An exploration of Jonathan Swift's Gulliver's Travels.
Gulliver has traveled to four different countries and the last place he arrives at is Houyhnhnmsland. In that society, human beings, appear as Yahoos, are ruled by Houyhnhnms, the horses, who are super-reasonable. They speak clearly, they act justly, and have simple laws. They do not quarrel or argue, since each knows what is true and right. In the contrast, Yahoos are dirty, greedy and vicious.
In the novel, the Houyhnhnms show us a vivid example of Yahoos' unreasonable desire.
In some fields of the country, there are certain shining stones of several colors, which Yahoos are violently fond. When they discover them, they dig them out, carry them away and hide them, then still look round with great caution. Once the Houyhnhnm removed the stones where a Yahoo had buried them. The Yahoo began miserably howled and could neither eat nor sleep till the stones were put back in the same hole. Then the Yahoo took care to remove it to a better hiding place and recovered his spirits and humor. .
In the Houyhnhnm's opinion, these stones had no use to a Yahoo, and they could not discover the reason of this unnatural appetite. But I think these shining stones are just something strange to the Yahoos and they arise their curiosity. When Yahoos curious about it, they want to have them as many as possible; When they have it, they want to possess it safely and permanently. This sense can be paralleled with people's fond of certain kind of collections such as scrawls and chinaware in our modern society. Although they have no practical use, people are still crazy about it. Instead of making money, many people collect them just for personal interest. And these collections have become an important part of our civilization. In Yahoo's society, which is a bit like our primitive society, people's curiosity and interest towards those shining stones are the same as our fondness toward certain collections.