In the novel Hartly House, the main character Sophia mirrors Gulliver from Gulliver’s Travels in my ways. She begins to behave just like his and its a trait that Phoebe Gibbes does not let slide by the reader as Sophia herself admit in letter XXXVII where she states:
“I am undone! I have beheld so brilliant, so divine,a spectac1e— am so rlazzled, and so captivated, and, like Gulliver in the land of Lilliput, find all the objects around me so diminutive and so mean”(269).
From looking at this quote we can see that Sophia is clearly making a comparison between her and Gulliver. What is most interesting about this is that both Sophia and Gulliver felt as if they were better than those people back in their home land. Sophia begins to believe she is better than her lifetime friend Arabella and Gulliver feels as if he is now magically better than the rest of his people back in England simply for ever meeting and being around the Houyhnhnms. The reference used by Sophia is perfect for her situation because she even used the words “brilliant”, “divine”, and “spectacle” which can refer to the wonders of the materialistic thing she also describes in page 271. Sophia is captivated by the materialistic side of the new land while Gulliver admires the Houyhnhnms for their intellect, intelligence and sophistication. Both Sophia and Gulliver become enchanted with the things they discover in their travels and pay no attention to the worlds they came from. Sophia is everything she is criticizing.
It is important to analyze and discover what are the exact things that make them feel this way. Is it that they feel more entitled than the rest of the people they have encountered? That might be possible taking into consideration the harsh way they critique the people they encounter. Gulliver is taken by the cold, intellectual and weird culture of the Houyhnhnms that he forgets they are not human and in fact giant talking horses. Sophia on the other hand writes so focused on the flashy clothes, jewels and processions and shows no interest in the people that she forgets they are humans just like her and that they are are more than just their clothing and jewels.