In the book of Don Quixote, written by Cervantes, there is a high presence of the author in the structure of the narrative. The reader of the story can see the agents who produced the texts at work and the usurpation of the author of the protagonist/narrator space, as the irony presents the narrative in another form. The most paradoxical and fascinating aspect of the narrative is the discursive battle to control the ability of the protagonist to project the author’s personality. The narrative has a psyche behind the manipulation and development of the pronounced character despite the high mediation degree in Don Quixote and the causal connection between the story’s beginning and the end. The story of Don Quixote shifts from the idealistic model stasis to the realistic model, where the author reinvented himself in his accounts and narrated as if it were a third dimension. The essay will explore the role of the author in the text and the reader in the text. Don Quixote’s literary work is more than a single piece of literature destined for a single reader by a single author.
The first author’s role in Don Quixote is a narrator. In his narration, the man whose real name is full of doubt, a Hidalgo and a small landowner, reads in his leisure time the romances of chivalry. He acts as a knight and renames himself Don Quixote de la Mancha (Cervantes 9). The author, who plays the role of narrator, then sets forth on his quest to right the wrongs and even offer protection to the distressed damsels. The author envisions the chronicles recording his chivalric feats and imagines heroic deeds before the real adventure. As time lapses, it gives Cervantes, the author, an opportunity of playing with the mechanisms of perception and chronology, expression, and thought. “Don Quixote was born for me alone and I for him, my power was writing, and he was the action power” (Cervantes Chapter LXXIV). The mind games of Don Quixote become the grist of the author’s comprehensive agenda that is exceptional. At the end of the book’s chapter eight, the author or the narrator informs the reader, when Don Quixote is in battle at the Basque Squire, that he cannot continue with his narration because he has run out of information.
Moreover, the author’s role of narration shows up again at the end of the next chapter when the author comes across an Arabic manuscript in Toledo Marketplace and has the manuscript translated into Castilian (Cervantes 27). After an intelligent deconstructive turn of events, in an atmosphere of hostility between the Muslims and the Catholic Spaniards, Cervantes, the author, shows that he knows that much will be lost in the translation. He, therefore, winks at the readers and involves them in negotiating the meaning, further showing his role in the narration.
The author, Cervantes, plays a role of a composite individual populated by different characters emblematic of poetic, theatrical, pastoral, and picaresque precedents in one person. Sancho Panza, who is illiterate, exemplifies the oral culture legacy (Cervantes 32). The niece and housekeeper of Don Quixote, with his friends, the barber, and the priest, evaluate the books in the library of the knight and then burns the offensive books according to their judgment. In effect, a joint exercise in the allegory of the Inquisition and literary criticism. Consequently, characters which include a soldier, just like Cervantes, the author, who was once a captive in Algiers, tell their stories.
Moreover, the author is read out in a novella that Cervantes wrote. In this profound meta-universe, Don Quixote comes across as a madman, makes some comments on his actions, and announces shortly after that that he will imitate Amadis of Gaul’s madness. These events demonstrate the role of the author in juxtaposing different characters emblematic of poetic, theatrical, pastoral, and picaresque precedents in Don Quixote (Cervantes 41).
Cervantes also plays the role of the main character in the name of Don Quixote. From the narration of the book’s chapters, it is evident that Don Quixote is the theory in the practice of author Cervantes, an art, life, and writing. The author recognizes the cultural past and even foresees the novel’s future. He blends met fiction, comedy, and realism with serious reflection on perspective, exception, and the nature of truth. This is shown by Don Quixote providing the mirror of the early modern country of Spain, that is its obsession with purity by blood and rules regarding honor, its push for religious and political unity, its class and social divisions, its rigid censorship of art and speech, its treatment of minorities and women, its economic woes, its baroque sensibility projection among other factors (Cervantes 47). The new science, new world, and a new crisis in religion bring increased complexity and change to society. All these are aspects of the extended environment of Don Quixote, and they have been incorporated into the text. The literature of Don Quixote is reading practicum literature, history, poetics, rhetoric, ethics, theology, ethnicity, race, power of imagination, and satire. As much as this analysis may seem quixotic, the text covers the remnants of seventeenth-century Spain, which Cervantes lived in those times (para 4).
