Stefan Wolfe

Manipulation of Don Quixote

               Don Quixote has been the main target for manipulation throughout this novel. I believe this is due to the fact Quixote is unaware of his surroundings most of the time, and also because he is very easily convinced of things when they are really not. In other words, Quixote has very bad perception in the novel. Quixote in the first part was manipulated by many people, the farmer when he was whipping the boy and played along with him in order for him to go away, the people in the inn played along with him just to make fun of him, and the priest and the barber manipulated him when they needed to transport him so they put him in the cage they made. These ways were harmless (for the most part) and only done because they were in good fun or they needed Quixote to do something.

               In The second part of the novel however, The Duke and the Duchess are introduced. When these characters are introduced, a whole new meaning to the word manipulation is aroused. The duke and the duchess are aware of Quixote and have read the first part of the novel and claim to be big fans of Quixote and his loyal sidekick Sancho, and treat Quixote in the correct ways of chivalry seeming to be respectful. But, they soon begin mildly making fun of them and then begin manipulating them in a dark way. Then the reader begins to realize that they weren’t fans, but just saw the different ways Quixote and Sancho were manipulated and wanted to put their own spin on this to make their contribution to the Quixote adventure. Some ways in which they make fun of them is that they have Sancho washed with dirty water by a man while Quixote is being washed by the servants who leave soap in his beard on purpose so that he must sit at the head of the table with soap in his beard. The duchess asks Sancho to follow her to a cool place and basically begins interrogating Quixote about Quixxote’s love Dulcinea. They also tell Sancho that the only way Dulcinea can become disenchanted is for Sancho to whip himself 3300 times on his bare bottom, and if that isn’t enough, he must do it willingly. So they are obviously manipulating Sancho and Quixote purely for their entertainment, and also so that they can be part of the adventures of Don Quixote. The second part of the novel brings more than just change, because it introduces the concept of a darker sort of psychological manipulation in which we have never seen before and I am interested to see how this plays out in the rest of the second part of Don Quixote.