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Is Don Quixote an idealist or a realist?

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pisenotes | Student | eNoter

Posted March 7, 2011 at 1:39 AM via web

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Is Don Quixote an idealist or a realist?

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Ashley Kannan | Middle School Teacher | (Level 3) Distinguished Educator

Posted March 7, 2011 at 2:11 AM (Answer #1)

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Quixote is an idealist.  Perhaps, he ends up learning the harsh truth of the world, but his defining elements are ones of idealism.  He pursues a conception of the good that only exists in his own mind and he has little care for how others perceive him.  Quixote lives in the world of dreams.  His defense of Dulcinea's honor might be completely antihetical to what reality presents, yet that is irrelevant to him.  What Quixote believes is in his own mind and his own pursuit of it is idealistic, in its very nature.  The idealism present in Quixote is what makes the novel so compelling in that he passionately speaks to what it means to be human in terms of believing in one's dreams and appropriating the world in accordance to one's own subjectivity.  In this element, one sees the overwhelming idealism present in the character of Quixote.

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