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

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)




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

“Perfection of Nature”

The Houyhnhnms (the horse civilization) in Jonathan Swift’s Gulliver’s Travels seem like an ideal place in the eyes of the titular Gulliver, as they often seem to be surprised by the problems facing his society. While disregarding the fact that it is a race of horses, Gulliver was venting to his “master” how humans in his civilization “could never have enough” (Gulliver 231) money to spend so they are always in necessity of it because they feel it is the most fundamental basis for life. It is actually kind of Marxist of Gulliver to explain this to his “master,” and it is also kind of Marxist of the talking horse to respond with saying it is a “miserable country which cannot furnish food for its own inhabitants” (232). The Houyhnhnms seem to be the perfect civilization in the eyes of Gulliver, despite having to call one of them “master,” and being subject to the inspection and vetting of them to make sure Gulliver is not a Yahoo.

The Yahoos are a human civilization that the talking horses consider savages, which gives the Houyhnhnms the reason to believe Gulliver is one of them. The Houyhnhnms use their own frame of reference to inspect Gulliver and differentiate him from the Yahoos they have not known to be “teachable,” civil or clean (216). We have to pick up the subtle clues that these horses are not in fact an ideal race, or a city upon a hill, as Winthrop would put it. The reason the horses think of Gulliver as an exceptional Yahoo is because the Yahoos are othered in the eyes of the Houyhnhnms, so they see him as a kind of anomaly and nothing more. In other words, Gulliver is othered as well, because he is still filtered through the original stereotype of the Yahoos. Swift goes as far as to use linguistics to make this race of horses similar to the Eurocentric behavior of the people in England. Gulliver notes how the etymology of the word Houyhnhnm means “perfection of nature” (217) as jab from Swift to the hubris of the elite in his own country. The satire here is that, as readers, we cannot seem to get our mind off the fact that these are literally talking horses. This ridiculous choice from Swift is to play with the subjectivity of the reader.

Cesar Ramirez

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



Humanizing Not Dehumanizing


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

Reversing the Cultural Views of Colonialism through a Change in Perspective

Part 2 of Gulliver’s Travel by Jonathan Swift, Gulliver finds an island where he is 1/20th the size of the native people. This mass contrast in size creates a paradoxical view of how Europeans view natives in the new world. Throughout Gulliver’s Travel, swift’s uses Gulliver adventures to foreign land and his interactions with native people to satirically comment on European colonialism. Colonialism spelled disaster for any group involved beside the well to do white man. The passage where Gulliver first gets put on display, page 92-93, is incredible ironic. This passage in Swift’s Gulliver’s Travel suggests that humankind wouldn’t be happier if it could think and behave the way the Houyhnhnms and other native groups do. Also, this passage also satires captivity narratives and their popularity in Europe through a change in perspective.

Colonization of north America was incredibly profitable for the European’s yet most of the profits came at the expense of the native population. Swift takes this reality and reverse it in this narrative. This major change in perspective shows how inhumane white settlers treated native populations when invading their land. The Europeans flatout mistreated the native population. Instead of treating them as equals the Europeans treated the natives as a spectacle, a form of entertainment that was flat out inferior to europeans. European/puritan captivity narratives were incredible popular. This popularity is parodied by swift in this passage. The reader can see this parodying when swift wrote, “For, those who had seen me made such wonderful reports, that the people were ready to break down the doors to come in” (Swift 93). The master purely see Gulliver as a form of profit, just like how the Europeans viewed native population. He’s so profitable in his first day on display that the master decides to take Gulliver to “the most considerable cities of the kingdom” (Swift 93). Swift writes this narrative because, like the natives, he is a victim of imperialism. So, swifts objective for gulliver’s travels is to give the other perspective to the impacts of colonialism and imperialism.

Language: An Abandoned Blessing

Society is and has always been, so long as we remain human, mortal beings with emotion, imperfect and yet ever so synchronized. It bends and twists accordingly with the ideals of the present mindsets of the time, reflecting upon its flaws and still keeping together the sanctuary of human civilization, or at least it feels as if it seems controlled within a world of random, unjust natural and unnatural occurrences. Then criticism is offered to this society, as it has always been, and for the moment, most would comfortably reject those ideals and sit in their unchanging paradise like cogs in a machine. Gulliver’s Travels then, presents here something so absurd it makes sense, something one cannot merely dismiss. What if, what if – horses, intelligent horses, lived a more close-knit society, a more philosophically pleasing lifestyle, a more just view of an individual’s purpose? It’s comedic to say, but Swift uses that attention and proves that this may very well be possible (the form of society, that is). Then one must face certain insecurities and doubts of the very society that holds us together and sane, and there’s no better way to do it than with a bunch of horses.

Two things in unison enlighten the reader of natural human failures of communication, providing an ideal and the unfortunate manipulation of language to favor unjust motives. The Houyhnhnms are a species eager to communicate, and have shown signs in attempts to do so even with the most brutish creatures. The Yahoos, as described in Chapter 3 of the 4th part, are unteachable and completely savage, but in their description the Houyhnhnms have shown that there have indeed been attempts to communicate, their astonishment at Gulliver’s intelligence can only be in reference to a struggle previously ensued with the Yahoos. In short, this shows that despite the appearance of the Yahoos, the Houyhnhnms have definitely attempted to communicate, and more so, they seem to be more welcoming to them regardless than say a certain other “civilized” society that instead chose to butcher the native peoples. It likewise shows the importance of communicate to the Houyhnhnms, they are eager to do so thoroughly and clearly, which brings the following point established in Chapter 4 of the same part of the book, when Gulliver introduces the concept of lying, which only confuses the Houyhnhnms, something “worse than Ignorance” (221).

