Gulliver's Travels By Jonathan Swift Summary and Analysis Part IV: Chapter 12

Summary

Gulliver swears that all he has related is truthful, and he wishes that all travelers were forced to take an oath to tell the exact and literal truth. He hopes that the example of the Houyhnhnms will do the public some good; he intends only to make people wiser and better. He apologizes for not claiming his discoveries in the name of England, but he is proud that no one can accuse him of alluding to English politics in his writings. On a personal level, Gulliver is now able to eat with his family. Sometimes, he says, he instructs them in virtue. Concluding, he confesses that he could be reconciled to the English Yahoos "if they would be content with those Vices and Follies only which Nature hath entitled them to . . . but when I behold a Lump of Deformity, and Diseases both in Body and Mind, smitten with Pride, it immediately breaks all the Measures of my patience."

Analysis

In this final chapter, Swift returns to his normal, ironic joking. Gulliver swears that he tells the truth, slashing at lying authors of other voyage books. He denies that he uses political allusions; of course, however, Swift has attacked the Whigs almost continuously in the first three books. To make the joke even clearer to his literate audience, Swift has Gulliver quote Sinon (Virgil, Aeneid, II, 79-80). Sinon declares that he is telling the truth; in context, he is lying wholeheartedly.

In a last view of Gulliver's home life, we watch Gulliver still trying to become a horse. The scene is ridiculous, as if it is Gulliver's final warning against pride. The book ends on a note of deep irony; Gulliver is a prime example of the very pride he condemns.

Glossary

battering the warrior's faces into mummy by terrible yerks smashing the enemy by using kicks to the head.

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Gulliver’s visit to Lilliput allows Swift to satirize what sort of rulers?




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