Gulliver's

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  • Publicado : 19 de noviembre de 2011
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1.- How does Gulliver's experience with the Houyhnhnms comment on the Enlightenment debate as to whether man is a rational or sensible creature? In other words, are humans – and should humans be –governed by their hearts? Use examples from the text.

Humans should be governed by their heads instead of their hearts. In the text, The Houyhnhnm can't understand the meaning of some wordsGulliver is telling him when he is trying to explain about his society's behaviors, because as Gulliver tells: “Power, government, war, law, punishment, and thousand other things had no terms, wherein thatlanguage could express them; which made the difficulty almost insuperable to give my master any conception of what I meant”, so he has to tell the Houyhnhnm examples and suppositions to clear up “theterrible effects of lust, intemperance, malice and envy”, which are strong feelings and passions produced just from the inside of the heart. After one conversation the Houyhnhnm concludes that:“instead of reason, we (humans) were only possessed of some quality fitted to increase our natural vices”. He is meaning we are being governed not by our heads but our hearts and that feeds our vices.2.- Does Swift mean the Houyhnhnms to represent an opposing, inhuman extreme of human behavior (as we assume he means the Yahoos to be), or does he offer them as an ideal to be admired and imitated?Again, use examples from the text.

He is trying to create a role model to be admired and imitated by representing a creature opposite to how the human being is and he does it marvelously.Houyhnhnms don't even know the meaning of certain words such as lying, a word that we, Yahoos, know very good. They are so naive that after Gulliver told his master about what is war about and how “a soldieris a Yahoo hired to kill in cold blood as many of his own species, who have never offended him, as possibly he can”, the master responds: “What you have told me, upon the subject of war, doth...
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