I think Swift suggests that human kind is very distant from the Houyhnhms. The distance Swift creates works interestingly in Chapter 4 of section 4, as Gulliver describes the difference between how Houyhnhnms are treated in their land and how horses are treated in Gulliever’s place. The distance created between the two contrasting treatments brings light to the fact that humans, and their ability to think differently, justifies the way they treat horses. When they ask Gulliver about how they treat horses in his place, there is a lot of focus on money and sort of the usefulness of horses. But, when Gulliver sits and talks about how his people treat horses, and when it is contrasted with the way Houyhnhnms live, it becomes almost funny to think how crazy and unfair it is. I think Swift takes an interesting approach: instead of dehumanizing a race or group of people, he humanizes living things that are not humans, which is another way he challenges the traditional captivity narrative.
- Israel Alonso