Essay: Gulliver's Travels Gulliver's Mental/Emotional State

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Gulliver's Travels

Gulliver's mental/emotional state as he adjusts to life in Houyhnhnmland

Swift describes the voyage of Gulliver to Houyhnhnms country in the fourth book. Yahoos which are emotional monkey like beings and rational horses inhabit this land. Gulliver presents the Houynhms in an entirely positive attitude as he considers them judicious and rational. Gulliver's identity crisis is as a result of the process of cultural adjustment which becomes problematic in the event that he cannot get out of this culture. Because of the treacherous and emotional nature of the Yahoo, they are hated by Gulliver just like the Houyhnhnms. Gulliver is more drawn to an identity with the Houyhnhnm, he enjoys their company and their rational talk is also appealing to him. Gulliver is seduced into the Houyhnhms philosophy of being either a Yahoo or a Houyhnhnm which is a challenge to his mental state in defining his identity but he is in fact a third character i.e. A human. However he soon realizes he is more like the Yahoo under his clothes. Gulliver at first insists on distinguishing himself or "my own species," from the Yahoos but his certitude soon erodes. In his mind the two species start to merge the more he observes the Yahoo and sooner he elides them quietly despite his attempt to separate them.

Self-hatred of Gulliver is developed under these conditions. His sense of self-identity haunts him with what he calls the Ugly Monster referring to the Yahoo. An important feature of the Houyhnhms language is that it helps people understand one another and receive information of the facts and these testify the Houyhnhnms virtuous aspect which is contrasted to the human corruption. This changes his point-of-view and understanding and he gradually changes his identity to that of a misanthrope. His misanthropy is indeed intense that he vows never to return to human kind but to practice every virtue for the rest of his life in Houyhnhnms. An unbalanced thinking of Gulliver makes him refuse to engage in human society participation which is a fundamental sin in the Swift's book. His self deception which he had fashioned in Lilliput cannot… [END OF PREVIEW]

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