The final portion of Volume One of Don Quixote further showcases the never-ending ego of our favorite knight-errant.
As we delve deeper into the book, exploring more of the interconnected vignettes of Quixote’s adventures, we see variations on a theme in which a new character with a rather convoluted backstory and love life is introduced, to which all the characters of the play inevitably end up back at the inn, likely in some sort of kerfuffle.
We also contemplated the difference between reality and fantasy. Who determines our reality? Do we determine what is real for ourselves, or is there a collective group – some sort of society or higher power that decides on what is true? And while there may be universal truths – that the sky is blue, the grass is green, and that Quixote is a poor knight at best, what are we to say to those who disagree?
In contemplating such differences, we as readers realize that Don Quixote is not black and white. He is neither wholly good or wholly bad, and therefore, is very human. Quixote’s desires to “right the wrongs” of the world – however misguided they may seem, in culmination with his commanding ego are very human traits. I admit, it is easy to look at Quixote with frustration and perhaps even mild disgust. He is foolish and pompous, however, if we look around ourselves, we realize that many of those around us also share similar qualities.
It is only natural for many of us to not wish to admit we are wrong, or to follow our life according to a comfortable narrative that we’ve created for ourselves – just like Quixote.
And who knows? Perhaps our feelings of frustration with Quixote in Volume One will shift as we delve deeper into the story.
If one were to want to passively follow Quixote’s tales, it would be increasingly difficult to do so. The plots, while familiar, are now far too entangled in each other to merely pay lackluster attention to.