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Example of Book Reviews: “Don Quixote” by Miguel de Cervantes

Student’s tip: When you are writing a book review essay make sure that you provide a brief plot overview of the book so the reader that is unfamiliar with it will understand your main concepts.

Summary of the book

Don Quixote is obsessed with the ideas from the books about knights, which he has read, to the extent that he decides to leave his common lifestyle and begin fighting with evil and help poor people. After his first adventure was failed he finds a companion Sancho Panza. And since a laborer Sancho is not fond with the chivalrous ideals as much as Don Quixote is he needs something for his service. Thus, Don Quixote promises him a career of rich governor. All his defeats Don Quixote dedicates to the peasant woman Dulcinea del Toboso that he sees as a princess.

In search of glory Don Quixote comes across numerous adventures on his way. However, due to his naive vision of life he is the only one who sees them as victories. For example, he leaves a boy in the hands of the enraged farmer just because he promises not to harm the boy.

Context of the novel

Publication of the first volume of “Don Quixote” in 1605 gifts a real popularity and prosperity to its author, Miguel de Cervantes. In about 10 years writer manages to finish the second volume of the novel and to publish it.

A lot of elements of the book were taken from Miguel de Cervantes’s real life, thus, we can draw some analogies with Spain of that time and stories that take place in the book. Besides historical and social aspects, Cervantes tries to illustrate morality, human identity and art points. To a big extent, “Don Quixote” appears to be a parody of the romances about knights that were on the peak at that time in Europe. Don Quixote himself appears to be a caricature of the knight from the romances although he is led by the same principles of chivalry. He rides an old horse, his companion is companion is mainly directed by practical purposes, the lady of his heart is a poor peasant woman.

Writing style and major themes

The novel, which consists of three sections, presents various types of narration, such as parody of contemporary romances about knights in the first section, episodic breaking of chapters, and accurate documenting of each day in the story. The third section is written in mostly traditional way that includes development of characters and emotional and content organization.

In the novel Miguel de Cervantes reveals the theme of different systems of morality. Don Quixote as a representative of chivalry ideals is led by high principles and beliefs in human nature. He tries to make surrounding people to accept the same code of behaviors but fails as this moral manner is out-of-date for his contemporaries. As we can see, only a simple-minded Sancho Panza is able to be a medium for the Don Quixote’s and the real world. Enchantment of Don Quixote is not accepted by other people and they all take him just like a weird man.

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