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Yahoos

Index: El informe de Brodie, El informe de Brodie, OC,Obras completas. Buenos Aires: Emecé, 1974. 1073-78. Kappa. Los engranajes, CS,El círculo secreto. Buenos Aires: Emecé, 2003. 20. Yo… yo, TR2,Textos recobrados 1930-1955. Buenos Aires: Emecé, 2001. 131.
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characters in the fourth book of Swift's Gulliver's Travels, also characters in a Borges story

Fishburn and Hughes: The fictional beast-like humans who live in the country of the Houyhnhnms (horses) in part 4 of Swift's Gulliver's Travels (1726). Their brutality and total lack of self-restraint contrast with the 'behaviour orderly and rational' of the gentle horses who do not understand the meaning of lying and use the term Taboo's evil' to denote illnesses. The Yahoos of 'Doctor Brodie's Report' share many of the characteristics of the Yahoos encountered by Gulliver: a savage appearance, an unpronounceable language (described by Swift as a 'roar'), a taste for corrupted flesh, the use of excrement to manifest their disposition towards others (though with Brodie's Yahoos this indicates respect rather than contempt and anger), the deliberate choice of a deformed leader, and a wild and bellicose nature which often leads them into wars. The Yahoo Queen offering her favours to Brodie recalls the episode when Gulliver was embraced in a 'most foulsome manner' by a female Yahoo while swimming. Upon their return to 'civilisation' both Gulliver and Brodie experience difficulties in readjusting to their fellow men. Brodie draws the same parallel as Gulliver between his fellow men and these savages, but their reactions are mirror images of each other: Gulliver feels revulsion at the human image and at his own reflection, while the Scottish missionary, considering the similiarities between Yahoos and humans, seeks to 'redeem' that 'barbarous nation' in the eyes of the King whose protection for them he seeks. Borges's ambiguous conclusion is, like Swift's, that 'they stand for civilisation much as we ourselves do'. Brodie’s Report