Then the bay tried me with a second word, much harder to be pronounced; but reducing it to the English orthography, may be spelt thus, HOUYHNHNM
. I did not succeed in this so well as in the former; but after two or three farther trials, I had better fortune; and they both appeared amazed at my capacity.
(17) Instead of projecting the authoritative images of Gulliver as a possible elder statesman or a promising sea-bound surgeon, the duodecimo frontispiece confronts the reader with an untidy Yahoo who has just emerged from a sleepless night in the stables of the Houyhnhnms
. (18) Although this portrait is true to the text, offering the most accurate portrayal of the narrative Gulliver, Gulliver's disheveled appearance does not instill confidence in his narrative reliability.
Gulliver's Travels has always been recognized as a satire, but critics have repeatedly debated the satiric object of Book Four and whether the Houyhnhnms
represent an ideal or are included in what is being satirized.
When the interrogation began, one senator immediately launched his sesquipedalian monologue, forcing others to just tsk-tsk (a word containing only consonants expressing utter disapproval), or quietly say through their noses, Houyhnhnms
(aword that imitates the neighing of horses), or distract themselves by humming euouae (a long word composed only of vowels used to indicate the tune of a medieval chant).
And he does, taking two more journeys afterwards, and the second one brings him to the land of the Houyhnhnms
. On landing in the land and seeing the Yahoos for the first time, he doesn't hesitate to call them "Animals," not even "human creatures," and then exclaims, "I never beheld in all my Travels so disagreeable an Animal, nor one against which I naturally conceived so strong an Antipathy" (Swift 2002, 189-90).
Highly satirical, the poem likens the Bolsheviks to the Houyhnhnms
, all-wise horses, in Jonathan Swift's Gulliver's Travels:
In terms of the former, Gulliver's English deteriorates as the novel progresses, finally being shaken at its very core by Gulliver's interaction with the Houyhnhnms
, whose language is the the most "othered".
Like Swift, whose Houyhnhnms
judged human wars to be insane, Coppola prefers straight-faced hyperbole as the vehicle for his symbolist mock-epic.
W: Actually, the religious Americans I know are more like Houyhnhnms
Gulliver is fool enough at the end to consider men as "odious animal[s]" (Part IV, Chapter 11) like the nasty Yahoos, to "turn away [his] face in horror and detestation" when beholding his reflection in a lake (Part IV, Chapter 10), and to regard the Houyhnhnms
as ideal creatures.
Or will Jonathan Swift's horrific vision of the brutish Yahoos seen by Gulliver on his voyage to the land of the houyhnhnms
rather set the tone?