Part IV of Gulliver’s Travels, Swift
satirizes the English government and English society by attacking the human
species because of the clear satire Swift
uses regarding the Yahoos, the Houyhnhnms, and the English people.
know that when Gulliver landed in the land of the Houyhnhnms he was met by some
savage human like creatures. He described the Yahoos as “Their heads and
breasts covered with a thick hair, some frizzled, and others lank; they had
beards like goats, and a long ridge of hair down their backs, and the fore
parts of their legs and feet; but the rest of their bodies was bare, so that I
might see their skins, which were of a brown buff colour.” (Swift 2588-2589).
Swift made Gulliver describe the Yahoos with much disgust and made them into
when Gulliver met with the Houyhnhnms, he immediately thought that “the
behaviour of these animals was so orderly and rational, so acute and judicious,
that I at last concluded they must needs be magicians,” (Swift 2590). Gulliver
was so mesmerized by the Houyhnhnms, he decided to stay with them and be a part
of them instead of the Yahoos. Gulliver, after living with them for a long
time, discovered that the Houyhnhnms embody all the virtues he once thought he
possessed, so he set himself to learn their language and be more like them.
discovered that the Houyhnhnms live simple lives in peace with simple laws.
They act justly, speak clearly, and are untroubled by greed, politics, and
lust. Their living is perfect that they have no concept of what a lie is.
had introduced Europe to the Houyhnhnms and told them about the different
systems of government, learning, law, and art. In Chapter V, Gulliver informs
them about the English Constitution.
related to him the Revolution under the Prince of Orange; the long war with
France, entered into by the said prince, and renewed by his successor, the
present queen, wherein the greatest powers of Christendom were engaged, and
which still continued: I computed, at his request, “that about a million of
Yahoos might have been killed in the whole progress of it; and perhaps a hundred
or more cities taken, and five times as many ships burnt or sunk.” (Swift 2601).
Gulliver explains that
the English went to battle to obtain new lands and many Yahoos were killed in
the process, but the Houyhnhnms don’t understand what motive did the English
people have for them to go to battle. When Gulliver said that “Sometimes the
ambition of princes, who never think they have land or people enough to govern;
sometimes the corruption of ministers, who engage their master in a war, in
order to stifle or divert the clamour of the subjects against their evil
administration. Difference in opinions has cost many millions of lives…”
(Swift 2601) made the English men look as savage as the Yahoos or possible even
worse. Gulliver also talks bad about the lawyers and says that “To this society
all the rest of the people are slaves.” (Swift 2603). He also explains other
systems and makes the English government and society corrupt.
In conclusion, in Part IV of Gulliver’s Travels, Swift
uses satire to depict the Yahoos as animalistic and disgusting while the
Houyhnhnms represent reason and the actual way of living. But the Houyhnhms
satire is different in the sense that Swift is mocking them for being so naïve and
ignorant of any other form of living. Swift uses both the Yahoos and Houyhnhnms
to show how the English are ignorant and savages in their own way, which can be
seen when Gulliver explains their systems and jobs.