Final project idea

For our project we have decided to analyze the female characters in Don Quixote more fully. We have spoken briefly on the female characters in class such as Dulcinea and the the Duchess, but we have not been able to explore them to a deeper extent. These characters, though they are small, have a great influence on the mindset of the reader, and more often than not the characterization of females in Don Quixote is negative. For example, one female character is stalked and harassed by another character, Grisostomo, even though she did not ask for his love or attention and he becomes mad when she rebukes him and the reader is forced into the belief that she is in the wrong here and not Grisostomo. Is this highly sexist attitude in the novel a indication of the historical time period? Or is this an idea that Cervantes wanted his readers to delve into more deeply? We will be analyzing this idea using specific female characters through the lense of feminism and sexuality. Our character list includes Dulcinea, the Duenna Dona, the Dutchess, Altisidora, Teresa Panza, Marcella, Maritormes, Dorothea, Claudia Jeronima and Countess Trifaldi.

We will also be using a source that briefly describes the lenses we will use to introduce our reader for a better understanding, Don Quixote: The Quest for Modern Fiction. We will also delve deeper into the mind of Cervantes and what he wanted out of the women readers using “Cervantes and His Women Readers” by Lisa Vollendorf. Using the article “Evoking Astraea: the Speeches of Marcela and Dorotea in Don Quijote I” by Carolyn A. Nadeau we will be able to examine closer some of the areas in Don Quixote where the women are allowed to speak for themselves. In the article “Border Crossings: Transvestism and ‘Passing’ in Don Quixote” the author Barbara Fuchs describes the theme of cross-dressing and why it is important and interesting in the novel. We will use this article to speak specifically about the character Dorotea and how she uses cross-dressing as female empowerment. In “Steel-Plate Petticoats: The Heroism of Women in Don Quijote”, Derby talks about how women are typically portrayed as “damsels-in-distress” and how it was essential for knights-errant to protect the dignity and honor of women. He also mentions how Dulcinea del Toboso becomes a personification of loyalty to Don Quijote and that that is why he will go to any means to defend her.

For our digital humanities project we came up with the idea to create a webpage in which all of the female characters study have their own page. This web page would be a platform and almost like a blog, where the women would be able to express their point of view of the story. Then in addition we would have the story from the book and how it was portrayed then. We would then add additional links for the readers to look at if they would like to find more information in regards to our topic.

The end of the beginning

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Throughout my first semester of college I read and analyzed the novel Don Quixote de La Mancha. At the beginning of the semester I didn’t really understand the point of the class nor the reason for reading the book but as we read more there are deeper meanings that really struck me. The end of the book goes along with the end of my first semester at college which kind of makes me feel connected to Don Quixote in a way. I went through his struggles, his accomplishments and his humor with him.

This class has taught me a lot of lessons and will definitely help me for semesters ahead of me. It opened me up for different perspectives and all of the research really helped me for the future. It also helps me in the sense that it made me more mature. I watched Don Quixote have a very childlike attitude- which isn’t necessarily a bad thing- but his was dramatic. Towards the end of his life I feel like he did the most growing up and realized how unrealistic the books of chivalry really were. I loved his sense of imagination but it was also very beneficial for him to realize what was real and not. It reminds me of myself because college is not only an intellectual journey but a personal one.

A quote that i think will stick to me is “The truth may be stretched thin, but it never breaks, and it always surfaces above lies, as oil floats on water.” This shows a huge a theme to the book and Cervantes’ message while writing it. A big part of Cervantes’ writing was trying to exploit the lies and corruption of the Spanish Government. With this he is saying that the truth of the corruption will show itself. Don Quixote was rewarding for me in many ways. It made me want to believe in the magic in life and to not always question the motives of others. Don Quixote and Sancho Panza will stay with me for a long time.

 

Duenna Doña

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Duenna

“Brother ,

if you’re a troubadour, keeps your songs for when the are appropriate and you’ll get paid for them, because from me you’ll only get a fig”

What’s the Point in Libraries Anyway?

Life today is very influenced by technology; this notion is specifically evident with the ever-growing internet. Technology is quickly changing the need for physicality into something you can acquire over a digital platform. People can go online with ease and obtain what they were looking for with the touch of a finger. This fact has it’s advantages but also has large disadvantages as we look into how we’re losing our connection to traditions.

Not only books, but any form of writing has played a huge part in human history.  The aspect of getting rid of books entirely and fully relying on the internet is a less than comforting thought. Don’t get me wrong, I love the ease of going online and finding exactly what I was looking for in seconds. I just don’t like the idea of people losing what they’ve relied on for so long. Maybe the internet and more advanced technology is just another way of changing human lives as there has been so much change in the last 50 years. I believe books will always have a special place with people just at a much smaller scale.

Don Quixote as a Game

In my search for games about Don Quixote I learned that most weren’t exactly focused on staying true to the novel, as we can see below with Don Quixote as a young blonde man fighting a skeleton in a game called “Super Don Quixote”. Also in this game he is saving a beautiful princess, Dulcinea del Toboso who is Don Quixote’s love interest but is just a mere peasant girl.

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I believe this shows Don Quixote’s fantasies from the novel, a young handsome knight going on quests to help people and in this case to save Dulcinea. Although it is possible that the game is just showing what was going on in Don’s mind the creator leaves out the important fact that it is all an illusion.

Games tend to be prominently about the adventure aspect of a novel or story rather than what actually happens. Still, I believe that games that don’t necessarily follow the original storyline are absolutely narratives; you are offered options in order to make your own story. In Super Don Quixote’s case, you get killed by a skeleton a couple times…no big deal, you get to keep coming back to life to fight the same skeleton. This makes a story, a narrative.

Games and movies will tend to leave out important parts in order to make it more interesting for the player/ viewer. If someone really loved a novel i could understand why they would get upset about this but Don Quixote’s own author, Cervantes was the one who suggested for people to take his novel any way they wished and maybe this is peoples’s way of doing just that. Whether the game stays true to the novel or it’s way off it’s still a story and it’s important to someone.

 

Who is Don Quixote?

Don Quixote was a man who inspired many to chase their dreams; but who was Don Quixote really? He was man who lived in a time period where breaking social norms wasn’t admired. Don Quixote was brave enough (or insane enough) to break past those borders and follow his life-long dreams. Cervantes leaves for an open interpretation but fills in the blanks when needed. So whether he was a crazy old man or knight in shining armor his legacy will go on for ages.