Blog Post Compilation

Here we present a timeline of our blogposts, from the beginning of our class to the end. Reflected in them are our thoughts, our beliefs, and our growth as people, students, and authors through these past three months.

This is a digital storytelling project for our freshman seminar class, centered on the novel Don Quixote. In the stories, we have short excerpts of our blog posts and links to the blogposts themselves. We cover a wide range of topics and themes, discussing anything from literary techniques in the book, to making observations on the book and/or characters, to making connections on how some of the issues back then are still issues we face today.

2017-09-10 00:00:00

Change and an Identity

One might consider changing your identity to be normal. After all, we aren't who we were when we were kids, not the same as freshman year of high school, and even just a little bit different than who we were yesterday. As I've learned recently in my Anthropology class, change is the only constant. Everything, everyone, everywhere is constantly changing. Indeed, we experience this very change in the novel Don Quixote, where our protagonist undergoes change and embarks in an adventure. -Julian

2017-09-10 00:00:00

Don Quixote's Fight Against Oblivion

Although Don Quixote seems to have all the qualities of a madman, his ultimate goal is not unique in that he yearns for glory and a legacy, instead of fading into oblivion, which is not an uncommon desire among humans, especially as they become older. Because of this desire, Don Quixote abandons his sanity and decides that he “would put into practice everything he’d read that knights-errant did, redressing all kinds of wrongs, and by putting himself at risk and in harm’s way, he would achieve eternal renown and fame” (23). Don Quixote’s fear of oblivion outweighs his sense of reality and, in a way, drives him mad. Similar instances can be found in modern times, such as celebrities exploiting themselves in order to chase after fame, losing their own values and sense of self in the process. -Nell

2017-09-11 00:00:00

Don Quijote Begins

The Spanish novelist Miguel de Cervantes specifies in detail of how Don Quijote perceives the world. The dreamer takes the liberty of setting forth on a knighthood journey that changes world reality and performance of the characters. -Mike

2017-09-11 00:00:00

Don Quixote's Made Up Identity

Don Quixote, in my opinion, was a man who hit a midlife crisis and was closely dedicated to his readings. Don Quixote was bordering insanity because of this, and this honestly made for an amusing story. His new identity emerged from a mixture of just old age and boredom; he had all sorts of time on his hands and he spent it reading books of chivalry almost religiously. -Sisi

2017-09-14 00:00:00


As the reader, it is obvious of the fact that the creative middle-aged man exceeded the average man and knight standards. The fuel of his imagination, originating from the countless chivalry books he read, applies his human ways of receiving people and the world. -Mike

2017-09-14 00:00:00

Don Quixote's Skewed Perception of Reality

Cervantes repeatedly demonstrates the issues that can arise through the romanticism of reality. For instance in Chapter Twelve, Chrysostom's fate seems to foreshadow the possible consequences of Don Quixote's unusual endeavors. One evening Don Quixote is described as spending "the rest of the night in thinking of his lady Dulcinea, in imitation of the lovers of Marcela" (Ch 12). Don Quixote puts Dulcinea on a pedestal in the same way Chrysostom throught of Marcela, which led to his death. Because of their skewed perceptions of reality, both Chrysostom and Don Quixote are unsatisfied with their real ordinary lives, which always leaves them wanting more or, even worse, living in a fantasy world. Having first heard Chrysostom and Marcela's story, it seems that Marcela is a to blame for leading Chrysostom on and torturing his heart. However, the reality of the situation is that Chrysostom has developed an obsession and has warped the reality of the circumstances. -Nell

2017-09-15 00:00:00

Chivalry or Misogyny?

