A Visit to my Fiancé’s Home: A Study

It has been two days here at my in-laws’ house, and seeing my fiancé here makes me scratch much of the assumptions I had previously made about creatures like her. I made an amateur mistake, and I should have factored in the variable of a natural habitat in to the formula of understanding my fiancé. Fortunately, I have taken several notes while I have been here that might help me compose a perfect synopsis of her family and genealogically determined characteristics.

For one, when I first met her father at a BBQ at the park, I noticed he was wearing a baseball cap, so I was very quick to jot that down since the sun was not as shiny as other days. What was his conviction? What could have possibly made him put that hat on before he walked out of his house?

Now that I am here in his natural habitat, I noticed that he does not have hair on the uppermost part of his head. This bewildered me, for he was only 48, while my father is 52 and has most of his hair. When he took his hat off, I gave a quick ocular study of my fiancé to see if she had most of her hair, and she did—albeit she is only 22. However, it struck me as a potential issue if and when my fiancé turns 48. I quickly took out my notebook on the table in front of me and wrote down what I had noticed. When I quickly whipped it out from my luggage in the guest room, and made studious observations of everybody around me, they looked at me with perplexed faces—as if it were unforeseen that I wanted to study them while we all had dinner. I slyly grabbed the adorning centerpiece of the table, and moved it front of me as an attempt to camouflage myself in order for them to act natural. This did not seem to work as I planned.

It was my fiancé, her father and her mother at the table. As I was writing in my notebook in front of me, they all stopped eating, and the only thing that I could derive from this habit, was that these creatures could not eat while I had my notebook out. They suddenly acted outside the natural tendencies of animals to eat when hungry. Any motor function that facilitates eating or digesting was slowed or stopped altogether. The only reason I say slowed, however, is because I noticed the father had food in his mouth already, but chewed very slowly while he looked at me with a confused face. I found it quite troubling in my near future if suddenly my fiancé decided to not eat even if she were to be hungry.

I am finding it consistently more difficult to assimilate to the living standards of my fiancé. Although I am able to find some similarities between our dichotomies, the differences have caused me much to be worrisome about. If we are to get married, what are the chances that I will assimilate to her genealogical determiners?



For my creative project, I chose to mimic the style that Jonathan Swift used in his novel, Gulliver’s Travel’s. I liked the absurdity that Swift used in his novel to make Gulliver seem like a fool despite Gulliver’s ironically objective approach. The fact that he takes it upon himself to study the unknown world around him in relation to his subjectivity makes it the perfect way to expose any type of gaze. From reading Swift’s novel, I learned how arbitrary cultural differences are, and how misconstrued they can get if any outside gaze tries to sum them up into categories.

For my version I chose not to go “political” because I liked more the way in which Gulliver as a character is made to look, and how he could be made into a real person who believes his vantage point is one without bias. The character I created shares this with Gulliver because he tries to breakdown and study his fiancé’s family as if he were there visiting to objectify them. Although the way in which he does it is lighthearted, it is a type of dehumanization because he is sees them in a two-dimensional manner, and the things he tries to relate back to his own background are arbitrary—so in effect, he misconstrues them.

Cesar R

Tomy’s Explorations

Tomy’s Exploration

Chapter 8

The blogger can relate to resemblance to the Moples. The perfectionism of the Bonobolopos.

