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Like Brobdingnag, Houyhnhnm (pronounced "whinim") Land is completely cut off from other nations – no one on Houyhnhnm Land has ever visited another country. This kind of isolation appears to be good for producing relatively virtuous societies. After all, the chief problem Gulliver sees with Lilliput and Laputa – their tendency to fight and conquer other peoples – isn't really possible on Brobdingnag and Houyhnhnm Land, where there are no other peoples readily available for conquest. At the same time, there are two distinct kinds of people living on Houyhnhnm Land, and it is the differences between these two that form the final part of the satire of Gulliver's Travels.
Gulliver arrives on Houyhnhnm Land by chance. After a really brief stay in England, Gulliver becomes captain of his own ship. He sails towards the South Seas when suddenly his men mutiny against him and lock him in his own cabin. Eventually, they maroon Gulliver on an island – Houyhnhnm Land.
When Gulliver first starts exploring this island, he runs across a herd of deformed animals with hair on their heads and covering their genitals but leaving the rest of their bodies bare. They seem agile, but they also tend to sit around on their butts a lot. The females have bare faces, without the long, goatish beards of the men, and their breasts ("dugs" (4.1.4)) hang down almost to the ground. These creatures are violent and easily frightened. When Gulliver strikes one with the flat part of his sword, a whole bunch of them swarm around him throwing feces, until he thinks he's going to be smothered in poo.
Just as Gulliver thinks he's going to suffocate in poo, another resident of the island comes to his rescue: a kind, gentle looking gray horse who seems to frighten these gross animals away. The horse seems fascinated by Gulliver, and particularly by Gulliver's clothing. As Gulliver hears this horse apparently speaking to another horse, he realizes that the horse's neighs and whinnies (from which the word "Houyhnhnm" comes) are slowly starting to make sense to him. The horse keeps saying the word "Yahoo" and gesturing to Gulliver.
The gray horse leads Gulliver through his own house and out to a kind of stable where a bunch of those vile beasts from the earlier scene are kept chained to a wall, surrounded by bits of raw donkey meat. Suddenly, Gulliver realizes the awful truth: these grotesque, violent, brutal, cowardly, hairy-but-also-way-too-naked creatures are, in fact, humans just like Gulliver. The horses, which are the reasonable creatures of this island, call humans "Yahoos," and keep a tight leash on them, because otherwise they'll misbehave.
This slow introduction to the Yahoos (gross humans) and the Houyhnhnms (lovely, smart horses) makes humanity unfamiliar and horrible to the reader. Just as the tininess of Lilliput and Blefuscu make the problems and wars of Britain and France seem silly and insignificant, this moment of lack of recognition that Gulliver has with the Yahoos suddenly forces humankind itself to seem unfamiliar and revolting.
Houyhnhnm Land is the one place out of all the islands he visits where Gulliver wishes he could stay. Sadly, though, he is forced to leave: the Houyhnhnms have an island-wide assembly every four years where they discuss important matters. Gulliver happens to be the important matter at the current assembly. The Houyhnhnms all decide that, as a superior Yahoo, Gulliver might some day go off and convince all the other Yahoos to organize and rise up against the Houyhnhnms. They decide he's too dangerous to have around, so they boot him out of the country. Gulliver has to make his own boat and sail to a nearby island.
So, let's get a little more specific about the Houyhnhnms. We love them because, well, they're horses – who doesn't like talking horses? But Gulliver kind of worships them, and it's worth talking about why. Here are some of the characteristics Gulliver singles out for comment: there are no words in Houyhnhnm language for any of the bad things we humans do, including lying, power, greed, or jealousy. In fact, Gulliver has a lot of trouble explaining human nature to his best buddy, the Master Horse, because he keeps having to talk around things that the Master Horse has no concept of. The best example of this kind of talking around that Gulliver has to do is "the thing which is not" (4.5.6), a phrase that the Master Horse uses to get as close as he can to "lie" in Houyhnhnm language.
The Houyhnhnms don't need laws or a special class of lawyers because they are completely governed by reason. Breaking laws is not rational, so they don't need to spell out their codes of behavior. This is like a more perfect version of the less-than-twenty-words Brobdingnagian rule about law – the Houyhnhnms don't need to limit the length of their laws because they don't even need laws. They all agree about the rightness of what to do.
