Category Archives: Perspectivism in Don Quixote

Perspectivism in Don Quixote

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Perspectivism in Don Quixote:  A Character’s Connection to a Particular Portion of Reality Expresses That Reality.  

In Cervantes’s Don Quixote, the perspective of the individual on reality conveys a certain portion of that reality.  For example, the picaresque stories of Captain Roque Guinart and Gines de Pasamonte presents
the world as seen from below with a rich mine of observations of how people in low walks of life function.  By exposing the cons, the swindles, and the scams of two wandering and dissolute antiheroes, readers are shown how outlaws function in real life (i.e. thei method-of-operation, what their ambitions are, and why they do what they do.)  Part and parcel of this underworld glimpse, in turn, is a searing look on the “materialistic, or sordid,”[1] in the respective tales of these two underworld figures.  This, indeed, is why Roque Guinart, on the one hand, and Gines de Pasamonte, on the other, present a series of realistic portraits of shady inns, forest hideaways, and vegetative glades in the novel. 

In conclusion, the book’s graphic exposition of the criminal underworld conveys the idea that one’s understanding of select portions of reality is based on their connection to that reality.  This, in brief, is why Cervantes discusses a plethora of sayings, doings, happenings, and events in Don Quixote from a variety of different perspectives.       


[1] Dr.Roberto Gonzalez
Eschevarria, Sterling professor of Hispanic and comparative literature, Yale
University.