I will remember don Quixote as someone to look up to.  Not because he went around fighting windmills and being the source of everyone’s jokes, but because he lived his final years carefree and not caring what people thought of him.  He did what made him happy, and didn’t care that others didn’t see it from his point of view and got made fun of.  In this society of ours where everyone is so concerned with acting cool and their reputation, it was refreshing to read this book about a man who left everything to pursue his dream of being a knight without caring about being judged for it.  At the end, when he wasn’t aware that his death was near, he was going to go onto the next chapter of his life that he thought would bring him happiness.  “;and of how he thought of turning shepherd for that year, and taking his diversion in the solitude of the fields, where he could with perfect freedom give range to his thoughts of love while he followed the virtuous pastoral calling,”(chap 73).  It wasn’t normal or socially acceptable for a man whose already set to change his career and become a shepherd, but its what don Quixote wanted to do so that’s what he planned to do.

I chose the bald eagle for the featured image because although it is the American image for freedom and this novel was set in Spain, its the first thing I think of when I hear the word freedom.  Now the second thing ill think of will be don Quixote, because I’m sure he felt more freedom in his final years than we ever will.

While it seems silly that through all he went through to die from a cold, I understand why Cervantes chose to end it this way.  What type of message would it be if while following his dreams he got killed?  It would discourage people from being who they want to be, no matter how crazy it may be or different than others opinions.  I believe Cervantes did quite the opposite of this.  By killing him with a simple cold, I believe Cervantes is saying chase your dreams now while you still can, because you never know when the end is near, and it can be from something little and unexpected.  Cervantes is telling us not to worry about what others think and to do what makes us happy.

Overall this was an enjoyable class, the book was entertaining and class time was always interesting.  Something that should be kept for next year was the discussion leaders, because it was nice to be able to hear others opinions and interpretations of the book in a small group, and then hearing what other groups as a whole had to say as well.  What ill remember most about this FSEM in five years is don Quixote himself and his adventures.