What is a narrator? What is a narrative? Don Quixote is a narrator, and hell, does he have a narrative.
Imagine living like don Quixote. Now that’s living. Right? They say you never remember the times you stayed inside studying, but you do remember the times you “shirked off” responsibilities to do something fun. But hey, is it really blowing off responsibility if you derive enjoyment from it? (A conservative society would say yes, whereas a more nihilistic society would say no, of course not.)
But don Quixote lived in a conservative society. Catholicism played a large role in Spain, what with being used as a means to maintain rigidity and purity in society. It worked, but nevertheless, placed constraints on many. So it’s pretty daring right, for someone to up and shirk off responsibilities in search of something within yourself – something greater than yourself.
Imagine writing a tale in your head and simply following it. Imagine actually being your own narrator. Imagine living out this bizarre daydream that makes oh so much sense to you, but appears as nonsense to all those around you. How would you feel?
Living in the woods. Imagine living in the goddamn woods just because you feel sad. Because you think that living in the goddamn woods will cure your sadness, so you do it. Right then and there. Don’t you feel sad sometimes? Would you up and move to the woods?
Maybe you don’t have parents. Maybe instead there’s this priest you know, and this curate you know, and you know them but they don’t quite know you – but nevertheless, they want to help you. Okay. They want to help you.
(But define help.)
Is help what helps those around you, or is help what helps you? Do the needs of the many outweigh the needs of the few? Who defines social norms? (Especially in a period as transition as Spain in the early 17th century.)
Maybe you’re thinking something along the lines of, “I’ll never be so crazy that I’d become a knight-errant.” (299) And you probably won’t be. And why would you want to be? Sounds uncomfortable, stepping outside of that box. But there’s this thin line between reality and fantasy. Between what is acceptable and what is unacceptable. Know the rules to break them, live your life, etc, etc, etc. Go straddle the line. (But not too much, you have bills to pay.)