What truly bothers me most, I think, is that this persistent fallacious chivalry has already endangered many. Don Quixote doesn’t exhibit chivalry, merely asserting his morals upon others, and upon his own misogynistic views of women, he objectifies them, demeans them, and endangers others in doing so. -Julian

2017-09-15 00:00:00

A Flat, Unchanging Character

Don Quixote, throughout the course of this novel so far, has not proven to be a changing, dynamic character. Yes, he's out for adventure and to kill, which would seem to make him this interesting character that is going to learn from all these mistakes he's made, but that is not what we've seen so far. These adventures Don Quixote encounters are physically demanding and most of the time harmful to Don Quixote, yet, Don Quixote doesn't learn his lesson. Even when told that his lifestyle doesn't make sense, Don Quixote doesn't retain the facts presented to him which in turn doesn't allow Don Quixote to grow and advance past his insanity. -Sisi

2017-09-21 00:00:00

Quijote's game of reality

Based on the chapter readings we covered, the giddy middle-aged man, Don Quijote de la Mancha, truly embodies the qualities of a well-devoted knight. The dedication of reading chivalry books has paid off and he has taken a great portion towards applying it in life. For being recognized as a stellar and influential literature from the Spanish Golden Age, Miguel de Cervantes’ novel has the capability in being converted to a creative game for any class of minds in the technological twenty-first century. -Mike

2017-09-21 00:00:00

Exploring the Temporal Layers of Literature

Juul’s idea that a narrative contains multiple and simultaneous time periods is exemplified throughout Don Quixote as the narrator of the story interacts with the “original” manuscript of Don Quixote’s adventures. For instance, the narrator says, “Don Quixote began his attack…But the dreadful thing is that, at this point, the author of this history leaves the battle pending, apologizing that he couldn’t find anything else written about the deeds of don Quixote other than what he’s already related” (71-72). There is an abrupt pause to the story right at the pivotal moment in Don Quixote’s fight. Cervantes intentionally creates multiple layers of time to the text, which effectively elaborates the suspense of this scene and contributes to the complexity and genius of the novel as a whole. -Nell

2017-09-22 00:00:00

Hypocrisy or Cowardice? Which Afflicts don Quixote?

This begs into question: Is don Quixote a hypocrite who changes around the code of chivalry to suit himself as he sees fit, or is he such a coward that he can’t stand to face reality? -Julian

2017-09-22 00:00:00

Sancho's Changing Opinion and Tolerance

From the moment Sancho decided to tag along on Don Quixote's adventures, anyone could have assumed that Sancho was on the same level of crazy as Don Quixote because Sancho really thought he was going to gain an island by following Don Quixote as a squire. Sancho is a very patient character because he takes every beating that Don Quixote receives, and he actually acts out this fantasy that Don Quixote believes is real but Sancho knows isn't. In these chapters though, we see Sancho changing opinions on Don Quixote and the adventures they encounter. Sancho begins to question Don Quixote and him being a knight but at the same time, his relationship with Don Quixote grows stronger. -Sisi

2017-09-27 00:00:00

Shakespeare's Influence?

Shakespeare was and is, the face of classic literature. Quite possibly the most revered artist of his time and still one held in incredibly high esteem, his work influences the written arts throughout Europe and North America. Both he and Miguel de Cervantes are regarded as virtuosos in their art, both leaving lasting effects and far-reaching influence in the wake of their stories. -Julian

2017-09-28 00:00:00

The Undiscovered Truth

Truth be told here, the reading chapters is filled with confessions that have not been unveiled. The novel has exponentially led us to these unexpected moments that opens a new section of reality in viewing the characters differently. “All truths are easy to understand once they are discovered; the point is to discover them” – Galileo Galilei -Mike

