Miguel de Cervantes’s Don Quixote (1605) has inspired many writers to create their own modern day Don Quixote. Writers like Kathy Acker, Paul Auster, and Daniel Venegas have used Cervantes’ work to not only express themselves, but also the times they lived in. These writers along with many others have adopted Cervantes’s notion of quixotism (book-inspired idealism) and applied it to their own individual works. In his novel, The Adventures of Don Chipote or When Parrots Breastfeed, (1928) Daniel Venegas used the quixotic notion as a vessel to showcase the idealism and disillusionment of a Mexican immigrant in the early twentieth century. Towards this end Vengenas draws upon the picaresque aspect of the original Don Quixote, focusing on Chipote’s misadventures in a 1920s America that exploits Mexican immigrants and is indifferent to their plight. The Adventures of Don Chipote or When Parrots Breastfeed focuses on Don Chipote, a poor rural farmer living in Mexico with his wife and kids. Don Chipote, similar to Don Quixote, doesn’t have much in his life. He lives a simple life as a bracero on a ranch. Don Chipote constantly daydreams of being able to provide a better life for himself and his family. “He dreamt that the cornfields, rather than ears of corn, yielded a harvest of glittering gold coins and he felt downright extraordinary because now he no longer needed to work.” (21) His desire to live a better life up until he met Pitacio was nothing but a dream. Pitacio also grew up poor in the same town as Don Chipote. From an early age Pitacio had a fear of working.
Of poor yet drunk parents, the boy demonstrated a terrible fear of work from a very early age; for all times that Pitacio’s father sent him out to scare away the birds so they would not eat the crops, he had yet to get Pitacio to obey. (23)
When his parents passed away, Pitacio was forced to start working. Due to his lazy work ethic, Pitacio had no choice but to
Cited: Venegas, Daniel, and Ethriam Cash. Brammer. The Adventures of Don Chipote, Or, When Parrots Breast Feed. Houston, TX: Arte Público, 2000. Print