My Master Bonobolopos implored me to visit the dry desert nests–from the little I understood with his body language– in order for me to observe the nature of the Moples for I did not see the resemblance to humans. Of course I could not pass up that opportunity for I as a blogger had the biggest opportunity of a lifetime to create a story that had never been written about outside my own universe. That is until I return back to my wifi connection. Moples lived in really disgusting desert conditions with dry heats and freezing temperature. They attacked each other, they seem to be like the way snowflakes live. Their screeches were daunting but they most of all they were shamed for being so wrinkly naked. They seem to divide each other, but my question was ‘for what if they all seem to hate each other equally.’ That made me think their form of communication was sort of similar, the screeches they made as they came out of their caves and began to interact with, it was somewhat comical to watch each other fight over unnecessary situations.
Upon my return from the Moples nesting grounds, I was able to convince my master Bonobolopo to have an interview on the daily lives of their culture. Unlike the Moples, my masters Bonobolopo body language came really easy and natural to learn. I had never noticed that each interaction was more personal and rarely was there any need for more than two people to communicate with each other. Although the body language was a bit slower, it was more efficient because a response would answer more than what was originally asked for with great ease. It was more difficult to translate the reason I was doing the interview, and what purpose it had for our human culture. The language has a more calm nature and the technology that they did have only served to warn each other of dangers and to help each other navigate through dangers instead of exasperate each other on the different views they had. This calm nature in their culture reflected in their interactions Whatever disagreement one had with the other person was gone before they would finish their thoughts because there was no noise disruption in the bonobolopo’s conversations from fear of looking like the Moples.
My first question for my Master Bonobolopo was why they did not try to conversate with speech. Which to my surprise, his reply was really simple ‘we do not use speech because communication is distorted in that form, such as the Moples schreech seem to get in the way of their comfort and create boundaries of oposition.’ For my master was correct, I had so much difficulty trying to find the correct sounds in my head to translate this much onto my word doc, even emojis were useless. He continued by explaining that they had studied the Moples and their discovery showed that they tend to prefer certain sounds and divided each other’s communities despite each of them despising each other anyways. He called speech a deformity in which any other creature used was would be doomed to destroy themselves.
He continue not noticing that he had answered several of other questions I had in mind. Like my second question, ‘why do you all not wear any clothing?’ to which his previous explanation manage to be answered. His reply went as so, ‘we don’t wear “clothing” which he referred to as fur, do to the fact that they had no word for clothing. His reasoning was because nature had already provided them with natural fur that covered every aspect of their body. Which he argued that if nature did not provide a group of species with the right equipment, then that society was meant to be chaotic and not peaceful. But I would disagree, if you primates want to place yourself in a pedestal of perfectionism that’s okay, but don’t tell me that your ways and your simple language is better than our most advanced form of communication because we have better form of living for everyone. This is Tomy’s Explorations and Those are my final notions.

The short excerpt above depicts a sort of imitation adaptation of Jonathan Swift’s Gulliver’s Travels. In particular, part 4, chapter 8 of Gulliver’s travel to the land of the Yahoo!’s and the Houyhnhnm’s. As Gulliver’s Travels is already a satire Tomy’s Exploration imitates but also satirizes the way in which the story undergoes. The most obvious way in which it is imitated is the way in which takes a person from the human society and places them in the middle of two opposing society that range from chaos to perfectionism.
Taking ideas from what seem to be a combination of naked mole rats as a comparison to create the “Moples” these semi representatives of the humans from the Bonobolopo’s point of view, but not from the Tomy’s perspective. Bonobolopo’s seem to be a society of bonobos society perspective but in terms of more domesticity, ethical, and polite. Although they are not too perfect themselves, the societies they live in are exemplified by the Tomy and her Master Bonobolopo. Tomy, changes their mind about the similarities the Moples and human have not once but twice this creates a satirical form. Because it mocks the way that no one will be willingly change their ways unless they stay in that society for a long period of time, and when Tomy rants about her blog towards the end that it is all okay but once she shifts her audience thanks to the internet that she will be returning to she shifts her focus of the social norms of the world she came to, because she knows she is guaranteed that return home.

Enrique Ramos

L.A. Girl

My name is Anna. My family lives on a small farm in the rural part of Texas. I grew up surrounded by cows, pigs, and chickens, along with my younger brother. I have just graduated high school and want to explore outside of what I have known my whole life. My parents gifted me a trip to Los Angeles, California for a few days. I pack my bags with essentials and some outfits that I thought would be nice to wear on my trip. I said goodbye to my family as I board my plane. I sat in my seat and looked out the window in excitement as I look at the sky and daydream about all the things I would do and see when I land in California.

