Gulliver's Travels: Don Pedro de Mendez

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In the beginning, Book IV of Gulliver’s Travels starts off as an almost comedic anarchist story of a captain being held hostage on his own ship and being thrown off board on a strange unknown island, but in reality ends up being a satiric comment on society with a deep philosophical meaning. The author, Jonathan Swift, cleverly intertwined many intelligent, complex and interesting characters into the voyages of the antagonist: Lemuel Gulliver. Don Pedro De Mendez, a character introduced by Swift in the eleventh chapter, serves great use to the plot as well as to the readers’ understanding of Book IV of Gulliver’s Travels. Particularly as a bridge between two worlds; the reason (being the land of the Houyhnhnms) and the lawless (the yahoos or humankind around the world). Don Pedro De Mendez serves as a function of making the antagonist reflect. When the first encounter is made with Don Pedro we see that he is an outstanding “Yahoo”. “He was a very courteous and generous person; {…} desired to know what I would eat or drink {…} but he ordered me a chicken and some excellent wine.” (Swift 2456). The reader acknowledges from the start that he is a kind, generous, amiable and loving man. Many manners Don Pedro presents towards Gulliver lead’s him to commence his questioning in regard of whether humankind is really as awful as the Houyhnhnms have portrayed. “that I wondered to find such civilities in a Yahoo” (Swift 2456). Don Pedro showed care for Gulliver not only when he took him on board gratis but when he saved him from jumping off the boat to his death. “He desired to know my reason for so desperate an attempt; assured me he only meant to do me all the service he was able {…} that at last I descended to treat him like an animal which had some little portion of reason” (Swift 2456). At this point Gulliver begins to realise that, even though he is still repulsed by human look and smell, not every Yahoo is as appalling as he is lead to believe. At this point, it is...
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