Gulliver's Travels Part IV, Chapters 6-8: Questions and Answers

Jonathan Swift

Part IV, Chapters 6-8: Questions and Answers

Study Questions
1. How does Gulliver characterize doctors in speaking to the dapple-gray?

2. How does he characterize great ministers of state?

3. How does he characterize noblemen?

4. How does Gulliver characterize his own explanations of society in his own country in these chapters?

5. What is the main defect of humans as described by Gulliver, according to the dapple-gray?

6. Why do the Yahoos hate one another?

7. Why are they the most unteachable of all animals?

8. What is the main belief of the Houyhnhms?

9. How is their family life organized?

10. How are they governed?

Answers
1. Gulliver characterizes doctors as needed because of the diseases resulting from the complexity and artificiality of human civilization; they cause death more often than they prevent it.

2. According to Gulliver, great ministers of state are totally exempt from any human emotion except for a violent desire for wealth, power, and titles.

3. Gulliver says that noblemen are bred from childhood in idleness and luxury and thus have weak, deformed, bodies.

4. Gulliver claims to have extenuated human faults as much as he could while addressing the Houyhnhms.

5. The dapple-gray says that the main defect of human beings as described by Gulliver is their lack of reason. As a result, they lack virtue. Reason is enough to govern a rational creature.

6. The Yahoos hate one another because of their ugliness; they are unable to see their own ugliness but are able to see that of other Yahoos.

7. The Yahoos, according to Gulliver, are the most unteachable of all animals due to a perverse disposition. They are cunning, malicious, treacherous, and vengeful.

8. The main belief of the Houyhnhms is cultivating reason and being wholly governed by it.

9. The family life of the Houyhnhms is organized according to reason, with mating and childbirth planned entirely accord¬ing to reason. Children are brought up strictly.

10. The Houyhnhms are governed by a council meeting every four years.