Until our readings this week, a lot has happened in Don Quixote. Many characters have endured a lot especially Don Quixote and Sancho. It seemed so much happened that they haven’t had time to self-examine themselves. The readings this past week of Don Quixote have a lot to do with self-reflection. This is seen in many different ways such as: theatre, mirrors, and parallel characters.
In this novel Cervantes throws in a lot about social classes in Spain. One way he does this is by including the theatre. It is interesting that it is explained when they take off their costumes, they are all equal. This is Cervantes saying social classes are stupid. When you die, materials don’t make a difference, one is still buried seven feet under. Cervantes has also highlighted the drastic differences of the social classes. Earlier in the book, the nobles who stopped by the Inn are planning to travel back home, which is very expensive. While, the Innkeeper is fighting two people who tried to stay at the Inn without paying. But self-reflection isn’t only possible by watching others, it’s also needed to look at oneself.
Mirrors are used a lot in the readings. A knight is wearing many mirrors on his amour. A mirror is a reflection of your perception of reality. Why do we look in mirrors? Well we usually look to make sure that we look good, because we are curious. We are looking first person, so we can’t constantly look at ourselves. But Cervantes is using the mirrors, much deeper than just looking to see if you look good. Cervantes uses the mirrors to show us who we believe we are. Cervantes had to come home to rest since he was so exhausted, now he has had time to self-reflect and is ready to be a hero. It’s interesting though seeing many characters change. Don Quixote and Sancho have clearly changed through Part 2. Sancho is talking much more talking more intelligently, while Don Quixote is seeing reality. Instead of thinking the theatre characters are wizards, he knows they are in costumes. We are always changing our perceptions on reality, and that’s why mirrors must be constantly used. They help keep you on track, as it is with Don Quixote.
“Once you have a strong understanding who you are, seeing others that are similar will only help. The Knight of the Grove, is a parallel character to Don Quixote. As his squire, is parallel to Sancho. At the end of Part 2, Ch. 12:
The squire of the Grove took Sancho by the arm, saying to him, “Let us two go where we can talk in squire style as much as we please, and leave these gentlemen our masters to fight it out over the story of their loves; and, depend upon it, daybreak will find them at it without having made an end of it.”
“So be it by all means,” said Sancho; “and I will tell your worship who I am, that you may see whether I am to be reckoned among the number of the most talkative squires.”
With this the two squires withdrew to one side, and between them there passed a conversation as droll as that which passed between their masters was serious.”
(Written by Cervantes, translated by http://www.learnlibrary.com/don-quixote/don-quixote_U72.htm)
The Knight of the Grove and Don Quixote both have mistresses they love, claim they are knights, and believe they are the best knight. Competition makes the best in people. It helps you see ones full potential. I think it is only right for Cervantes to include this other knight and his squire.
Through these chapters, we are seeing people who want to pursue their goals. It is clear Cervantes wants people to do so. He also doesn’t want people to feel limited by social class. While Don Quixote isn’t really a knight, it doesn’t stop him from believing that. The same can be said about being poor but wanting to be a doctor, nothing is stopping you but yourself.