You People are so Petty. And Tiny.

Gulliver, the world traveler, says in the very beginning, in the letter that precedes the text proper, that he is but a Yahoo, and should live his life more like a Houyhnhnm. However, it is not apparent that Gulliver liked humanity, even before he had ever traveled to Houyhnhnmland. Gulliver, while in Brobdingnag, is forced to sit and listen to one of the giants compare him, England, and all of humankind to insects, with the addition that humans “Love, they fight, they dispute, they cheat, they betray” (100). Perhaps this was Swift’s view of humanity, as seen from a disconnected place. Perhaps when viewed from an alternate angle, or any other angle than from within, humans do very little more than loving, fighting, disputing, cheating and betraying.

This goes on, though. Gulliver is insulted and wounded by these words, but reconsiders his anger, eventually settling that “If [he] had beheld a Company of English lords and ladies… [he] should have been strongly tempted to laugh as much at them as this King and his Grandees did at me”  (101). This serves to further the argument that humanity itself is ridiculous, as Gulliver notices, even from within humanity. Humans are petty, and tiny.

-Ross Koppel

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One thought on “You People are so Petty. And Tiny.

  1. The main idea is, “Gulliver, the world traveler, says in the very beginning, in the letter that precedes the text proper, that he is but a Yahoo, and should live his life more like a Houyhnhnm.” I feel like you may need to add more information regarding the Houyhnhnms so you can strengthen your claim on that end.

    Extra Credit 3/25/4

    Like

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