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Summary of Gulliver’s Travels Part 4 Chapter 1

Summary of Gulliver’s Travels Part 4 Chapter 1

The narrator sets out as captain of a ship. His men conspire against him, confine him to his cabin for a long time and set him on shore in an unknown land. He travels up into the country. The Yahoos are described. The narrator meets two Houyhnhnms.

Gulliver stayed home for five months, but, on 7 September 1710, he left his family to set sail again, this time as the captain of a ship called ‘The Adventure’. Their job was to trade goods with residents of the South Seas. Many of his sailors died of ‘calentures,’ a fever of the Tropics, so he had to recruit more sailors along the way. His crew members mutinied under the influence of these new sailors and became pirates. They kept Gulliver a prisoner in his own cabin as they sailed around, trading with the locals. In May, 1711, one of the sailors came down to Gulliver’s cabin to tell him that they had decided to leave him marooned on an unknown island.

On the island, Gulliver saw animals with long hair, goat-like beards, and sharp Claws, which they used to climb trees. Gulliver decided that these animals were extremely ugly and set forth to find settlers, but he encountered one of the animals on his way. Gulliver took out his sword and hit the animal with the flat side of it as he didn’t want to damage the animal, for fear that the inhabitants of the island would be angry that he was damaging their livestock. The animal roared loudly, and a herd of others like it attacked Gulliver. Gulliver took refuge in a tree, shaking his sword to keep the animals back. But then he saw them hurrying away. He emerged from his hiding place to see that the beasts had been scared away by a horse.

The horse observed Gulliver carefully, and then it neighed in a complicated cadence. Another horse joined the first and the two seemed to be involved in a discussion. Gulliver tried to leave, but one of the horses called him back. What really seemed to surprise the horses was Gulliver’s clothes, which they kept indicating and talking over.

The horses appeared to be so intelligent that Gulliver concluded that they were magicians who had transformed themselves into horses. He addressed them directly and asked to be taken to a house or village. The horses used the words ‘Yahoo’ and ‘Houyhnhnm,’ which Gulliver tried to pronounce. The two horses parted, and one of them (who was grey) indicated that Gulliver should follow him.