The novel Don Quixote, by Miguel Cervantes, is an exploration into the idea of created reality. Cervantes, through the character of Don Quixote, illustrates to readers how we as human beings often make reality to be whatever we want it to be.
Don Quixote is a perfect example of "created reality." The character Don Quixote is real, and he lives in a real world, but everything that he sees is exaggerated in his mind. It all begins with his name. Don Quixote was not actually a Don. He was a wealthy, intelligent farmer who read too many books about knighthood and went crazy. He convinced a simple-minded peasant named Sancho to become his squire, promising him wealth and a high spot in society. This book consists of many adventures these two had, both were convinced that they were doing brave and honorable acts of chivalry, when they were only two fools running around the countryside.
Don Quixote sees what his mind and imagination create, not that which is actually perceived through his eyes. He retreats to a world that holds meaning for him. When he first departs, he stops at an inn and his eyes make it a beautiful castle with blushing maids and noble sirs. Another example of Don Quixote's rampant imagination is the famous windmill incident. Quixote believes the windmills he sees in the distance to be thirty monstrous giants. In this scene, Cervantes lets the reader know that Quixote has little grasp of reality. Sancho tried to tell Quixote that the giants were only windmills, but he wouldn't listen. Sancho couldn't fathom that his master was mad, so he shuts the incident out of his mind, displaying some of the madness of Don Quixote in our supposedly sane squire. I believe that Sancho despises the fact that his master might be mad, but accepts some of the lunacy to make his job easier.
Despite his delusions, however, Don Quixote is fiercely intelligent and, at times, seemingly sane. No single analysis of Don Quixote's character can...