unigo_skin
© 2014 Shmoop University, Inc. All rights reserved.
 

Quotes

Quote #10

Thus, gentle reader, I have given thee a faithful history of my travels for sixteen years and above seven months: wherein I have not been so studious of ornament as of truth. I could, perhaps, like others, have astonished thee with strange improbable tales; but I rather chose to relate plain matter of fact, in the simplest manner and style; because my principal design was to inform, and not to amuse thee. (4.12.1)

Inform us of what? What might Gulliver think he has taught us over the course of his travels? Do we get a different sense of Gulliver's character development as readers than he might think as the person who experienced all of these travels? And why does Gulliver take such pains to assure us that his work is true when this novel is fiction? Is Swift satirizing the style of traveler's narratives, or is he really making a claim for some higher truth in Gulliver's Travels? Or all of the above?

Quote #11

My reconcilement to the Yahoo kind in general might not be so difficult, if they would be content with those vices and follies only which nature has entitled them to. (4.12.13)

What Gulliver hates about the European Yahoos is that they have all the bad qualities of the Houyhnhnm Land Yahoos, but they still feel so much pride in themselves. This is the ultimate self-deception. Gulliver wants all Yahoos to admit how disgusting they/we are.

Advertisement
Advertisement
Advertisement
back to top