Gulliver's Travels

Gulliver's Transformation in the Fourth Journey

In Book IV of Gulliver's Travels, Swift presents a narrative that aims to continually change his audience's opinion by offering an array of perpetually shifting standpoints. From the start of the journey we see the tale unfold in the same manner as Gulliver experiences it. On his first encounter with a Yahoo, Gulliver does not see any parallels between that beast and himself, and when he is approached by a Houyhnhnm, he does not think the creature is anything more than a horse. The tale takes a turn as Gulliver discovers the reality of this realm and readers are presented with his opinions on the Houyhnhnms, as well as the Yahoos. This journey does not boast much plot action, but rather, renders interactions and conversations between Gulliver and the inhabitants of this strange land, mostly the Houyhnhnms. From these exchanges, Gulliver yields admiration towards the Houyhnhnms and abhorrence for the beastly Yahoos. His observations first seem agreeable as the two species seem to depict opposing values of what is and what is not the desirable way to live. However, as Gulliver's observation causes him to undergo change, becoming shameful of his similarity to the Yahoos and imitating Houyhnhnm gestures, the reader...

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