Gulliver's Travels: Part 4, Chapter 9 - Summary

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SUMMARY

      The author recounts the proceedings of the grand assembly that is held some three months before his departure. He gives details of an old debate related to the extermination of the Yahoos from the earth. The reasons behind this debate have also been discussed, exposing some of the most despicable habits and tendencies of the Schoos. It is resolved by general consent to castrate the young male Yahoos to prevent the birth of new Yahoos. This idea is suggested by the master and he got it from one of his discourses with the author where the latter had mentioned the castration of the most mischievous Houyhnhnms in his country. During the grand assembly, the master also refers to those wonderful Yahoos who live in some far-off parts of the earth from where the author has come. To prove his statement he cites the example of the author who has a perfect body of a Yahoo yet behaves in an amazingly decent and logical manner. The master also tells about his discourse with the author that reveals that Yahoos are the presiding species in his part of the world and keep Houyhnhnms in servitude. Further, the author praises the Houyhnhnms’ skill in poetry and points at their limited knowledge of astronomy. The way a Houyhnhnm uses the pastern and hoof of its forefoot to perform various jobs with dexterity is also illustrated by the author with apt particulars. We also learn about the average lifespan of a Houyhnhnm and the method of his burial. The author is much impressed by their indifferent attitude towards death. The word ‘evil’ is unknown to these Houyhnhnms, therefore they suffix the word Yahoo to each action they find such as Hhnm Yahoo or Whnaholm Yahoo. At the end of the chapter, the author hints at his impending departure from their land.

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