The end is here! After finishing the novel, I looked back to find that there were many reflections that could be made from Don Quixote. He was an old man with a huge dream to begin with. I believe that the whole novel led up to Don Quixote growing tired and ultimately passing away.
Nearing the end of the story, don Quixote ends up traveling back home after being defeated by another knight. While heading back, he and Sancho fantasize over being shepherds. Don Quixote says to Sancho “‘if you think it’s a good idea, I’d like for us, Sancho, to imitate them and become shepherds, just for the period of seclusion'” (Chapter 67). Although Don Quixote says that it’s just for while they are home, I believe that Don Quixote will not stop after he starts. I think that Don Quixote will not go back to being a knight once he begins something new. It is almost as if he is growing tired in his life of adventures and will be soon coming to an end.
Nearing the end of his life, Don Quixote fell ill. Right before his time of death, Don Quixote came to and was released from his madness, for lack of a better term. Don Quixote said the himself: “I’m sane now, free and clear-minded, without the dark shadows of ignorance the detestable books of chivalry shrouded over me, owing to my bitter and continual reading of them” (Chapter 74). To me, it seems as though Don Quixote is waking up from a dream. It reminds me even more of this because he woke up from sleeping and said this. I believe that Don Quixote was not too insane, as he did have his moments of wisdom. Just certain beliefs he had were old during the time he lived in, which lead to him being called insane many, many times. Another interesting part of the novel was that Don Quixote even blamed the books of chivalry for his craziness. All throughout the book he held them up on a pedestal, but now he is putting all the blame on them. After this, Don Quixote claimed his rightful name and abandoned his knighthood.
I found it quite interesting that this all happened right before he passed away. Don Quixote was not given the chance to restart his life as a mild-mannered person in his household. Once he regained his old name, he soon after passed away. However, he died as both Don Quixote de La Mancha and Alonso Quixano. I find it really significant that he passed away being both people, since he lived as both people for part of his life.
In my opinion, the novel had to end with Don Quixote realizing the reality of things and reverting back to his old self. While it was a bit expected, I found it enjoyable. If Don Quixote had passed away without realizing that he went insane, I think I would have thought that the ending didn’t seem right and that it was missing something.