The fact that all the Houyhnhnms agree about law points to something else Gulliver loves about them: they don't understand opinions or factions. To have an opinion about something, you have to speculate about something you can't know for sure. The Houyhnhnms accept hard facts; anything outside of fact, you can't argue about, because by definition you can't know what the correct answer is. It makes no sense to argue about something you can never answer correctly. This is why the Houyhnhnms have no law.
As you may have guessed from the fact that the Houyhnhnms don't have arguments or differences of opinion, they are equally friendly with all members of their tribe. They value "friendship and benevolence" (4.8.10) above everything else. In fact, this friendship thing is so important to Houyhnhnms that they treat all of their children as their own, and will educate all the kids in the same way.
This total lack of preference for one Houyhnhnm over another means that they always, always arrange marriages for their children. There's no such thing as a love match. Families will get together and decide: oh, your daughter is smart? My son is attractive. Let's breed them together to get smart, attractive children. And Houyhnhnm couples never cheat on each other because it makes no sense – they're in this relationship for the kids, not for love or sex or anything. And it gets even more technical: Houyhnhnm couples are limited to one boy and one girl foal (a baby horse). If one couple has two girls and another couples has two boys, they trade one of their kids. If a couple is unfortunate enough to lose a child to an accident, they can have one more child to supply the loss.
This type of rigidity in family arrangements is hugely different from what we've seen in, say, Laputa, where the wives are constantly on the lookout for other men. Or even Lilliput, where infidelity is clearly enough of an issue that Flimnap suspects his wife of sleeping with Gulliver. The Houyhnhnms have managed to subordinate their feelings to logic – like horse-shaped Vulcans or something.
Forcing them to be whatever they're told to be until they're 18 seems like cruelty to me
originally posted by: LesMisanthrope
a reply to: SomeDumbBroad
That video is painful to watch, but reveals perfectly their dishonesty. "People of color" and minorities need a voice, that is, until they start saying things we don't like. That has been the case with social justice for many years. Ask any black conservative how many times he's been called racial epithets simply for holding different opinions.
You are somewhat correct. He/She and 'crew' are not going to dictate identity for children. Neither should schools or society. It is up to parents to guide their children, and when the child is no longer a child then they will decide for themselves.
Social convention? This isn't about being politically correct - it's about the welfare of the child. Not the welfare of the parents - but the kids.
Maybe you meant this for someone else?
My children will be whoever they are, and I'll stand with them in all cases. I'd just rather not have school try to press a viewpoint on my children to satisfy some social agenda..
originally posted by: ladyworgen
SJWs are the most hateful, toxic group of group of people I have ever come across. Keep in mind that SJWs are not the same as people who have liberal or progressive views. They are people who are essentially extremist lunatics that have progressive viewpoints.
I ran afoul of some of them online a few years ago when I said that a movie studio could make whatever kind of movie they wanted and it didn't really matter because movies come out all the time, and that it was no big deal. Nothing I said was particularly offensive or vitriolic or controversial or anything. But apparently this apparently angered them and made them think I was a racist and a sexist (despite the fact that I am a woman) and I got mobbed by them with endless death threats, people telling me to kill myself, that I deserve to be raped. This was from multiple people, including people running blogs about feminism and things like that. Because nothing says feminism like telling a woman she deserves to be sexually assaulted because of her opinions on movies, right? I've also seen them defend stuff like honor killings and female genital mutilation, by saying that white people commenting on these things is colonialism. I've seen them argue that free speech needs to be limited.
I say this as someone who considers herself to be a liberal and a pretty left-leaning person. These people are extremely toxic and they do not help society. They merely divide.
originally posted by: intrptr
a reply to: WeAreAWAKE
You are aware BLM formed the day Zimmerman was let go for killing Treyvon Martin? All they protest for is equal justice under the law. I also noted you left out MLK, Malcom X, Gandhi (hardly white), all fought against inequality under the law.
I'm talking about black people who say too many blacks are arrested without taking into account that more blacks commit crimes.
I'm referring to people who always believe that the members of their group are usually innocent when they are actually, usually guilty.
I'm talking about liars, cheaters, thieves, killers, etc. The dregs of society who if thrown out of the country, solve most of our problems. Black, white, yellow, red…color doesn't matter.