With these two key ideas taken into account, one can assume the sheer value of fair, even communication for the Houyhnhnms, where something even as trivial as lying is something to be condemned and useless. Looking further, it jabs at the fact that humans can do many things with language, and yet we choose not to do so. People ignore each other, fail to pick up on the concept of empathy, lie without remorse, all of which have become norms in just about every first world society in some aspect or another. Things can be settled with fair discussion, understanding can bond peoples despite major differences, it can spark and further advance human ideologies and theories, instead we may as well be the Yahoos. Though we are capable of communicating, we essentially butcher the lines of communication, assuming things of each other, casting judgement and ignoring the other’s words. When one thinks truly of the power of language, one realizes that so many things within society today are horribly unnecessary, with simply applying the use of empathy and fair communication. Instead, apathy, inequality, deception, and dehumanization is birthed where clear communication dies, and unfortunately the norm set is that it seems to be completely fine to do so, to disconnect and forget the relationships we form as if they meant nothing, to spew hatred upon a differing group for merely having differing ideas, where lying and twisting the truth to achieve a motive is much more important than clear representation of oneself. It would be a beautiful world, one where people actually cared to listen to each other completely despite disagreement, where conflict is settled in educated courts, where our fellow beings are treated equally with respect, all on the basis and appreciation of communication. It seems like an inflated subject, ultimately coming from a bunch of horses, but think of it: as humans, as intellectual beings capable of communication, so many events of misunderstanding occur, so many instances of dehumanization allow violence and apathy to strike. If we had the motivation to seek to communicate more, rather than to isolate ourselves, if we opened up to speak with even people we perceived as “savage”, we would learn to appreciate the differences more. Or one could laugh, muttering “what silly horse people”, close the book and forget. We can continue to lie, cut people off without a second thought, to judge those whom we have not understood, just like a Yahoo would.

-William Fernandez

The Enlightenment as Satirized through the Houyhnhnms

Jonathan Swift’s satirical use of the Houyhnhnms, a superior race to that of the Yahoos (including Gulliver himself), allows Swift to create a conversation about the overwhelmingly positive effects of the Enlightenment, but also its negative effects. Gulliver explains in Chapter 6 of Part IV, that life with the Houyhnhnms is everything he could have dreamed of; he enjoys there “perfect Health of Body and Tranquility of Mind” (254) and is not subject to the temptations of “Treachery or Inconstancy of a Friend, nor the Injuries of a secret or open Enemy” (254). All of the degenerate, problematic, deceiving sinners and the things that bring with it misfortune that are common in Gulliver’s home country, were absent in the land of Houyhnhnms:

here were no gibers, censurers, backbiters, pickpockets, highwaymen, housebreakers, attorneys, bawds, buffoons, gamesters, politicians, wits, splenetics, tedious talkers, controvertists, ravishers, murderers, robbers, virtuosos; no leaders, or followers, of party and faction; no encouragers to vice, by seducement or examples; no dungeon, axes, gibbets, whipping-posts, or pillories; no cheating shopkeepers or mechanics; no pride, vanity, or affectation; no fops, bullies, drunkards, strolling whores, or poxes; no ranting, lewd, expensive wives; no stupid, proud pedants; no importunate, overbearing, quarrelsome, noisy, roaring, empty, conceited, swearing companions; no scoundrels raised from the dust upon the merit of their vices, or nobility thrown into it on account of their virtues; no lords, fiddlers, judges, or dancing-masters (254).

The country of the Houyhnhnms is vastly superior, based primarily on the fact that the Houyhnhnms have effectively eradicated all those disagreeable, their traits, and their vices. Gulliver mentions several times throughout this Chapter about how the Houyhnhnms have a vastly superior intellect and way of running things than Gulliver’s own country. It is for this reason that he submits himself to the Houyhnhnms, referring to them as his master, and obeying them as if a slave: “I never presumed to speak, except in answer to a Question, and then I did it with inward Regret, because it was a Loss of so much Time for improving myself” (254). What is interesting about this submission is that Gulliver happily allows himself to be subjected to the critique of his superior. When Gulliver’s master gives his discourse on the topic of a being’s rationality, Gulliver falls to his feet, completely vexed and praiseworthy of the discourse. However, his master, seeing Gulliver on the floor, reaffirms this notion that Gulliver, in the eyes of the Houyhnhnms, can easily be manipulated with a call to Reason, since “a Rational Creature can be… only advised, or exhorted, because no Person can disobey Reason, without giving up his Claim to be a Rational Creature” (257).

This directly correlates to the Enlightenment, which would have been happening around Swift’s time. Swift’s mockery of the Enlightenment, done with the use of the Houyhnhnms (the Houyhnhnms representing those philosophers of the Enlightenment), creates an interesting dialogue about the ramifications of the Enlightenment. On one hand, humankind would be happier if they could think and behaved as the Houyhnhnms do, however, as the reader realizes, on the other hand, they become slaves to discourse and philosophy (“Loss of so much Time for improving myself”), unconcerned with the human emotion (like Gulliver displays when he falls to his master’s feet and the master is unimpressed).

-Sara Nuila-Chae