What Makes One Human and What Makes One Animal? Essay

What Makes One Human and What Makes One Animal? Essay

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Gulliver’s Travels exposes the interdependency between both human and animalistic behaviors. In these travels, the word “human” does not necessarily belong to a certain species, but is rather a characteristic of reason based on the social norms of a particular society. It also claims that animals lack reason and therefore are subdued by those with reason. Since Gulliver finds that humans are the only animals capable of reason, he sees humanity in the Houyhnhnms, who are completely governed by reason, "as these noble Houyhnhnms are endowed by Nature with a general disposition to all virtues, and have no conceptions or ideas of what is evil in a rational creature, so their grand maxim is, to cultivate Reason, and to be wholly governed by it," ( Jonathan Swift 315). Through the Houyhnhnms, Swift envisions a humanity that is free of strife and hardship; the universal use of reason is the vehicle through which this can be achieved. Furthermore, although horses are animals, they are also intrinsically human—a variation of humans. Gulliver also accounts for similar stories in his venturingventures to the lands of the Lilliputians and Brobdingnagians. As alluded to , travelers are often met with condescending attitudes when encountered by a particular society. The traveler becomes domesticated and is treated like an animal. Such is the case for Gulliver in his contact with various civilizations.
Gulliver’s first traveltrip, to Lilliput, gives him the animal characteristics by means of manipulation. He shows no apparent rationale to think and act without the strong inclination of others. He becomes the Lilliputians’ ultimate weapon during warfare, subordinate to their very commands. One can liken this dynamic to his English mate...


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... a society who has rejected him --that for a year he cannot stand to be near his wife and children, and therefore is inclined to buy two horses and converses with them for four hours each day.
Gulliver’s Travels conveys the sense of humanity, and expresses it in forms that would have otherwise been assumed . It uses reason, or the rationale of a society, and portrays that as the split between what makes one human and one animal. Gulliver sees that through this notion, contrary to his popular belief, he is the animal and the societies he encounters on his voyages are in and of themselves human. Ironically, his various journeys showed that the Lilliputians, Brobdingnagians, Houyhhnms expressed the very principle to which he thought individual attained ; however, he later learned that his very actions were the same ones’s as the animalistic behavior he shunned. upon.

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