Before starting reading the masterpiece of Miguel de Cervantes, I’ve been looking for the definition of the title Don Quixote. Quite not expecting for an absolute answer but Merriam-Webster dictionary gave me one. ‘An impractical idealist’, it said. Yes, an impractical idealist.
I’ve never met a man who embodies the same qualities as him. I mean, a man who will sell his lands just to buy lots of books about chivalrous knights and after reading those books, his views, or let’s say, his standards in this world went into other direction. This man? There is no one except Alfonso Quixano.
I am going to share how I perceive the personality of this hidalgo.
Obviously, for me, he’s blind. Partly, he’s blind for the truth. He’s not blinded by a bright light but by his own eyes. Maybe because he’s greatly affected by his ‘addiction’ to those books I’ve mentioned before. His mind had reached the far away land where castles and lords can be found. Because of this, he is unable to see the real picture of the world – how it looks like and what it brings to a man like him.
Well, on how he see the world? As if he’s living on a land of full of feudal lords, of knights wearing their shining armors while riding on a brown horse, of tall castles with astounding entrance doors which flabbergasted every guest who enters on it, and of people strictly observing the chivalric codes. In fact, in Chapter VIII, he sees those thirty or forty giant windmills as enemies which needs to be turned down. And for his eyes, an inn is a castle. For all these things? I can’t blame him for that. That is how he see the world.
I might thank Sancho Panza for somehow helping Don Quixote to distinguish reality from his imagination or ‘fantasies’ – that not all the things his eyes could witness are acts or deeds of chivalry.
Regarding this matter, on how he look up into a wider perspective of the world, his ideals result into different outcomes. In his situations, he might have the good intentions at his palm however, there would always be undesirable consequences which might happen and actually did (in the story). His blindness definitely confuses everyone because the people around them (yes, it includes the reader) do not have any idea with his insanity.
This situation might not be exactly seen nowadays but the idea of impractical idealism might be at hand of some people’s unstable mind. It brings nothing. Like on what happened on some of the adventures of Don Quixote, to some extent, it harms others. Being a Don Quixote today is not a good deed. It won’t let you move forward and see the hues of reality. In an article in anomalogue.com (2012), it is stated that the new ideals are impractical because the people who think of it somehow are not concerned on what life could bring and on what is possible1.
Impractical idealism plays the Alan Colmes to practical realism’s Sean Hannity, proving the suspicion that new ideals are essentially impractical and unrealistic because those who conceive them are unconcerned with what is possible and what is currently the case. – anomalogue.com
So, Don Quixote de La Mancha, face the reality. No, don’t face it. Find it. There is nothing wrong by thinking of the ideals of life but I’m warning you – don’t let these bring obscurity to the vividness of life – don’t let your own eyes blind you.
Beware, my friend. Beware.