Transformation Of Reality As Portrayed In Don Quixote

1313 words - 6 pages

Transformation of Reality as Portrayed in Don Quixote

Throughout his novel, Don Quixote, Miguel Cervantes effectively uses the transformation of reality to critique and reflect societal and literary norms. In three distinct scenes, Don Quixote or his partner, Sancho, transform reality. Often they are met with other’s discontent. It is through the innkeeper scene, the windmill scene, the Benedictine friar scene, and Quixote’s deathbed scene that Cervantes contemplates revolutionary philosophies and literary techniques. The theme of reality transformation does not even stop there. Sometimes the transformations of reality scenes act as mimetic devices. Ultimately, Miguel Cervantes’ use of transformative scenes acts as a creative backdrop for deeper observations and critiques on seventeenth-century Spanish society.
When Don Quixote stumbles upon a modest inn shortly after beginning his journey, the reader is presented with the first of many transformations of reality. For Quixote, the inn is not a typical inn but a castle, and the innkeeper is a lord. Quixote states, “I expected nothing less of your great magnificence, my lord...Until that time, in the chapel of this castle, I will watch my armor” (Cervantes 2234). The mundane has become the extraordinary. The innkeeper, who himself admits he has not had the most noble past, is given a title of royalty.
The prostitutes Quixote meets inside transform into ladies. Cervantes describes the girls as shocked to be referred to as anything other than prostitutes. He writes, “The girls looked at him, endeavoring to scan his face, which was half hidden by his ill-made visor. Never having heard women of their profession called damsels before, they were unable to restrain their laughter” (2231). In this scene Cervantes is critiquing the stratification of Spanish society.
Cervantes is forcing readers to ponder questions regarding class stations and stigmas. Do circumstances make the person, or can people be more than their circumstances? In seventeenth-century Spain, circumstances determined your worth and track in life. Women who had no family, for whatever reason, often had no choice but to become prostitutes. They needed to survive and because society did not view women as having the capacity to have another job besides wife and mother, society forced them into a demeaning job. So by transforming these women in damsels, Cervantes is critiquing Spanish societal norms.
The second example of transformation of reality, and perhaps the most famous scene in the entire novel, is the windmill scene. In this scene, Don Quixote claims to see giants, but Sancho is adamantly certain that these giants are merely windmills. The knight-errant states, “...for you see there before you, friend Sancho Panza, some thirty or more lawless giants with whom I mean to battle” (Cervantes 2247). Sancho responds by stating, “But look, your grace, those are not giants but windmills, and what appears to be...

Find Another Essay On Transformation of Reality as Portrayed in Don Quixote

Imagination in Don Quixote by Miguel Cervantes

941 words - 4 pages "Life itself seems lunatic. Who knows where madness lies! To be too practical is madness, to seek treasure where there is only trash, to surrender dreams may be madness. Too much sanity may be madness, but maddest of all is to see life as it is and not as it should be." -Miguel Cervantes In his novel, Don Quixote, Miguel Cervantes proves that a strong imagination is necessary to lead a fulfilling life. The main character, Alonso Quejana

Don Quixote: The Writings of Cervantes

863 words - 4 pages The writings of Cervantes may have been influenced by the writings of Shakespeare, Petrarch, etc. regarding concepts such as the story-within-a-story and the tyrannical female image, giving them a spot in the classical genre. However, Don Quixote has received multiple criticism for its style of writing and ambiguity, but of course, like many other authors, Cervantes had a clear reason why there were mini-narratives surrounding the main one

The Flamenco World of Don Quixote

557 words - 3 pages veils mixed with a scarf and a skirt of different colors. Don Quixote, on the other hand, outfitted himself like a gentleman wearing a kilt with some old armor. There were groups of children amongst the dancers, who would approach the stage and perform, including Don Quixote's niece. The young dancers would be dressed in the same types of clothes as the women.From personal experience, it seemed to me that Don Quixote is an enthusiastic visionary

The Outsider in Don Quixote and Frankenstein

1497 words - 6 pages Regarding the seeds of creativity that produced her Frankenstein, Mary Shelley paraphrases Sancho Panza, explaining that “everything must have a beginning.” She and Percy Shelley had been reading Don Quixote, as well as German horror novels, during the “wet, ungenial summer” and “incessant rain” of their stay with Lord Byron at Villa Diodati in Geneva in 1816. In his introduction, Maurice Hindle notes the connection between the

The Renegade Adventure of Don Quixote

694 words - 3 pages Don Quixote is a Spanish novel by Miguel de Cervantes Saavedra. It follows the adventures 

of Alonso Quixano, a retired elderly man who develops a fascination with chivalrous novels 

eventually become delusional, believing everything written to be true and currently going on in 

the Spanish country side where he lives (La Mancha). The novel itself contains a narration of 

