Is It Smart To Be Smart?

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Is it Smart to be Smart? How important is it to be very intellectual? Does it really matter how smart you are or does your IQ your role in life? In our society today it definitely does. But in the story Gulliver's Travels by Jonathan Swift Gulliver comes across three different societies were intellect clearly has a very different value in their societies. In Lilliput it seems your brains capabilities does not affect your status. But in Laputa, the floating island, it does but in a different way. And finally in the Land of Houyhnhnms it also does differently since the horses seem superior to the human-like Yahoos. This makes you wonder a little bit-Is our society the correct one? The first land that Gulliver arrived in after his boat wreck was Lilliput. This was an extremely odd land. One unlike any land Lemuel Gulliver had ever seen in his travels.

He was a giant. He stood approximately 70 or 80 feet tall in relation to these small people. They weren't small people, as we know them with distorted features and such, but they were perfectly proportioned just like humans. The only thing was that he, Gulliver was so huge to them but in his hometown, in England, he was a normal sized person. This is relevant, in my mind, to the intellectual gaps between the two types of people. The people of Lilliput were not very smart. In fact they were pretty stupid. For instance, they had been fighting a war for years, a long time. So long that their great powers that be, the "war generals", could not even remember why they were fighting the war. Gulliver did not find out until later when a lower class Lilliputian told him why they were fighting. These are the Lilliputian leaders, the people whom decide the whole fate of the land, and they don't even know why they're fighting. They were morons, complete buffoons. They were sacrificing human lives by the thousands and could not even name why they were fighting. Another showing of the lack of the importance of intelligence is how the Lilliputians select people for promotion and what they do with them when their services are no longer needed. Most people are selected for promotion based on their performance at their job, but the Lilliputians select people for promotion based on their performance at limbo. The best limbo performer gets the promotion. Isn't that stupid! You could be a moron, like their king, and be selected to a high-ranking position. Also, when the king decides your services are no longer needed you are killed. Taken out back and shot dead. No retirement or vacation just killed. This shows how in Liliputian society it is acceptable to be stupid yet succeed.

The second land that Gulliver encountered where intellectual strengths were not a requirement was the floating island of Laputa. Gulliver found this island while floating in the sea one day after leaving the land of Brobdingnag. The people of this land raised Gulliver into their island. The people were different than the people of Lilliput in the fact that they were smart. They were almost too smart for their own good. These people critically analyzed every little detail. When they fitted Gulliver for a suit he was measured for the length between his toes and even his shadow. They questioned every little thing. The one thing that they never found though was answers. Had a Hall for everything and there were scientists and doctors everywhere in the Halls studying questions. In the Hall of Answers there was nobody but Gulliver's reflection. Nobody had any answers, only questions. One person even tried to extract sunlight from cucumber. These people were so worried about trying to analyze the question that they never even understood the question enough to answer it. They thought they were smart but they really were not at all. They were believed to be smart but they really had no clue.

The final land Gulliver traveled to that had to deal with the intellectual part of society was the Land of Houyhnhnms. Here the horses were the ruling part of society and the humans were portrayed as the animals or the lesser part of society. In our society and Gulliver's animals are portrayed as stupid and humans as superior. In the Land of Houyhnhnms the horses actually were smart and showed the smarts in other ways. When they voted Gulliver off the land for acting like a Yahoo and when they did they stood together in union to show their unity. The humans of that land could not come together for anything. They fought over everything from food to mud to sex. They were not smart enough to cooperate to advance their society. Clearly humans are smarter than horses but in this land they could not work together to conquer the horses. So here intelligence is unimportant because they could be Einstein's but without unity they could not conquer an anthill.

In conclusion in some societies you need to be smart to advance and in other societies you do not need to be smart to get far. Whatever way your society is does not mean it is right or wrong as was shown here, but instead that it is your unique culture that works just fine for you.