2017-09-29 00:00:00

Gender: Inclusive Fluidity v. Outdated Societal Norms

Throughout the novel, the idea of gender fluidity, specifically cross-dressing, is juxtaposed constantly with don Quixote’s rigid and traditional standards towards women. This contrast serves to emphasize don Quixote’s outdated behaviors and hint at his misogynistic nature. In the novel, Cervantes attempts to blur the boundary between both genders with many instances of men and women cross-dressing. For example, the barber and priest consider dressing as ladies to lure don Quixote back home. Another example is the scene in which Dorothea removes her disguise as a farm boy and transforms into a beautiful woman: “The young man took off his cap, and as he shook his head, his hair—that the rays of the sun might envy—started to cascade and spread out. By this, the observers came to realize that the person who seemed to be a peasant man was really an exquisite woman, and the most beautiful one that the eyes of the priest and barber had ever seen” (252-253). Gender is used repeatedly to manipulate others with a false identity in order to achieve a goal. By employing the concept of gender this way, Cervantes relaxes the typical norms that surround societal notions of gender. Thus, a stark contrast arises between this relaxed idea of gender norms and don Quixote’s rigid and old-fashioned customs towards women. -Nell

2017-09-29 00:00:00

Pointless Loyalty

Loyalty is a big theme throughout Don Quixote. Sancho is loyal to Don Quixote, Don Quixote is loyal to Dulcinea, and Dorothea is loyal to Ferdinand. All of these examples of loyalty, though, have some kind of lie or deception buried in them. -Sisi

2017-10-06 00:00:00


Backtracking a little bit into chapter 37 of the novel, I find Don Quixote engaged in... discourse. This chapter-and-a-half long speech extolling the arduousness of chivalry, and it's superiority, over that of the life of a scholar, shows, as remarked upon several times in the text, the keen intellect that drives don Quixote. -Julian

2017-10-06 00:00:00

The Don's Struggle

Don Quijote allows his mind to be corrupted with hoaxes. From managing to create a new ideological life, involving chivalry and knight-errantry, he forms a habit in gaining ill-advised truth while lacking clarity of reality. As long as the priests, barber and Dorotea’s word are accurately aligned with his subjective reality, he would not deny it and confirm it as the modern truth. While this occurs, an ambitious and faithful common man known as Sancho Panza, having the patience in listening to his idealistic truth throughout the duration of their journey, does the best of his ability to make Quijote see a realist’ point of view. In response, he disbelieves Sancho’s terms of truth. -Mike

2017-10-06 00:00:00

Sancho Panza's Selfless Protective Instincts Towards Don Quixote and True Friendship

Unlike other characters throughout the novel, Sancho Panza seems to genuinely care for and respect Don Quixote as a person rather than simply dismissing or mocking him because of his delusional behavior. Sancho consistently tries his best to protect Don Quixote from humiliation and violence without expecting anything in return. Other characters, however, such as the priest and the barber, claim to have don Quixote’s best interests at heart, yet continually ridicule and manipulate him. Thus, Sancho is Don Quixote’s only reliably selfless friend and supporter. -Nell

2017-10-06 00:00:00

Men As Delusional As Don Quixote

Men in Don Quixote are entitled and just as insane as Don Quixote. Not every man we've met throughout the first part - some are good guys like Cardenio. Most of the love stories in the novel, though, have to do with both delusional men and women. We have for example, Don Quixote, Ferdinand, and Chrysostom. -Sisi

2017-10-19 00:00:00

A new Sancho Panza in Don Quijote’s frivolous adventures

From reading chapter one to chapter sixteen in the second volume, we are able to see a character transformation within Don Quijote’s squire, Sancho Panza. He steps into the shoes of a person with a more varied perspective along with the quality wisdom. From being curious, he inherited a decent amount of learning from the world around him. -Mike

2017-10-20 00:00:00

A New Don Quixote

Upon beginning to read the second part of the book, I have been taken by surprise. It's like the characters are wolves wearing sheep's skin. In other words, they are brand new characters hiding under the guises and names of characters from the first part. This is especially apparent when don Quixote doesn't attack the theater actors dressed as demons and devils. -Julian

