a fictional book called Gulliver’s Travels using the main character Gulliver as a weapon of satirization. In Gulliver 's Travels, Swift intended to satirize the ailing British society. Throughout part one, the main targets being satirized are the British politicians.... [tags: Gulliver's Travels, Satire, Jonathan Swift]
1113 words (3.2 pages)
- Gulliver’s change throughout Gulliver’s Travels Throughput the book “Gulliver’s Travels” by Jonathan Swift, the character Gulliver changes many times. During and after part two and four of the book a noticeable change in Gulliver starts to occur. He himself may not see it but the reader sees it and ones attitude towards Gulliver might change due to Gulliver’s changes. Throughout these two parts, we see Gulliver as an adventurous man that wants to see everything that has been created in the world.... [tags: Johnathan Swift Gullivers Travels Gulliver]
922 words (2.6 pages)
- The search for the truth may take a lifetime, while for others it may take a year. It all depends on the person and how eager he acts to seek out the truth. The truth within every human being describes an individual’s thoughts that we hold sacred, that make us unique. The following expression “the truth will set you free”, has swept across the nation, through movies and other types of media entertainment. With the knowledge of truth comes great power which houses both good and evil thoughts. If used for evil, it can imprison a person, while for good it can release a man from prison.... [tags: Gulliver's Travels, Brave New World]
1153 words (3.3 pages)
- In the fourth book of Gulliver’s Travels, Jonathan Swift uses satire to draw reader’s attention towards his concerns about humanity and uses irony to reveal his cynical views towards human kind. According to the Great Chain of Being, a term developed by the Renaissance that describes a divinely hierarchical order in every existing thing in the universe, human beings are placed a tier higher than animals (http://academic.brooklyn.cuny.edu/english /melani/cs6/ren.html). However, by comparing human traits with unpleasant qualities of animals, Swift blurs the definition of human being and questions the hierarchical place of human.... [tags: great chain of being, renaissance]
1535 words (4.4 pages)
- Gulliver’s Travels is a satirical novel about a sailor’s adventures through strange lands; the author of Gulliver’s Travels, Jonathan Swift, uses these adventures to satirize the English society. The most prevalent satire is used as Gulliver travels through the lands of Lilliput, Brombdinag, and the Houyhnhnms. One example of satire against the English society in Gulliver’s Travels is the political affairs of the Lilliputians. The Lilliputians to gain a high ranking office “competed for them by dancing on a rope for the entertainment of the emperor” (Orwell).... [tags: Jonathan Swift, literary analysis]
940 words (2.7 pages)
- Plato's Republic and Gulliver's Travels In The Republic, Plato attempts to define the ideal state as it relates to the tripartite division of the soul. In this division, wisdom, the rational characteristic of the soul, is the most valuable and important. In the ideal state the ruling class would be the guardians, those who maintain rationality and will operate according to wisdom. Each individual "should be put to use for which nature intended them, one to one work, and then every man would do his business" (276d).... [tags: comparison compare contrast essays]
853 words (2.4 pages)
- Gulliver’s Travels, by Jonathan Swift, is regarded as one of the greatest satires in modern history. The purpose of the book, although some of his contemporaries didn’t realize it, is to ridicule his government, his rulers, and human nature as a whole. His generalization of the human condition doesn’t manifest itself completely until Part IV of the book, where the main character, Lemuel Gulliver, finds himself on an island inhabited by two main species – the Houyhnhnms, horse-like animals, and the Yahoos, human-like animals.... [tags: essays research papers]
1319 words (3.8 pages)
- What do the Yahoos and the Houyhnhnms stand for. What moral was Swift drawing from them. The answer to the second question depends on the solution of the first. One solution could be that the Yahoos represent man as he actually is, self-seeking, sensual and depraved, while the Houyhnhnms symbolize what man ought to be, unselfish, rational, cultured. In the fourth voyage, Swift presents a case study for opposing states of nature, with the Yahoos representing the argument that man is governed by his passions, seeking his own advantage, pursuing pleasures and avoiding pain, and the Houyhnhnms representing the argument that man is governed by reason.... [tags: Gulliver's Travels Essays]
912 words (2.6 pages)
- Gulliver's Travels Jonathan Swift wrote Gulliver's Travels in 1762 with the intent of entertaining many people. Entertainment through satire is what Swift had in mind. To fully understand Gulliver's Travels, one must first reflect upon the following: the plot, character, setting, theme, point of view, conflict, climax, resolution, symbolism, and figurative language. These ideas will help the reader comprehend some of the ideas portrayed throughout the novel, as well as why Swift wrote them.... [tags: Gulliver's Travels Essays]
798 words (2.3 pages)
- At first Gulliver’s travels comes off as a fantasy/adventure, but in actuality it’s a satirical commentary on society in Johnathan Swift. It starts off with Gulliver talking about himself. Later he gets shipwrecked and ends up in Lilliput, where the people are 6 inches tall. At first they think Gulliver is an enemy, but then realize he is no threat. He is taken to the palace and housed in a cursed temple. Gulliver is amazed at how silly the government’s rules are, for example to gain entry to the court the candidates must petition to the emperor.... [tags: Gulliver's Travels]
1017 words (2.9 pages)
- societhf Seclusion from Society
- John Proctor as Tragic Hero in The Crucible by Arthur Miller
- Free Essays on The Crucible: The Character of Abigail Williams
- Friendship in Mark Twain's The Adventures of Huckleberry Finn
- Free Essays on The Crucible: Human Nature
- Lorraine Hansberry's A Raisin In The Sun – Seeking Dreams
Comparing Yahoos to humans is off base but not entirely unsuitable. We are not the primitive creatures Swift makes us out to be. The fact that we must own up to some of the qualities he sets out, however, does enhance his satire. Coupling truth with hyperbole makes for effective satirical writing. But it is the hyperbole itself that makes the comparison inaccurate.