Role of the reader
The role of the reader in the book is much easier. The reader has an exclusive view of the world and perceptions of Don Quixote. It is therefore much easier for the reader to understand the actions of Don Quixote. The character illuminates various feelings and emotions from the reader. The reader’s role in the book can be summarized as understanding the various perceptions of Don Quixote.
The first role of the reader is to question, judge and decipher between the perspectives and narration in Don Quixote. The literature is a rich exploration of narration possibilities comprising three sections. The first section covers the first expedition of Don Quixote and majorly functions as a parody of contemporary tales of romance. The second section plods along in a historical fashion documenting everyday events carefully. The third section is organized by thematic and emotional content and filled with character development. The author’s first section reports the study in a straightforward narrative style. In the second section, the reader is to decipher the perspective from the author’s narration using Benengeli to reinforce his claim that his story is true.
Additionally, further roles of the reader in understanding the perspectives from the author’s narration are portrayed when Cervantes plays a character in the third section. That is a composite of Cervantes the author and Bengeli (Cervantes 59). The characters themselves who are much aware of the books that have been written about them, try altering subsequent edition content. This self-referential and complicated narrative structure leaves the reader disoriented and unable to judge the plotlines that are factual and internal to the story. This disorientation engrosses the readers directly in the study and begs the question of sanity arising throughout the novel. If an individual who is mad as Don Quixote can pen down his own story, the reader wonders what could prevent them from doing the same. However, Cervantes provides several reasons in the second section to doubt him. in the third section, the reader encounters another false version of Don Quixote. Cervantes forces the reader to question fundamental narration principles, just like Don Quixote forces his contemporaries to rethink and question their principles and lifestyles. In this way, the novel mirrors its function. It creates a platform where Cervantes instructs and entertains his readers, manipulation their preconceptions, and forces the readers to closely examine them more (Cervantes 71).
Another role of the reader is to distinguish the incompatible morality systems in the novel. Don Quixote tries to be a real example of a knight errant attempting to force his contemporaries to address their own failure and maintain the old morality system, the chivalric code. The conflict reaches an absolute impasse where Don Quixote does understand no one, and no one understands him. Only Sancho, the simple-minded with a basic understanding of morality and self-motivated desires, can mediate between the rest of the world and Don Quixote. Sancho subscribed to his day’s morals but surprised readers by showing a belief in chivalry’s anachronistic morals as well (Cervantes 77). The reader’s role in distinguishing the incompatible morality systems is also evident in the novel’s first part, where the readers see the impasses of Don Quixote and the people around him. For instance, he cannot identify with the rational objectives and perspectives of the priest, and his belief in enchantment seems ridiculous to the priest. The innkeeper tells the priest, “I shall never be so foolish to turn knight-errant because I see well that as they did in the olden days, it is not the fashion now to do when they say those knights that are famous roamed the world” (Cervantes Chapter XXXII). However, towards the end of the second part, Cervantes compromises these two seemingly incompatible morality systems, allowing the imaginary world of Don Quixote and the Duke and Duchess’s commonplace world to infiltrate each other. The reader starts to see the advantages and disadvantages of each other as the two worlds begin to combine. Ultimately, Sancho prevails, subscribing to his ascetic discipline and timeless aphorisms on the one hand and the other using rational abilities to adapt to the present (para 6).
The essay discussed the roles of t author and the roles of the reader in the text of Don Quixote. From the analysis, the essay found the first author’s role in Don Quixote is a narrator. The author also plays a role of a composite individual populated by different characters emblematic of poetic, theatrical, pastoral, and picaresque precedents in one person. Lastly, Cervantes, the author, also plays the role of the main character in the name of Don Quixote. On the other hand, the reader’s role is to question, judge and decipher between the perspectives and narration in Don Quixote. Moreover, another role of the reader is to distinguish the incompatible morality systems in the novel.
Cervantes, Saavedra M. Don Quixote. Dodd, 1911. Print.
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