2017-10-20 00:00:00

Don Quixote's Distorted Self-Reflection and the Knight of the Mirrors

In the Second Volume don Quixote encounters the Knight of the Forest, also known as the Knight of the Mirrors, who serves (ineffectively) as a reality check for don Quixote by physically reflecting Don Quixote's delusional behavior back to him. Similar to don Quixote, the Knight of the Mirrors has his own squire, identical Sancho Panza's role in don Quixote's fantasy. Sansón Carrasco, of course, plays the part of the Knight of the Mirrors, and seems to be attempting to fulfill his own supressed fantasies of adventure while inadvertently echoing don Quixote's mannerism and strange pursuits. In addition, the Knight of the Mirrors serves to reveal to don Quixote, as well as the reader, that his obsession with being a knight-errant, besides being outdated and ridiculous, is for younger, stronger men. The reality of the situation is that don Quixote an elderly man and knight-errantry is not only taking over his mind, but also his physical state. He continually endangers himself by having unnecessary and violent confrontations with younger, stronger men. The mirrored armor on the Knight of the Mirrors is not only useful as a tactical device which blinds the opponent, but also employed by Cervantes to juxtapose don Quixote's frailness against his younger, stronger opponent. -Nell

2017-10-20 00:00:00

On The Road Again

Fifteen years after Don Quixote returns home and puts down the ole rusty, dusty sword, he's finally back at it. At this point in actual time a new author has written a fake second part to Don Quixote's story, which Cervantes acknowledges in his real second part to Don Quixote de La Mancha. Everyone at this point is longing for real action on Don Quixote's part. In this second part of the novel, it seems almost as if the same characters that took him home in the first place are the same ones that want him to go back out. Every character Don Quixote encounters in these first chapters deceive him and continue to play along with his imagination, but this time they're doing it to keep the story going rather than to make it end. -Sisi

2017-11-03 00:00:00

Discordant Wisdom

A subject that I think we've yet to discuss in class is don Quixote's wisdom. Despite his many, many rash actions, don Quixote is actually a man of great wisdom. It struck me particularly true (and personally) when reading about Camacho's wedding. -Julian

2017-11-03 00:00:00

Cervantes’ Criticism of Lions and Kings

Through Don Quixote’s encounter with the lions in Chapter seventeen, Cervantes implicitly makes a political statement about Spanish nobility. Although discreet, Cervantes suggests that there exist several parallels between Spanish nobility, specifically the king, and the lions which don Quixote interacts with in this scene. From the outset, the lions are described as being lazy and uninvolved. After the lion keeper first opened the cage, “The first thing the lion did was to turn around in the cage, where he’d been lying, extend his claws, and stretch all over. He opened his mouth wide and yawned very slowly, and with a tongue almost a foot long, he licked the dust from his eyes and washed his face” (629). Despite Don Quixote’s readiness to fight it, the male lion seems completely disinterested in him. This indifference can be interpreted as a metaphorical criticism of the king as being arrogant and unconcerned about lower classes and marginalized members of society, like don Quixote. -Nell

2017-11-04 00:00:00

Se llama Drama in Volume II

We have reached to the second volume, indicating the midpoint of Don Quijote’s expedition. I noticed that drama is often being expressed. Cervantes unfolds various examples of drama. -Mike

2017-11-04 00:00:00

A New Man

Throughout the first part of the novel, I really wanted Don Quixote to grow up and act like an adult. He was always putting himself in dangerous situations and getting hurt, but maybe if he won his battles more often than he had lost them I wouldn't have wished that. Don Quixote, in part two, shows the maturity that every reader wished for since day one. He shows this maturity in two separate occasions: the Knight of the Lions episode and at Camacho's wedding. -Sisi

2017-11-10 00:00:00

Taking Advantage of the Disadvantaged

In Chapters twenty-six through thirty-six. there is a great disturbance happening to Don Quijote. On the other hand, Don Quijote has become convinced that he is being ‘ treated exactly as he had always read that knights were treated, in ancient times it was the first time he was ever fully convinced that he was a real rather than, somehow, an imaginary knight errant.’ ( Don Quijote, Volume II, Chapter 31, Page 521). Assuming the knight- errant himself is being treated in a hospitable manner, he is overall being taken advantaged by the following people who have wealth and power as their credentials to do so, the Duke and Duchess. They play a role in indulging in his fantasies, verifying him as a true grand knight in their presence. -Mike

