My thought on Don Quixote changing his identity is good for him. I think its admirable that he didn’t like who he was so he took the action to change it. He crossed a line however when he started hurting people. I get that his niece and house keeper were worried about how he was acting and thinking he was crazy, but if it made him happy then they should have given him more lenience. I believe they over reacted in burning all the books, especially because they did it because they thought there was a problem with him thinking he was a knight, not because he was hurting people. If they did it because he was hurting people then I would agree that more, but I don’t like that they did it only because what made him happy they didn’t consider normal. I understand that the niece, house keeper, priest, and barber were looking out for don Quixote, but they also should have done a better job of trying to understand their friend instead of judging him, and even being happy for him and his happiness. While its still admirable, it is also very dangerous. Even though I approve of him thinking he is a knight, challenging people and actually hurting them is unacceptable. The saying ones rights stop where another’s begins applies here, because although being a knight made Don Quixote happy and I have no problem with that, what causes him happiness cant happen if its because of someone else’s pain or discomfort. I don’t think it should be considered laughable, because obviously something is wrong in his head and he cant help that. Whether he had mental problems to begin with or it was one hundred percent caused by the books, I still just believe that if it makes him happy then he shouldn’t be made fun of, because to each their own.
I personally would not want to change my identity. I’ve already made it into what I want it to be, so I have no reason to change it. When certain things change about who I am, I believe you can alter an identity without completely changing it, and while overtime it may become a completely new identity, it wont be as drastic as don Quixote’s. I don’t think theirs anything wrong with wanting to change an identity or try something new, but I like where I am right now and don’t see a need to change it. If I were to however, I would probably do it in little steps, nothing like don Quixote did. When don Quixote says, “I wont rise from where I am, brave knight, until you grant me a boon I want to ask of you that will redound to your praise and to the benefit of mankind.” (Cervantes p.79) He asked this of the inn keeper the very fist night he set out to be a knight, which I believe is rushing things. For example if I were don Quixote and wanted to become a knight, I would slowly start to wear knight stuff spread out over a long period of time, and maybe try to move where other people like myself are living. Doing it all at once like that is too big of a change in my opinion.
So in conclusion I believe people are focusing on the wrong issue. I think people should be worried about how he’s hurting people, not just that he’s gone crazy because he wants to be a knight. If they really wanted to help him, they would talk with him about being a safer knight and not trying to stop him completely.