Book review: “Don Quixote”

Reviewed by Tyler Lirette

The beginning of the 17th Century was a time of developing civilization at the expense of romanticized order and chivalry. Beneath a vow and the alluring vex of his insanity, Don Quixote de la Mancha devoted himself to knight-errantry for restoration of the outdated past and his beloved “princess.”

Miguel de Cervantes narrates the “prewritten” accounts of the hysterical knight whose wonderfully imaginative mind rejects reality-and anachronism.

Don Quixote is a middle-aged man with an obsession for the books of chivalry that composed the near entirety of his library. Years of arduous studying of the idealistic fiction had its toll on his sanity, persuading the knight to journey to vanquish evil, defended by his family’s protective heirlooms: a rusty shield and helmet made of cardboard.

Following his initial failed quest, Don Quixote convinces the peasant Sancho Panza to join him as his squire with the promise that such a position would entitle him to a sum of wealth guaranteed by the knight’s envisioned success.

The knight and squire, carried by old, bony horse and mule respectively, embark throughout Spain in search of adventure.

“Don Quixote” is a lengthy, yet wholesome work of fiction. However, fortified with the historical diction and vocabulary of a 17th century wordsmith, the book is only recommended for those of vast confidence with their reading.

I had great pleasure accompanying the knight on his crazed misadventures.

Tyler Lirette is a graduating senior in the academically gifted program at Hahnville High. He enjoys creative writing, reading, jiu jitsu and cross country. Tyler plans to attend Loyola University in New Orleans to study chemistry.

Editor’s note: Book reviews are published weekly during the summer in agreement with Hahnville High School gifted English teacher Deborah Unger in conjunction with the Brown Foundation Service Learning Program.


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