Gulliver vs. Swift

Topics: Hate, Hatred, Gulliver's Travels Pages: 3 (918 words) Published: May 14, 2008
Part 3

--Develop a strong argument that Swift is NOT a misanthrope, based on a thoughtful reading of Part 4 of Gulliver’s Travels.--

Swift is not a misanthrope rather he is a person of charity. It is a misconception and misinterpretation of Part 4 of Gullies Travels that he has gotten the stigma of being a misanthrope. Swift only wants to reform mankind out of their “follies” (foolishness) and stupidities.

He says that the chief end of all his labor is:
“To vex the world rather than divert it”.

Secondly, he declares that:
“I have ever hated all nations, professions, and communities and all his love is towards individuals.”

Thirdly, though Swift does not believe that:
“Man is a rational animal”.

But he believes that:
“Man is capable of becoming rational if he makes the necessary efforts.”

We see that Swift is notorious for being a misanthrope. He was subjected to this allegation during his lifetime because the critics, identifying Gulliver with Swift, attributed Gulliver’s blunders to Swift. That Gulliver, in the last voyage, becomes a misanthrope is undeniable and indisputable. It appears that by developing a negative view of mankind, he starts preferring horses to men, but a solid reason of Swift underlies this act of Gulliver.

We observe that in the fourth voyage, Gulliver reaches a country of animals, ruled by animals. There are two categories of animals living there in: ugly and repulsive brutes – Yahoos: “Yahoos who are unteachable brutes, cunning, gluttonous and disposed to great mischief”.

And better and nice-looking animals – Houyhnhnms. The moment he enters the country he is confronted with Yahoos and they give him such a nasty and obnoxious treatment that he develops a disliking for them, which is later converted into hatred owing to their disgusting physical appearance and their filthy and mischievous way of life. But his first meeting with Houyhnhnms, on the other hand, proves a nice experience. And this: “First...
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