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But near the end, he lets us know, as if it were minor information, that their ancestors were shipwrecked Europeans. But the question is, How did Europeans come to live like animals without a language? Gulliver informs us in chapter 9 that after the Yahoos came to the island, they began to multiply. ” In that revolution they killed all the Yahoos who could speak and left only infants to be raised as slaves. So when Gulliver arrives, the Horses have had Yahoo slaves for many years. ”52 Likewise, in Rev.
The island Yahoos are a vision of Europe’s future. This is the coming “tribulation” of which scripture warns: “Then shall be a great tribulation, such as was not from the beginning of the world to this time, no, nor ever shall be” (Matt. 24:24). The martyrs of the primitive church were called evil, too, and dressed in animal skins to make their deaths in the Coliseum look ridiculous. But the Yahoos are in an even worse state— they are reduced to living, not just dying, like animals. Even so, the Horses hate them so much that the only topic ever debated in their Great Assembly is, “Whether the Yahoos should be exterminated from the Face of the Earth” (245).
35 The climax of the first voyage comes when Gulliver captures the enemy fleet and is ordered to persecute: in the articles of impeachment, the king says he “commanded” Gulliver to go “put to death not only all the Big-Endian Exiles, but likewise all the People of that Empire, who would not immediately forsake the Big-Endian Heresy,” but Gulliver refused “upon Pretence of Unwillingness to force the Consciences, or destroy the Liberties and Lives of an innocent People” (79). In a covert way, Swift accuses the British state here of having waged an endless war with France out of an anti-Catholic bias.