This book starts off with a man changing his name and identity to that of Don Quixote, a noble knight who vanquishes giants, rescues damsels, and respects the chivalrous ideals of the knights of old. This concept is unfamiliar of novels even today, we are introduced to a character, and then he transforms himself into a completely new one before we can learn anything about him. Perhaps it is commentary from Cervantes to tell us that whatever media we consume influences how we act and go about our lives and too much can pollute our identity and make us believe we aren’t who we are thought to be.
When Alonso starts to read his books of chivalry day in and day out, it takes a toll on his mind, it leaves him a insane and delusional old man who changes his identity and crafts a suit of armor to fit his new persona he then takes off of his horse, Rocinante, and has several misadventures that have been “documented” by fictional authors and historians that have been unearthed by the true author and unreliable narrator of the story, Miguel de Cervantes. Cervantes being the narrator of this story also is a statement about fairy tails and how they are told to be all nice and make everything turn out okay for all the characters in the story and make everyone live happily ever after. But in this story, things do not always turn out as planned for our heroes, especially since one of them is not exactly in the right state of mind int the first place. Another thing I noticed about this book is that by being recorded by numerous scholars, historians, and people Don Quixote has become what he read in the first place and started his entire ordeal, he has become another one of his tales of chivalry and his legacy has been written down for people to see for the rest of time. I wonder if someone from this time would be inspired by tales of chivalry, including Don Quixote, and go on an adventure of their own, or if Quixote himself would read this book and how he would feel about the historical accuracy or if we would keep a copy of the book in his library.
Before I started reading Don Quixote I did not second guess who I was or if who I was was an amalgamation of media that I have read, watched, etc. over the years. But looking in retrospect, I suppose I have been changed and molded by them. Just as Alonso spent most his years reading fairy tales and books of knights, we have all spent countless hours engrossed in stories of astronauts, cowboys, and adventurers. All of us wished he had the courage of George Washington, the intelligence of Einstein, and the suave nature of James Bond. All we need to do now is to round up our old horse and go on an adventure of a lifetime.