I finally arrive to my destination. There are lights shining from all directions and so many tall buildings and so many people walking around in the middle of the night. I take an Uber to my motel room and knock out the moment I touched the bed. Morning comes, and I wake up refreshed and ready to start my day. I look up good restaurants nearby and picked one that I think I would enjoy the most. It was crowded in the restaurant as groups of people wait for a table. As I was being pushed, I took a step back and accidentally bump into the girl that was behind me. As I turned around to apologize, her appearance was blinding. Her face was covered in make-up, her outfit was beautifully revealing, her nails and hair were done, and she was carrying at what looks like a really expensive bag.

I realized that she is someone that is famous. I finally apologized after staring at her for a while. She accepted my apology with a smile. She asked “what is a girl like you doing in a city like this?”. I knew the way I looked and dressed gave me out. I explained to her why I was in L.A. She then invited me to spend the next few days with her. She took me to all of the tourist destinations and took me shopping with her. As we spent the whole day together, a part of me grew envious. I looked up and down at the way I dressed and became embarrassed. I was also embarrassed of the way I talk. I realized how out of place I was in a city of glamour. I want to be like her. I want to live like her. I want to sound like her.

So in the next few days, I tried to hide my accent and only wore clothes that she picked out for me. I think I am doing a good job of trying to hide who I really am. I don’t want to go back home. I don’t want to associate myself as a Southern girl. They’re not pretty, they don’t wear pretty clothes, and they are not glamorous. I want to be an L.A. girl.

I dreaded leaving L.A. and going back home. I still want to stay here but there is no way I can do that. I sadly walked to the plane. When I finally arrived home, I look around and realize how ugly and crummy this place is. My family greeted me at the front door. I looked them up and down and I see how unkempt they are. I was disgusted by the way my family presented themselves and the crappy place I call home. I sit on my bed, staring out the window, dreaming of being in L.A. again.


I am recreating Jonathan Swift’s Gulliver’s Travels. I am writing a short version of the story with the intention of showing the similarities of Gulliver and Anna. I chose Gulliver’s travels because Jonathan Swift’s writing is plain and simple. He said what he wanted to say and kept it simple for everyone to understand. Gulliver was kicked off of his ship and ended up on the Land of the Houyhnhnms. There, he learns of how “amazing” the Houyhnhnms are. He loses his sense of identity and wanted to be just like them; all so alike without any individuality. I wanted to portray the same thing in my parody. Just like Gulliver, she wants to become something other than who she really is. Gulliver compared the Yahoos as filthy, human-like beings to the majestical horses while she compared her unkempt family to the glamorous girls of L.A. Gulliver thinks that the way to happiness is to be like a Houyhnhnm. He starts talking to horses and associates himself as one of them. My character is a Southern girl trying to hide her accent and wearing nice clothes that looks awkward on her screams desperate. She believed that she was able to hide her identity with material things but doesn’t realize that she looks more like a laughing joke.

-Naomi Van

Deceitful Politicians

There is much going on in the first picture. There are three visible Quakers, that act as politicians, leaders of a movement to abolish slavery. Although all three seem to depict a sense of anti-slavery; the note on the Quaker on the far left-hand side, who is the only one facing away from the viewer of the political cartoon as a form of symbolism, a spectacle that truly depicts the nature of the political cartoon. While the right hand Quaker presents a narrow view (represented by the telescope) the treatment of the slaves daily life, is an actual representation of the treatment of the “negro slaves” while the cartoon satirizes that the slaves on the far right side, are actually happier than the Quaker represents to the citizens/ followers. There are several other representations of satirizing the Quakers movement as an anti-slavery, but this political cartoon is pro-slavery, this is because the there is so much chaos in one picture with multiple and overwhelming protests, which seems to me, is being made fun off with the simple fact that the Quaker who is on the left side facing the away from the viewer has a sign that says “Invoice from E.I. sugar.” This simple phrase represents the whole cartoon as a whole because it contradicts all other cause, especially the large sign he holds, which does support slavery to produce sugar.

