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As a devoted Anglican
believer, Jonathan Swift, Gulliver’s
travels is an unpatriotic description of the human nature. The satire of
part IV is a gloomy and more awful assessment of the state of humans. Gulliver’s
last voyage takes him to the lands of the Yahoos and Houyhnhnms. Swift use the
presentation of these two races to describe the state of the English people and
government, through several means such as; morality, societal behaviors, and
societal beliefs.

            The narrator questions the morality of the English society
and government.

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Swift satirizes government
institutions and its failures to meet people’s expectations. The English monarchial
government is one those failed institution that Swift is delighted to
criticize. As an Irish citizen, Swift wasn’t happy with the way the English
monarchial government and people treats his nation. “Sometimes our neighbors
want the things which we have, or have the things which we want; and we both
fight, till they take ours or give us theirs” (Swift 1169). Swift criticizes
public office holders in the English society for performing their jobs in eye
service. He alluded to the fact that those in higher societal positions will do
whatever it takes to remain in their wealthy status. “That our institutions of government
and Law were plainly owing to our gross defects in reason, and by consequence,
in virtue; because reason alone is sufficient to govern a rational creature;
which was therefore a character we had no pretense to challenge, even from the
account I had given of my own people; although he manifestly perceived, that in
order to favor them, I had concealed many particulars, often said the thing which was not” (Swift
1177) with this section, Swift deliberately portrayed the English government and
society as the blood sucking monster over Ireland. For instance, Swift wanted
to be the “Dean of Saint Paul Cathedral”, but was rejected. He believes the
reason for the rejection was because of his Irish roots.

            The author criticizes the behavior of the English people and
government.

Swift drew some comparison
between the behavior of the English society and the Yahoo society. The Yahoos
eat different kinds of foods, both healthy and unhealthy. They’re passionate
about; diamonds, expensive jewels, and sexual intercourse. Their behavior is an
exaggerated depiction of human yearnings for pleasure. “I told him, we fed on a
thousand things which operated contrary to each other; that we eat when we were
not hungry, and drank without the provocation of thirst; that we sat whole
nights drinking strong liquors without eating a bit, which disposed us to
sloth, inflamed out bodies, and precipitated or prevent digestion.” (Swift
1173). King Charles II, encouraged gluttony, cheating, drinking, and sexual
arousing materials. As a result, the English society and the monarchical government
engaged in all these behaviors, that didn’t reflect their Christian values. Swift
tires to draw the attention of the people towards their unholy and non – Christ
like behaviors. Their behavior is like those of animals, which is similar to
the Yahoos. Swift is sicken by how the people behaved on a daily basis. His application
of exaggeration in the Yahoo society is a clarion call for the English society
and government to change these types of behaviors.

            The author calls for a reformation in general societal beliefs.

To achieve his goal he wrote Gulliver’s Travels to condemn and draw
attention to the various facets of the English society and government. The Yahoos
and Houyhnhnms societies reveal the true picture of the English society. The Gulliver
character is used as a literary device in condemning the various societies he
meets. “I was going on to more particulars, when my master commanded me
silence. He said, whoever understood the nature of Yahoos might easily believe
it possible for so vile an animal, to be capable of every action I had named,
if their strength and cunning equaled their malice” (Swift 1170). The Houyhnhnms
society, is use as a benchmark or standard for the England society and government.
“The word Houyhnhnm, in their tongue, signifies a Horse; and in its etymology
the Perfection of Nature” (Swift 1163). The Yahoo is use as a depiction of the
English society and government. It is the juxtaposition and exaggeration of
Gulliver’s experiences in the Houyhnhnms and Yahoo societies that awaken a call
for reformation in the English society. Exaggeration is use to portray the
extreme aspects of societal behaviors and beliefs. The English society is been
blown away by the belief in food, drinks, money, sex, and expensive jewelries.

            With the use of satire in Gulliver’s satire, the author is
able to call for social reformations in various areas of the English society
and government. He tries to accomplish his agenda in ways such as; morality,
behavior, and societal beliefs. His use of exaggeration and juxtaposition is to
call for social transformation on moral decadence.

 

 

 

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