Daniel Venegas’ The Adventures of Don Chipote, or When Parrots Breast-Feed argues that loyalty is the most important component to a friendship, while attributing negative traits, such as manipulation and dishonesty, as signs of a faulty friendship. The text juxtaposes Don Chipote’s friendship with Pitacio alongside Don Chipote’s friendship with Policarpo to accentuate the difference between an unhealthy friendship and a healthy friendship.
Pitacio’s deceit and manipulation in lying to his friend of the wonders of America in order to receive food, along with his lack of following a promise to Don Chipote, serve s examples of the lack of loyalty Pitacio exhibits towards Don Chipote. On the other hand, Policarpo’s unwavering desires to support Don Chipote, even at the expense of his own livelihood, coupled with the marriage rhetoric the text uses, argue that loyalty is the most important trait of a healthy friendship.
Once Pitacio arrives back in Mexico from his travels in America, he stumbles upon Don Chipote’s residence, where he is cordially greeted and plentifully fed. He begins to tell the family of his time in America and the text notes that “Pitacio, knowing that his tales assured him steady meals for the next few days, ontinued to tell thousands of lies that ended up trapping Don Chipote like a fox” (Venegas 28). Here, the novel reveals the unequal friendship between Don Chipote and Pitacio by displaying Pitacio’s exploitment of his host’s generosity.
For example, Don Chipote offers his friend hospitality along with food and shelter as a testament to his kindness. Instead of expressing appreciation for this gracious gesture, Pitacio takes advantage of the situation in order to benefit himself. The fact that he tells lies to his friend in order to receive food for the coming days makes matters worse since he intentionally isleads Don Chipote. This dishonesty damages the friendship between the two characters because one side is using the other person for personal gain.
In this example, the text highlights the negative trait of dishonesty and manipulation that constitute a faulty and unequal friendship. In addition to the negative traits of dishonesty and manipulation, Pitacio exhibits unreliability in keeping his promises. One could argue that by Pitacio staying behind in Mexico to help Don Chipote’s family while Don Chipote is away, he exhibits good friend characteristics. However, the text undermines this opinion when it notes that Iglood buddy Pitacio was more than happy to do this-for the first few months” (Venegas 129).
In this moment, the text reveals the truth behind how Pitacio felt about keeping his promise to assist his friend by noting how he only wanted do so in the beginning. The text calls him a “[g]ood friend” in a sarcastic tone to imply that he is actually the opposite (Venegas 129). In doing so, the text further emphasizes the negative qualities of Pitacio as a friend. The inclusion of the phrase implies that a proper reliable friend would not lose interest in keeping their promises.
The text includes the negative action at he end of the sentence to negate the positive aspect of helping Don Chipote as a way to mirror the way in which Pitacio may seem helpful and truthful, but in reality he is not as great of friend as he seems. The text presents the deceitful and manipulative scene of Pitacio lying to Don Chipote, as well Pitacio’s breaking of his promises, in order to suggest that these unfavorable qualities are not found in a healthy friendship.
To underscore the positive qualities of a friendship, the text employs the character of Policarpo to contrast Pitacio. Policarpo’s loyalty is most apparent when Don Chipote injures himself while working. For example, when someone is going to be ordered to watch over the injured Don Chipote, “Policarpo happily [agrees], for he was so loyal to [Don Chipote] that he was determined to stay, even if they didn’t tell him to” (Venegas 86). The text explicitly expresses the idea of Policarpo’s loyalty in order to indicate the positive role it plays in his friendship with Don Chipote.
The fact that he is willing to stay by his friend’s side, without being told to, demonstrates how faithful and supportive he is to Don Chipote. The text adds the last phrase of the sentence in order to differentiate that the action comes rom within Policarpo rather than a result of following directions. The text accomplishes this in order to paint Policarpo as a positive model of a good friendship and in this case, signaling his loyalty to prove this. Additionally, the text notes that “Policarpo [decides] not to leave [Don Chipote] even if he had to quit his job to do so” (Venegas 86).
This line builds upon the idea of Policarpo’s loyalty by depicting the extent that he would go to aid his friend. The fact that he is willing to risk his livelihood –the main reason he came to America-indicates a powerful devotion to his friend. The text illustrates the amount of sacrifice Policarpo would endure for his friend as a way to indicate the importance of loyalty in a friendship. The text repeats the concept of loyalty and increases its intensity to emphasize the role it plays in a healthy friendship.
Loyalty’s importance is also exemplified when Don Chipote and Policarpo arrive at the hospital to cure Don Chipote’s injury. Policarpo desires to be with his friend in the hospital but is promptly told that he must remain outside. This fact shatters Policarpo because, as the text notes, “they had sworn not to split up, specially not in case of illness” (Venegas 93). Policarpo’s disappointment and sadness portrays the love and care he has for his friend while also displaying how painful the separation from his friend is.
The text elevates the friendship between the two men when it uses language that is similar to the marriage vow of a couple remaining together in sickness and in health. In evoking marriage vows, the text heightens their friendship to a much more sacred level where neither of the sides can break the terms they agree to. This parallel to marriage aims to indicate the importance of the bond with Policarpo and how it epresents a good friendship.
In this case, the novel argues that a good friendship is similar to a marriage where both sides are loyal to one another and support each other. Pitacio exhibits negative friendship qualities of deceit and manipulation when he fabricates numerous lies to Don Chipote about his time in Mexico in order to receive food in return. He also does not follow through on his promise to watch over Don Chipote’s land which the text mentions in order to highlight Pitacio’s flaws as a friend. In sharp contrast, the novel aligns Policarpo as the opposite to Pitacio, the unreliable friend.
Policarpo, the epitome of a loyal friend, offers to stay by Don Chipote’s side no matter if he is asked to or not and even risks his means of making a living to preserve his loyalty to his friend. Daniel Venegas’ The Adventures of Don Chipote or, When Parrots Breast-Feed contrasts the negative character of Pitacio with the positive character of Policarpo in order to create a stark contrast to the qualities that denote an harmful friend-deceit, manipulation, and unreliability-with the importance of loyalty in a friendship. In doing so, the text urges readers to realize the crucial role loyalty plays in a friendship.