Gulliver's Travels Part IV, Chapters 3-5: Summary and Analysis

Jonathan Swift

Part IV, Chapters 3-5: Summary and Analysis

Gulliver learns the language of the Houyhnhms. His master is amazed at his ability, so uncharacteristic of the Yahoos, and is curious about Gulliver’s origin. Gulliver explains his origin, having difficulties because certain human concepts can be explained only with great difficulty in the Houyhnhms’ language. Gulliver has to say “the thing which is not” because there is no word for “lie” or “falsehood.” When Gulliver is accidentally seen naked, the Houyhnhms realize that he is of the same species as the Yahoos, but differs only in walking on the two hind feet. The Houyhnhms have great difficulty in believing that Gulliver comes from a country in which human beings are rational beings.


(The entire section is 796 words.)