2017-11-10 00:00:00

Sancho and DQ as Amusing Idiots

After being welcomed into the Duke and Duchess’s castle, don Quixote makes no secret of the fact that he is embarrassed by Sancho Panza’s behavior and social status. Without realizing that he too is a source of amusement for the Duke and Duchess, don Quixote repeatedly insults the intelligence and class of his loyal squire. This is due to the fact that don Quixote is obsessively concerned with the impression he makes on the Duke and Duchess. It seems that don Quixote craves their approval and participation in his antics in order for him to feel validated as a knight-errant. When they are all seated at dinner together, Sancho offers to tell a story and “Scarcely had Sancho said this when don Quixote began to tremble, believing without any doubt that he was about to say something foolish” (736). Despite Sancho’s earnest dedication to him, don Quixote assumes the worst and has little faith in Sancho’s ability not to embarrass him in front of these nobles. -Nell

2017-11-10 00:00:00

Same Old Don Quixote

Throughout this second part of the novel, Don Quixote seems like a new person. He speaks rationally and isn't as problematic as he was in the first part of the novel. Even though he seems new, he's the same, old, mad man he's always been on the inside. Don Quixote is  hypocritical with his actions and words as he's always been, and Don Quixote is still as reckless as he was before. He is still someone that is out for adventure, going through a mid-life crisis. -Sisi

2017-11-16 00:00:00

Overlooking the Obvious

There have been instances, rather many and varied, where don Quixote should have, in my own opinion, been able to pick up that what's happening around him is a ruse. A farce set up by the duke and duchess to have their fun. One such occasion being when don Quixote drew a parallel between Clavileno and the Trojan Horse... and was then persuaded to lose his suspicions. -Julian

2017-11-16 00:00:00

Social Classes

I'm going to be relating this once again to my anthropology class since our subjects seem to be relevant to one another in parts. In both classes we have touched upon the subject of classes, groupings of similar people in a social hierarchy. Classes are dictated by criteria, such as 'occupation, education, and income.' Sociology: Understanding and Changing the Social World, Chapter 8, Section 3; That being the case in 21st century America. -Julian

2017-11-17 00:00:00

The Encourager: You’d be a great “Don”

From my perspective, an awarded title, such as ” Don, ” should be taken as a sign of achievement they’ve made. Yet Sancho ensures the villagers to not bother calling him that. Why is it some people refuse to inherit a title? Do they feel unworthy to inherit it? -Mike

2017-11-17 00:00:00

A Modern Manifestation of Don Quixote

In the documentary Lost in La Mancha, it becomes apparent that the director of the film The Man Who Killed Don Quixote, Terry Gilliam, is himself a modern reflection of the literary character don Quixote. According to his coworkers, Gilliam has a certain cinematic vision for the movie and continually attempts to achieve the impossible, drawing his project out much longer than originally intended. A twist on the original novel, Gilliam adds an element of time travel to the plot, further layering the narratives involved. His specific vision for the movie is not always understood by his peers, similar to how don Quixote is misunderstood and often sees the world differently than others. One of Gilliam’s assistant directors describes Gilliam as “a little bit of a don Quixote,” since he is known as a dreamer and tends to see things much differently. Both don Quixote and Terry Gilliam are dreamers who have trouble seeing reality, leaving the familiar to faces countless obstacles and do the unthinkable. Yet, as Gilliam concludes in a drawing, the “windmills of reality fight back.” He draws a visual parallel between himself and don Quixote to emphasize the way in which he sees things differently and the way in which he was ultimately conquered by his vision. -Nell

2017-12-01 00:00:00

Infinity of Trickery

Enough is enough. The foul trickery that fulfills one’s pleasure has been too long of a stretch conducted by both the Duke and Duchess. Their games of humiliation and annoyance have been a habit that brought in others, Altisidora in particular, to participate in the schemes of the royalty. -Mike

