“Reading Race and Gender in Gulliver’s Travels” is a criticism from Laura Brown, a self-proclaimed Marxist/feminist. She brings up several key points. Gulliver’s Travels could be presented in one of three points of view: gender, race, or colonialism. However, a critique from any one of these perspectives would be opposed to the other two. Brown attempts to argue the mutual interaction of gender and race. She also proposes that Swift’s works suggest the value of brining positive and negative hermeneutics together.
Brown argues the examples of racism and misogyny presented in Gulliver’s Travels. She discusses the giant women of Brobdingnag. Brown notes that emphasize the scale of size in Part II are focused on the female figure. The flaws in the women especially are amplified by their size. They have a nauseous scent, disease and corruption, and disgusting corporeality. Brown also makes the interesting comparison of the Brobdingnagian women and the Yahoos of Part IV. All of the qualities expressed in the women are also sown in the savage Yahoos. This leads Brown to the interesting interpretation that the Yahoos are Swift’s representation of prototypical women.
Brown also discusses the issue of racism in Gulliver’s Travels. She feels that the racism is especially apparent in Part IV. When Gulliver compares himself to the Yahoo there is a clear tone of his disgust. Also the Yahoo’s lust for Gulliver proves him to be the same species but at the same time, Gulliver is on a higher plane. This can be compared to the ‘Negro’s lust for the white European.