Much like the Robert Cruikshank, The Interesting Narrative of the Life of Olaudah Equiano, Equiano too faces with deceit. In volume II chapter VIII travels between island he calls New Providence. On the first Bahama island; or “keys,” they come across with “very large birds, called flamingos” which were new species to them. The captain that he traveled with attempted several times to fool Equiano and the other slaves that were there with them, “our captain swore they were cannibals. This created a great panic among us, and we held a consultation how to act” (145). This is already proof that he is aware of the deception that goes around with the society standard in treating not only slaves but the free black man like Equiano. But this is one of the least extreme examples, later on in this chapter, two white men, try to steal off Equiano and he claims that he knows their deception process “I told them to be still and keep off; for I had seen those kind of tricks played upon other free blacks, and they must not think to serve me so” (152).   

All in all, Equiano takes the time to reflect this experience and possibly make a connection with the popular satire novel from Jonathan Swift’s Gulliver’s Travels. He sort of matches this experience to how works like Gulliver’s travels satirizes works to persuade people for political purpose to push forward an agenda. Although this passage chapter seems to make no sense too much on the political structure of pro or anti-abolition, it does serve the purpose to shed light propaganda from false politicians claiming to be anti-slavery like Robert Cruikshank political cartoon that is misleading to the people that strongly believe that abolition should be taken into action.   

Enrique Ramos

Gulliver Conforms

The suggestion given in Gulliver’s Travels aludes to the notion that Houyhnhnm way of living is the key to happiness, is perhaps Swift’s satiric method in showing how such a society is impossible, if anything, hysterically fictionalized.  In addition, as the reader, we can’t help but find it odd that the species do not carry a sense of their own individuality. If anything, their identities are rather ambiguous, thus the world that they live in lacks variety; in other words, there is no diversity, hence all Houyhnhnm are seen as perfect based on the reflection they see in one another.  

Gulliver’s arrival to the foreign land, and reception by the Houyhnhnm even shows their curiousity towards him for appearing different and for his choice in having migrated there. Gulliver describes in Part IV, Chapter I, “They were under great Perplexity about my Shoes and stockings, which they felt very often…using various gestures, not unlike those of a Philosopher,…when he would attempt to solve some new and difficult Phenomenon (209).” This not only shows their “perplexity,” but it also shows Gulliver’s as he can’t help but compare their characteristics, even in the way they delegate, versus what he is used to with the English.  

Later in the chapter we learn that the only diversity that does is exist is between two kinds, the Houyhnhnm and the Yahoos; of course, one is seen as less civil.  The irony in that is that Gulliver cannot distinguish the difference until it is brought to his attention, therefore again alluding to the impression that that species themselves are living a lie, a lie they have been conditioned to believe since their beginnings.  

Slowly, but surely we see Gulliver begin to remove any previous ways of thinking and beliefs he had, previous to arriving on their land.  He puts them on a pedestal, and eventually assimilates himself into their culture.  He disregards anything that seems unfair, especially the perspective they have towards the Yahoos; hence, we can assume that society would rather turn a blind eye to social injustices rather than resist.  Gulliver basically blindly conforms to the Houyhnhnm “enlightened” society.

-Maricela Martinez (Marcy)




Travel Points for Gulliver

Yahoos is a word that is constantly being repeated and I noticed that there is a personal beef with the Yahoos in how the Houyhnhnms look down on them. There is a very bold elephant in the room that needs to be addressed. The Houyhnhnms are looking at the Yahoos as literal fecal matter and it becomes closely related to the genocide ideology we have seen with the Nazis. This repetition allows for us to keep consistently thinking on what the outcome of the Yahoos is going to be. The irony is that they are horses and usually horses are ridden and owned and tamed by their masters in real life. When Gulliver seems to go crazy after trying to talk to his horses, it really questions as to how far the imagination of someone can go from envisioning fiction and trying to bring it into real life.

Master seems to be a word that sounds out of place. It makes me uncomfortable in the sense that someone is praising a horse and is ok with someone being second-class. I guess I can relate an example to how we look at celebrities and envision everything they do to be perfect so we place them on a pedestal. We think everything a celebrity does is godly and would not mind being their doormat to be walked on everyday. There is a funny meme that says someone could get slapped by Beyoncé 20 times and say thank you every time. So it seems ok ideally that Gulliver would idolize these horses since they seem to have much more down in their ideal Utopia and don’t have any problems. Gulliver unfortunately is too clouded to see that they are not the best people to be inspired by.

