Gulliver's giant feet walking in the diminuative forest of the lilliputians

Gulliver's Travels

by Jonathan Swift

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How do the Houyhnhnms and Yahoos contrast in representing the human psyche in Gulliver's Travels?

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The Houyhnhnms represent order, while the Yahoos symbolise anarchy. They are in complete opposition to one another. The Houyhnhnms submit everything to the control of reason with the result that they end up appearing cold-blooded and emotionless. The Yahoos by contrast allow their passions and instincts to reign supreme; they do not appear rational at all. They are brutal and chaotic, which is repellent, but the Houyhnhnms appear altogether too clinical. Both represent extremes of the human psyche, and both are ultimately unappealing as a result. More of a balance between reason and instinct is needed.

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