As soon as I entered the house, my wife took me i

“n her arms,and kissed me; at which, having not been used to the touch of
that odious animal for so many years, I fell in a swoon for
almost an hour” (Gulliver’s Travels, p. 292). This is Lemuel
Gulliver’s account of his homecoming. After having been away
from his wife and family for many years, it is difficult to
understand how a man could respond in such a fashion to his
spouse, who had received him with great joy and compassion.

Gulliver behaves in this manner due to the vast amount of
brainwashing and psychological fatigue, which he underwent
while in Houyhnhnmland. This brainwashing has a lasting
effect on Gulliver’s personality. In the beginning of the story,
Gulliver relates that, upon leaving for his voyage overseas, he
was in a “very happy condition” (p. 246). He has great pride in
his native country of England, and he maintains his proud
nature when he first arrives in Houyhnhnmland. Once arriving
in this strange land, Gulliver encounters a group of animals
known as Yahoos. Gulliver is utterly appalled by these
creatures. He tells the reader, “The ugly monster…distorted
several ways every feature of his visage…then rated so loud
that a herd …came flocking about me …howling and making
odious faces. Several of this cursed brood…leapt up in the
tree, from whence they began to discharge their excrements
on my head…I was almost stifled with the filth which fell
about me on every side” (p.248-249). Gulliver does not
consider the vile creatures to be similar to him. Therefore, he
continues to search the land for “civilized” creatures. When
Gulliver first meets the Houyhnhnms he has a much different
reaction. Gulliver pays great attention to their “conference,”
involving the shaking of their hooves and their neighing in
deliberation. He states that the horses must be rational
creatures. “I was amazed to see such actions and behaviors
in brute beasts,” he says, “and concluded with myself that if
the inhabitants of this country were endued with a
proportional degree of reason, they must needs be the wisest
people upon earth” (p. 249). Although Gulliver views the
horses as rational creatures, since they have a language, he
does not believe that the horses rule the island. Gulliver
believes that there must be another race of people similar to
himself, and that the horses are simply their servants. Initially,
Gulliver has no intention to stay in Houyhnhnmland. He
decides to utilize the scarce resources of the land “till I could
make my escape to some other country, and to creatures of
my own species” (p. 254). Gulliver’s pride is quickly shaken
when he is compared to a “detestable” Yahoo. He is
“mortified” when he perceives that the Houyhnhnms believe
him to be one of those detestable creatures. “I heard the word
“Yahoo, often repeated betwixt them,” he says, “the meaning
of which word I could not then comprehend, although it were
the first I had learned to pronounce; but I was soon better
informed, to my everlasting mortification” (p. 252). After his
pride is weakened, Gulliver soon becomes very submissive to
the Houyhnhnms. For example, at first, Gulliver refers to his
host as “the master” of the house. However, after only a short
period of residing in the horse’s home, Gulliver begins to refer
to the horse as “my master.” Gulliver also makes great efforts
to learn the Houyhnhnms’ language. The Houyhnhnms,
however, make no effort to learn Gulliver’s language, deeming
it as “inferior” to their own. The horses view the Yahoos, as
well as Gulliver, as being inferior to them because they
possess no reason. They believe that Gulliver, rather than
possessing reason of his own, has merely been taught to
“imitate a rational creature” (p. 255). Gulliver soon adopts this
standpoint of inferiority. When asked to relate the state of
England to his master, Gulliver says that his account will
“suffer…by translation into our barbarous English” (p. 262).

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Gulliver then attempts to tell his master of the “wonders” of his
homeland, intending to glorify his country’s virtues. Rather
than relating “wonders,” however, Gulliver tells his master of
the atrocities of humankind, such as war,


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