2017-12-01 00:00:00

Sancho Panza as a Leader, Not a Sidekick

Despite his undeniable and innate ability to lead, Sancho is constantly underestimated and belittled by others throughout the novel. During Sancho’s governorship, people assume his effectiveness in the position is a fluke and is due to the position itself, not to Sancho’s own qualities. Cervantes says, “All those who knew Sancho Panza marveled when they heard him speak so elegantly and didn’t know what to attribute it to, except that positions of responsibility either sharpen or dull one’s intellect” (858). Rather than acknowledging the fact that Sancho has always been a wise and thoughtful leader, his success is attributed to anything other than him. Don Quixote contributes to this collective mindset as well. He writes in a letter to Sancho, “Expecting news of your blunders and nonsensical acts, Sancho, my friend, I heard instead of your wise judgements, for which I give particular thanks to heaven, which can raise the poor and stupid from the dunghill and make them wise” (880). Don Quixote fails to recognize Sancho’s strength of character and suggests, instead, that it is by some divine miracle that Sancho, an unintelligent commoner, is suddenly wise. -Nell

2017-12-02 00:00:00

Of Cross-Dressing, Gender, and Patriarchy

A semi-common motif within the novel Don Quixote is cross-dressing. It is, to my observation, not because the woman (most usually) identifies as a man or any number of non-binary genders, but because of the social constraints placed on women during the 17th century. -Julian

2017-12-03 00:00:00

The Panzas

Sancho has always been such a lovable character. I have always thought of him as a gullible, fat, little kid throughout this novel because Sancho has always seemed so innocent. Sancho has proven to be a loyal squire to Don Quixote. After all the time Sancho spent with Don Quixote, Sancho definitely learned to be like him and he learned how to deal with him as well. He learned how to deceive Don Quixote in order to get what he wanted. Because of this, no one would have ever imagined Sancho being such a good leader. Both he and his wife, Teresa, exceeded everyone's expectations with how good their judgment was in tricky situations. -Sisi

2017-12-06 00:00:00

Hasta el final, Viva Quijote!

To be honest, it was awesome in participating in Miguel de Cervantes 17th century Spanish literature with a handful of enlightened seminar people. Diving in one of Spain’s most popular and modern life application novel is for each of us a personal obligation to remember. Regardless the novel is known to be approximately four centuries old, like a solid rock, the message of Don Quijote still stands. What is the message? -Mike

2017-12-07 00:00:00

Of Bodily Autonomy/Integrity

Controversial topics, even those that resonate contemporaneously, are not hard to find in the novel Don Quixote. However, I have found what could be the greatest scene depicting Cervantes's views on bodily autonomy within the novel in these last set of chapters. This pulls at some very recent discussions on bodily autonomy that I've read lately, a topic that is much argued and has a basis on misogyny and religion. -Julian

2017-12-08 00:00:00

Don Quixote's Legacy as a Heroic Dreamer

From the outset, Don Quixote is described as somewhat of a madman. After Don Quixote decides to pursue knight-errantry, Cervantes writes, “So, having lost his wits, he came up with the strangest idea ever concocted by a crazy man, and that was that he thought it right and necessary, both to increase his honor and to serve the republic, to roam the world on horseback, dressed in his armor, seeking adventures” (23). Many people fail to see the courage and imagination necessary to venture out of their physical and mental comfort zone to pursue something no one else can see or understand. Don Quixote is inspiring in his ability to maintain his vision despite the others’ denial of its existence. Many great leaders throughout history experienced similar situations. Although Don Quixote’s quest is not ultimately for the good of humanity and is more of a personal dream, his attitude of persistence and his imagination can be applied elsewhere and teach the reader valuable traits. -Nell

2017-12-11 00:00:00

The Death of a Hero

Don Quixote dedicated himself to chivalry, and he embarked on many adventures that he suffered consequences for. Don Quixote, to me, died as a hero. Although I don't think Don Quixote should have ended like this, I understand that it was the best decision.  -Sisi

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