Subtly, I see that Swift makes it aware through the satire to us that it is not ok for this superiority mindset. While Gulliver is awed in all the glory the Houynhmnms seem to present, it is to be shown to the reader that exterminating someone for their own good is not morally ok and presents a sense of disguist in how people “horses” can be perfectly comfortable with this decision in the sense that they are doing the world a favor. I would like to know in more detail or as a footnote or attachment why Gulliver was so fascinated by Houynhmnms in an explanation from Swift. I also would like to know what drove Gulliver to look like a lunatic once he started speaking to horses. To the average reader who cannot see the bigger message Swift blends in the satirical-style writing, it may bring forth the intent of the writing in a way that people can see thing that are not ok in a form of bullet points.



-Daniel Estrada

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

They really aren’t that great

Although the Houyhnhnm appear to be rational creatures, I don’t think the world would be better places if it could think and behave the way Houyhnhms do because it is to similar to the way in which humans have taught and behaved in the past. For instance, when Gulliver was learning the language of the Houyhnhnms he was treated as piece to look at because many were “convinced that [he] must be a Yahoo, but [his] teachableness, civility, and cleanliness astonished him; which were qualities altogether opposite to those animals”. The dichotomy between Houyhnhnm and Yahoo is similar to the hierarchal structure of races. The Houyhnhms believe themselves to be better beings than the Yahoos because the Yahoo’s way of living does not coincide with the Houyhnhnms way of life. Also, Gulliver was to refer the Houyhnhnm who take care of him as “master”, which thus created a master and slave relationship between the two. No matter how much Gulliver were to learn the language and communicate with the Houyhnhnm efficiently, Gulliver was still going to be viewed less than due to the fact that he is to call his teacher, “master”. He would never be seen as an intellectual equal of any sort, always as a less than outsider. At times, it seemed that Gulliver was less than the slaves because the slaves would find him so intriguing as well and enjoyed teaching him the things he did not know.

Nancy Sanchez

Happiness is more than Perfection


Happiness is different from pleasure. Happiness has something to do with struggling and enduring and accomplishing.

George A. Sheehan

Those who are not looking for happiness are the most likely to find it, because those who are searching forget that the surest way to be happy is to seek happiness for others.

-Martin Luther King Jr.

Sorrow and Frustration have their power. The world is moved by people with great discontents. Happiness is a drug. It can make men blind and deaf and insensible to reality. There are times when only sorrow can give to sorrow.

-Winifred Holtby

Would we be happier if we acted a bit more like the Houyhnhnms, and also reasoned in the same manner they do? Perhaps in some regards, as suffering and conflict would surely be diminished, but the happiness we live and breathe for entails a notion that is evidently separate from the seemingly perfect philosophy of the supposedly superior horse-people in the land of the Houyhnhnms. Happiness is found to occur over accomplishment and triumph, over the strife and struggles present in our society, that seem to be devoid or lacking on this horse-run island. Happiness is infinitely defined, and can be seen also  alongside the vices of our world and the insinuation of terror,  and in the ways blissful innocence and enlightened thinking may. I believe that Swift does a commendable job at putting into perspective the imperfections and ethically digressive actions we partake through the characterization of the Yahoos, and I sense an underlying presence of irony in that Gulliver becomes too caught up in his own fantasy of a Utopian society, forgetting the beauty of the challenge and the triumph of adversity.

Through the doubt of those who have denied your capabilities, you have many times succeeded in life and felt the elation of such a victory. Opposition and challenges are what opportunities to succeed and overcome. They are scenarios in which brave individuals and daring souls have resisted and rejected attempts of tyranny and authoritative rule. Swift shows the fault of laws, greed, war among other repulsive aspects of our culture, but he begins to lose a grasp of what makes us human. Ironically, in his attempt to convey the grotesque and undesirable reality of mankind, he  inadvertently reveals the magnificence of imperfection. There is a severe lack of joy and happiness in the world of the Houyhnhnms. The unpleasant realities of our world give us a platform to contrast onto our perceptions of good and righteousness. Heaven in the bible wouldn’t seem so amazing without the depiction of hell. However Swift brings to light our perception of happiness directly. Truly, happiness can be a result of maniacal fervor, or blatant addiction, but this is where the unique existence of our kind is shaped. For those who find happiness in the light of positivism and ethical behavior, then evil is indeed necessary.

