Reconcilement to the Yahoo-kind in general might not be so difficult,
if they would be content with those Vices and Follies only which
Nature hath entitled them to. I am not in the least provoked at
the Sight of a Lawyer, a Pick-pocket, a Colonel. . . . This is all
according to the due Course of Things: 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; neither shall
I ever be able to comprehend how such an Animal and such a Vice
could tally together.
This quotation comes from the end of
the narrative, in Part IV, Chapter XII, when Gulliver describes
the difficulties he has had in readjusting to his own human culture.
He now associates English and European culture with the Yahoos,
though the hypocrisy he describes is not a Yahoo characteristic.
By attributing a number of sins to “the due Course of Things,” Gulliver
expresses his new conviction that humanity is, as the Houyhnhnms
believe, corrupt and ungovernable at heart. Humans are nothing more
than beasts equipped with only enough reason to make their corruption
dangerous. But even worse than that, he says, is the inability of
humanity to see its own failings, to recognize its depravity behind
its false nobility.
Gulliver’s apparent exemption of himself from this charge against
humanity—referring to “such an Animal” rather than to humans, may
be yet another moment of denial. In fact, he is guilty of the same
hypocrisy he condemns, showing himself unaware of his own human
flaws several times throughout his travels. He is a toady toward
royalty in Lilliput and Brobdingnag, indifferent toward those in
misery and pain when visiting the Yahoos, and ungrateful toward
the kindness of strangers with the Portuguese captain, Don Pedro.
Gulliver’s difficulty in including himself among the humans he describes
as vice-ridden animals is symbolic of the identity crisis he undergoes
at the end of the novel, even if he is unaware of it.