What view of humanity is presented by the comparison between humans and Yahoos?

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favoritethings eNotes educator| Certified Educator

With the comparison between human beings and the Yahoos, Swift shows that there is very little difference between humans and savage, brutal animals. Further, he implies that we are actually a great deal more savage and brutal than we believe ourselves to be. In describing the Yahoos' hair, bodies, and behaviors—especially their lustfulness and greed—he emphasizes the similarities between the Yahoos and ourselves. We have hair in all the same places that they do, and our nails likewise lack real usefulness; in short, our bodies are much the same and much less suited to protect us from the elements than any other animals'. We are greedy and acquisitive, even when there is more than enough to go around, because we would deny our fellows their share rather than have less ourselves. The implication seems to be that without society's laws, we would certainly behave as the Yahoos do. It is only our rules that protect us from our real, base natures.