Gulliver’s Madness

The recommendable nature of the Jonathon’s work of writing on seriously being satirical is represented in his novel explaining the Gulliver’s travels. The novel brings out the different experiences that Gulliver encountered in his travelling mission of getting into adventure in the world set up without neglecting any aspect of the entire journey. The experience that Gulliver was exposed to during the adventure form some parts and consequences for his madness, which is clearly illustrated towards the final segment of his adventure. The author creates the satire in the novel through the development of the reliability in the side of Gulliver creating humor, and irony in the whole novel. This paper looks into different traces of the growth of Gulliver’s Travels especially towards the final stages of his adventures.

The first trace of the Gulliver’s madness comes from the fact that he cannot accept himself for the person he truly is. He actually wants to be like Houyhnhnms, a creature which is of a totally different species from his species. His madness of being like these creatures is due to the belief that Houyhnhnms are the perfect creature that he should resemble in his entire life.  He tries all means to fit into the system of the Houyhnhnms and when the species considered him different, they decided to lock him out of their actions making him feel rejected thus feeling totally broken down.  He tries to sound like the Yahoos with the aim of delivering the message to the Houyhnhnms, but his Yahoos pronunciation was never recognized by the horses prompting the horses to repeat their Yahoos to make him confirm and find himself a totally different creature. His inability to accept who he is makes him mad through the actions and behaviors that he tries to copy to make him feel part of the Yahoos family.

The second trace of Gulliver’s madness is due to his inability to control the events that occur in his life during the travel and adventure (Taylor & Neal 39). The events occurred in his life in a series manner that he could not be able to control, especially when he started to encounter different animals like Houyhnhnms and other animals in the grass area. When he encountered the ugly monster as the first animal, he starts to think of several activities within the field and even wanted to learn the behaviors of the animal at the moment without considering any other activity within the area (Swift 141). Before he could clear off his agenda with the monster, he sees other creatures like the Houyhnhnms and the Yahoos and immediately shifted his mind showing the madness he was developing as a result of failure to control the events he was encountering (Swift 142). The fact that he could see the Houyhnhnms do their normal actions without missing in their communication mode was enough indication that he knew whatever was going on between the Houyhnhnms and that the Houyhnhnms could not understand his actions. His madness in these aspects is built from the reality that he actually knew whatever was happening, but did not want to accept things the way they were with the aim of making things work in his own wanting. The inability of him to control the events and perfectly associate with the Houyhnhnms further creates his madness as he begins to think of the creature of his kind of being less accepted in the society of the Houyhnhnms and his focus remained to fit in the system of a different creature.

The third trace of the Gulliver’s madness can be tracked to his fight to be accepted as the Houyhnhnms showing the slip towards insanity making him more confused in his adventure. He observes the Yahoos as the most un-teachable creatures in the world and the fact that he wants to be the same as the Yahoos he presents himself as the stupidest person to be identified as the Houyhnhnms. He even understands himself, but wants to change his actions to avoid the repulsive nature of the Yahoos towards him as he knew that any suspicious action could result in him being thrown out of the species’ company. He even shows his insane nature when the manager decides to dedicate the maximum time possible, including the manager foregoing his duties just to teach him, but he fails to replicate the good work that is being done to him just to remain within his believe of being un-teachable like the Yahoos (Swift 148).

The fourth trace of his madness is depicted from the pride that he indicates in his actions and the sequence of carrying out his operations. His pride forces him to hide his real identity through the refusal to remove his clothes just to remain in the same position as the Houyhnhnms and feel the pride of being recognized as the Yahoos (Swift 149).  The pride is later indicated when he describes his residential place to show how great he is to have managed the distance and the furthest of which he had been involved in the travelling to reach the current location. It is from the pride that his madness of failing to accept the actual person he is and makes him develop different behavior to fit in the Houyhnhnms system. His pride of not feeling identified within the Yahoos society makes him even dress differently as well as sleep after everybody has slept to avoid any chances of him being identified. The pride makes him madder when he could not associate with the other species of his own due to the feeling that his similar creatures smelled and he could not associate with them, and could only associate with the Yahoos whom he considered to be of his class. An individual who disowned his own species and groups of people belonging to his class is considered to be mad as the values of the other species only remain a benefit for the entire creatures’ life but not to change the creature’s identity.

Fourthly, the madness grows when he finally fails to convince of being a Yahoo resulting in working on different aspects of cultures of the Yahoos. He even becomes madder when he is thrown out of the Houyhnhnms Company and he was disregarded as non- Houyhnhnms, leading to frustrations in his life. He even fails to explain himself to the manager when found of having different features in his bodies were exposed showing the madness in finding the best way to explain himself to the manager. His madness inability to convince the Yahoo family makes him more confused about the next place of residents after being banished. The confusions make him more mixed up when he came to realize that it could be hard to identify himself with any other society or community, but only the Yahoos.

Fifth trace of the Gulliver madness is the action of him being concerned about the community other than the personal preference and conditions. These aspects make him more confused, since he cannot run away from his humanity to the Yahoo knowing that they value the entire environment. The disparity in the order of doing things hurts him and he cannot communicate or bring out his idea with the fear of being recognized.

Sixth trace of his madness is as a result of his admiration of the behavior and actions of the Houyhnhnms. His admirations for the creatures make him do all the possible activities that can make him fit in the system showing the mad nature of Gulliver (Bering 62). He becomes crazy when he even changes his dresses and sleeping time to resemble the creatures he admires. He greatly becomes mad of the creatures that he only felt disappointed when he was thrown out of the Houyhnhnms Company. 

From the discussion, the author succeeds in bring out the theme of the novel that was to indicate the different traces of madness. The adventure of the different species in the world is a good practice, but the practice of ignoring the original culture or the species is quite ignorant that should not be practiced in the individuals’ life. The satire of the novel and the irony of the work brought out by the author should be as a lesson that controls our actions when we are trying to copy new culture to avoid embarrassments when we are thrown out of the context.


Work Cited

Bering, Henrik. “The Ultimate Literary Portrait.” Policy Review.149 (2008): 61-74. ProQuest. Web. 6 June 2016

Swift, Jonathan. Gulliver’s Travels. Gutenberg, 2010

Taylor, Robert, and Neal Lawson. “My Socialist Dream.” New Statesman, Jun 19 2006: 38-42. ProQuest. Web. 6 June 2016


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