Don Pedro is a minor character in terms of plot, but he plays an important symbolic role at the end of the novel. He treats the half-deranged Gulliver with great patience, even tenderness, when he allows him to travel on his ship as far as Lisbon, offering to give him his own finest suit of clothes to replace the seaman’s tatters, and giving him twenty pounds for his journey home to England. Don Pedro never judges Gulliver, despite Gulliver’s abominably antisocial behavior on the trip back. Ironically, though Don Pedro shows the same kind of generosity and understanding that Gulliver’s Houyhnhnm master earlier shows him, Gulliver still considers Don Pedro a repulsive Yahoo. Were Gulliver able to escape his own delusions, he might be able to see the Houyhnhnm-like reasonableness and kindness in Don Pedro’s behavior. Don Pedro is thus the touchstone through which we see that Gulliver is no longer a reliable and objective commentator on the reality he sees but, rather, a skewed observer of a reality colored by private delusions.
More characters from Gulliver’s Travels
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