Quixote’s adventures. These adventures are broken up into “Sally’s

Don Quixote and what type of charcter he portays

629 words - 3 pages Quixote, but in reality he is jealous of Don and all the fame that he is receiving. So he makes up the act about him being the knight of mirrors and challenges Don to one fight. If Don loses he will have to give up acting as a knight and go home, but Don wins. The Duke and Duchess have also heard of Don's adventures. They make some jokes to play on him. One of their jokes is to make Sancho believe that Ducinea is really enchanted after all, but to

Analysis of Don Quixote by Miguel de Cervantes Saavedra

1422 words - 6 pages The novel opens by briefly describing Don Quixote and his fascination with chivalric stories. With his "wits gone';, Don Quixote decides to become a knight and ream the country side righting wrong and rescuing damsels in distress. He outfits himself in some old armor and professes his love and service to Aldonsa Lorenzo whom he refers to as Dulcinea Del Toboso. After a long hot ride on his horse he comes upon an inn which he thinks is a castle

The Ingenious Gentleman Don Quixote of La Mancha, by Miguel Cervantes

1079 words - 4 pages Through the use of tone, authors can appear objective, while in reality they use their attitude to influence their readers. The Ingenious Hidalgo Don Quixote de la Mancha is a novel written in episodic form, by Miguel Cervantes in 1615. By ridiculing Don Quixote, the protagonist, this novel parodies medieval romances and satirizes the hero knight. Joe Darion’s songs, “The Impossible Dream” and “Man of La Mancha”, are from the 1965 musical Man of

Comparing Alice's Adventures in Wonderland, by Lewis Carroll and Don Quixote, by Miguel de Cervantes

1974 words - 8 pages by Cervantes and Carroll through the impact it has on the growth of the protagonists. This becomes evident through their placement in phantasmagorical settings, their interactions with the surrounding characters, and their final detachment from fantasy. Both authors bring madness into their world to detach their protagonists from reality. In Don Quixote, the world of madness is one which is contrived by the protagonist. Quixote detaches himself

Reflections Of Racism As Portrayed In Short Stories

971 words - 4 pages Reflections of Racism as Portrayed in Short Stories Racism, especially against black people, has been a tragic part of American history. It shaped the events of the past, and has molded the world in which we live in today. Not only is it evident in history, but also in the literature that we read. Novels and short stories have reflected the racism of its time.Racism is a historical fact of American life, and its early basis was the continuing

Powerlessness As Portrayed in "Of Mice and Men"

714 words - 3 pages Powerlessness creeps up, striking at the back of the neck with a blow, due to the consequence death of a dream, pity of others, and the weak ones’ desperate reliance. In relation to, the English nationalist, Charles Darwin, describes powerlessness as someone who is weaker than others in his famous quote, “survival of the fittest”. This idea is also portrayed in Of Mice and Men, in which John Steinbeck defines fear as the food for the powerless

Similar Essays

Don Quixote Essay About Created Reality

539 words - 2 pages Othello Essay The novel Don Quixote, by Miguel Cervantes, is an exploration into the idea of created reality. Cervantes, through the character of Don Quixote, illustrates to readers how we as human beings often make reality to be whatever we want it to be.      Don Quixote is a perfect example of “created reality.” The character Don Quixote is real, and he lives in a real world, but everything that he sees is

Sancho Panza As Governor In Don Quixote

2600 words - 10 pages Sancho Panza as Governor in Don Quixote While reading Don Quixote, I am sure that many people wonder whether or not Sancho Panza will get his island to govern. The main reason that Sancho agrees to be the squire of Don Quixote is because he is promised riches and an isle to govern. As the book progresses it appears that Sancho's dream will not come true and he will not become a governor. Many times in the book, Sancho asks his master

Themes Of Cervantes Don Quixote Essay

528 words - 2 pages state reality, but like all ideals, it will never happen in a world where absolute values cannot survive. Quixote’s quixotic vision can be seen when he envisions the windmills to be “thirty or more lawless giants (110),” and when he approached and addressed the two prostitutes at the inn as ladies of quality. Don Quixote, though he often triumphs over disillusions, must eventually face reality and dies doing so.     &nbsp

The Duality Of Truth In Don Quixote By Miguel Cervantes

3657 words - 15 pages everyday perceptions of the real world. It represents what Erasmus claims in In Praise of Folly: “The reality of things depends solely on opinion. Everything in life is so diverse, so opposed, so obscure, that we cannot be assured of any truth” (as cited in Fuentes, viii). Dissolution of boundaries between truth and untruth, leads to the elimination of an absolute truth and that is reflected as a postmodernist theme in Don Quixote. The absence of