Study Guide

Don Pedro de Mendez in Gulliver's Travels

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Don Pedro de Mendez

Don Pedro de Mendez is the Portuguese captain who finds Gulliver on his island and encourages him to return to England. He is truly a lovely guy. He prevents Gulliver from killing himself in despair and listens to him rant about how awful human beings are. Don Pedro also convinces Gulliver that it would be dishonorable for him not to return to his wife and children. Don Pedro even insists that Gulliver change out of the Houyhnhnm Land skins he has been wearing and into a suit of clothes once Gulliver comes to stay at Don Pedro's house before gong to London. All in all, Don Pedro is a stand-up guy.

He is also the first Yahoo whom Gulliver speaks to after leaving Houyhnhnm Land. His generosity to Gulliver seems to cast at least a little bit of doubt on Gulliver's dire conclusions about the awfulness of man. Maybe Don Pedro is Swift's way of distancing the reader from Gulliver, even though he is our first person narrator. After all, Don Pedro is a sweetie pie, and Gulliver spends the few pages they're together being a selfish jerk.

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