We have come to define happiness in our own ways throughout time, and to extract a more perfect definition of this, would oppose and detract from the original meaning of the word itself. Like each and every human, our world is imperfect in its very own beautiful way, and happiness is defined with this imperfection. Johnathan Swift implies a more peaceful and desirable way of living through the Houyhnhnms, but demonstrates that ultimately a transition to a more perfect society would inevitably dismantle the true definition of happiness that we surely all pursue.

Swift is evidently targeting John Locke’s philosophy of nature, war, and society. Locke seemed to justify European colonization attempts with his doctrine on the necessity of society. The enlightenment aimed to glorify the intellectual, but at the expense of those who were deemed as not within the category of a society, the uncivilized. The Houyhnhmns seemed to emulate this Lockean philosophy, and were willing to exterminate the Yahoos for their own well-being. With Gulliver’s Travels, Swift expresses his concern over the dangers that Enlightenment thinking can insinuate. He insists that superiority will involve gruesome and heartless actions. He makes it clear that happiness is not present through the path that the enlightenment might proceed to. Johnathan Swift defends those who would otherwise have no say, and presents a rare defense to the encroaching oppression of tyrannical governments.

-Thomas Pham



Houyhnhnms (Not Human’s Example to Follow)

I disagree with the statement “Swift’s Gulliver’s Travels suggests that human kind would be happier if it could think and behave the way the do”. Although Gulliver does seem to enjoy living among the Houyhnhnms he is not entirely happy as he believed he was.

I believe Gulliver believes he is happier with the Houyhnhnms it is because he simply sees the positive in the Houyhnhnms and begins to judge the Yahoos as soon as he sees them.  As he states “Their shape was singular, and deformed, which a little decomposed me” (207). He is beginning to judge them as soon as he sees them which is something many many humans tend to do often without realizing it.

Throughout this page he repeats the word “hair” four times all describing them. The fact that they had hair seemed to bother him which is of course weird because his species(humans) Homo Sapiens of course also have hair and even if he does prefer Houyhnhnms they are horses after all so they are also covered in hair and have long tails which are made of hair after all. He also explains that the Houyhnhnms were “orderly and rational, so acute and judicious” (209) this statement ends up being extremely ironic because at the end of his stay he is essentially kicked out for no reason other than other’s people’s opinion about him, he never harmed anybody. Still, even when they kicked him out he still seemed to want to go back to them which is unreasonable of him.  When introducing himself to the Houyhnhnms he describes himself as a “poor distressed Englishman” (210). I find this statement extremely misleading because what should have been include in this chapter is him telling them that he made the choice to travel even though he previously had unpleasant experiences. He could have simply stayed home with his wife and kids but once he met the Houyhnhnms he saw the flaws humans had and refused to live among them but even though he did not desire to live with his family he could have used better words that didn’t degrade them considering he was part of human culture himself.

Essentially Gulliver is simply disgusted with the nature and greediness of humans. He is also guilty of that because he did not think his life was well enough even with his wife and kids, he was searching for more hence the travels he insisted in taking part in. I believe that the main theme here is moving on and by that I don’t mean overcoming and obstacle but the example of how fast human beings (or other beings) move on. Although Gulliver seemed to settle in all the places he stumbled upon some exploited him for tricks other welcomed him, they all seemed to became bored of him after having him for some time. I do not think it would be ideal for humans to live like Houyhnhnms because it did not end well for Gulliver who was kicked out by them. They also live life very simply which is something Gulliver would not have enjoyed that given that he decided to leave his wife and children to look for more adventures. Although Gulliver might have thought the Houyhnhnms lived an ideal lifestyle he was ignorant to the harm that would be bestowed upon him. He was in deniel because they treated him better than others did. He should have strived to be the best human he could be, not the best Houyhnhnms he could be (which he was not).


-Luz Zepeda