Don Quixote and The People Around him
Throughout the chapters we have read so far, many people have interactions with Don Quixote. Some reactions are positive, and others negative. One of the very first reactions we see in this novel is when he meets Sancho Panza which proves to be a very positive greeting because he agrees to follow Quixote along all of his adventures with him. Very soon after, Quixote meets with the people of the inn which include the head innkeeper and the prostitutes there. These new people are really the first outsiders the reader is exposed to following Quixote’s adventures. Although skeptical at first, the people at the inn soon begin egging on Quixote for their own entertainment. Even though the prostitutes laugh at him, they quite enjoy the respectful way Quixote treats them. This embrace sets the tone for the rest of the novel for all the other characters Quixote meets.
Although the majority of every character Quixote meets makes fun of him to an extent, they either joke with him to be friendly, or joke with him in a sort of unfriendly cruel sort of way. One example of people joking with him in a fun way would be the herdsmen. The herdsmen are very kind to Quixote, they sing songs with him and even help heal his ear when he injured it in battle. They let Sancho drink their wine and tell them stories of Marcella and her beauty.
But, Quixote also encounters people who joke with him in a cruel way as well. One example of this would be when they encounter a group of travelers on the way to the funeral. One traveler by the name of Vivaldo asked him why he wears armor in such peaceful country. Quixote tells him all about the books he has studied and King Arthur, to which Vivaldo retorts that a knight has as much severity as a monk. Another character who makes fun of Quixote was a wanderer at the inn Quixote was staying at towards the beginning of the novel. The wanderer obviously shows disrespect towards Quixote by touching his armor when Quixote asks him not to.
Whether or not the characters show Quixote respect or disrespect, I believe he always leaves a positive influence on them. Quixote leaves a positive influence on characters he meets by taking their mind off of their day to day activities and letting them laugh the at something they wouldn’t normally laugh at. The only people who Quixote doesn’t leave a positive influence on is the ones he ends up fighting.