Quejana Analytical Essay by JPWrite

A study of the character Quejana in Miguel De Cervantes' novel "Don Quixote".
# 67059 | 5,950 words | 4 sources | MLA | 2006 | US
Published on Jun 27, 2006 in Literature (Spanish)

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This paper examines the novel "Don Quixote" by Miguel De Cervantes, focusing on the character Quejana. The paper demonstrates how Quejana becomes immersed in a fantasy world in order to escape his ordinary and mundane existence as that of an upper class gentleman. As Don Quixote, Quejana becomes a defender of virtue and righter of wrongs. The paper introduces Quejana, reviews the plot of the novel and then discusses Quejana's various fantasies. The paper also explores the possibility that Quejana was suffering not just from "fantasies" by from pathological delusions. The paper ends with the novel's end: With Don Quixote stripped of his delusion by force and, as a result, losing his will to live. The paper asks whether it would not have been better -- and kinder -- to live as he chose to live, a knight errant in a world of adventure.

From the Paper:

"Quejana is a gentleman of reduced means living in the village of La Mancha, Spain in the late 1500's. He resides with his young niece and housekeeper and a farm boy and enjoys reading books when he is not managing his estate. His dreary days are spent hunting for the evening meal, a routine yet necessary task. Highlights arrive in the form of visits from his barber and the village curate, both of whom are sources of stimulating conversation. They share his delight in reading and spend many hours discussing knights and chivalry, Quejana's passion. Quejana is filled with an unquenchable interest in tales of long ago adventures and feats performed by brave knights. This is quite out of character for such an ordinary man, since such books suggest bravery, honor and acts of courage. This passion is suggestive that Quejana is more than the simple man he appears to be. There is a quiet longing within him to be someone different, to live a life not his own. Quejana's obsession with chivalry is fueled by the regular and lengthy discourse afforded him by the curate and the barber. The curate is a graduate of Siguenza, and conversations between the two concerning what knight was the greatest brighten his days. The barber also has opinions concerning the great knights and so, is another source of stimulating conversation in the dull life of Quejana. Lively discourse and the reading of tales of chivalry combine to intensify Quejana's obsession. He spends many nights in the company of his books rather than sleeping, brooding over the adventures and deeds of knights long ago. It is suggested that lack of sleep coupled with too much reading resulted in Quejana's loosing his mind. In fact, Quejana's dissatisfaction with his ordinary life may be the cause of his mental disorder, his obsessive reading being only an early symptom. His dissatisfaction with his life, combined with his persistent reading and brooding rather than sleeping result in his gradual loss of reality. In time Quejana's mind crosses over into the world of make believe. The pattern of sleep deprivation and extensive book reading continues until he is no longer able to separate fact from fantasy. Over time Quejana begins to form a plan in his mind. He believes himself to be so like the knights he reads about in his books he considers it only natural to be one himself. In fact, he believes he is a knight. The transition from Senor Quejana living in the real world to a noble night living in a fictitious one is made. He decides the honorable thing to do would be to forsake his own self and take up a cause for God and his country. He would become a knight errant and travel around on his steed in search of adventure. The fact that this idea is ludicrous does not occur to Quejana. The idea makes total sense to this middle aged man of little significance living in an ordinary little village in Spain. Delusions include an absence of delineation between reality and make believe. What appears to be absurd to an individual with a more balanced mind can make total sense to someone suffering from delusions. Their ideas are a deviation from the norms of society. Their rules differ in that they are made by the one experiencing the delusion. Quejana determines to become a knight and so he is. This fits in with his pattern of illness because what is real and what is not are no longer separated, they combine into one reality."

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