Tuesday, August 24, 2010

Question of the Week (9/10/10)


Describe Alonso Quixano's transformation into Don Quixote. Is he insane? What is the danger in believing only one's own truths? Share a memory where you thought you were right about something and someone changed your mind. Remember to respond to a classmates' response. Post by Monday, September 13 by the end of the school day.

21 comments:

Hudson Schuchman said...

Alonso Quixano's transformation into becoming Don Quixote was the result of reading lots of books about knights and princesses. He decided that he wanted to stop reading about knights traveling and going on adventures, and start living a life of adventure. He fixes up some old armor and makes a helmet for himself. I don't think that he's insane, but I do think he has some mental issues. There have been many times when I have thought I was right and others had to set me straight. Recently I was pronouncing someones name incorrectly and someone had to correct me.

Haiti quilter said...

I disagree with hudson. i think that he has some insanity in him. I think that books and thoughts of chivalry kind of took over his world and his mind. I think that you do have to be somewhat insane to not just dress up as a knight for fun, but to believe that you actually are a knight. His transformation started with his love of books and chivalry. They then took over his mind and he decided to become a knight. The danger in believing only ones truths is that you could lose a grasp on reality. You could start living in your own world. When I was little i thought that jet streams were called sky scrapers because they looked like a scrape on the sky.

Parker Gardner said...

Alonso Quixano's transformation into Don Quixote took place over a period of time. Quixano's obsession with books of chivalry and knights-errant grew stronger and stronger as Quixano read more literature and sold his land and estate to fund his ever-growing library. As Quixano continued to read, sometimes for days on end, the lines between fiction and reality blurred, Quixano’s ability to judge what was real, fake, wise, or foolish, diminished. At the brink on insanity, Quixano decided that he too was suited for the life of adventure, maidens, and danger that filled his books and head. He set off from his mansion in old amour and a makeshift helmet, thus forth to be known as Don Quixote, and his horse as Rocinante. At this point I think that Quixote was not only insane, but completely and resolutely convinced that he was, and had what it took to be a knight. Believing that only he could be correct endangered Quixote, as it could have resulted in his being asked to perform dangerous tasks under the title of knight. Believing only ones self to be right is always dangerous because as we all base decisions on what we feel is true or false, basing a decision on one’s false assumption can lead to mistakes, risks and danger. Recently, I bet a friend they could not successfully perform a trick in a soccer game but they could and did. I agree with Haiti and think that Quixote was insane. I also agree that it can be dangerous to believe only one’s own word because one can loose their grip on reality.

David W. said...

I think Parker described Don Quixano's gradual decline into insanity perfectly. It was a result of hundreds of hours of reading that stopped only at the point at which Don Quixote could no longer discern between what was real and what was a figment of his imagination. By the time he was finished with his highly extensive reading, I think that without a question, he was completely insane. At this point, he fashions makeshift armor and saddles a horse which he names Rocinante then sets off on a adventure which is augmented by his total insanity. I also agree with Haiti that there is danger in believing only in what you think is true because it can lead to serious problems perceiving reality as it really is. One time that I was corrected on something that I was convinced was true was a while back, when my younger brother proved that he could in fact eat more pizza than I could. He managed to eat almost two slices after I gave up.

Parker said...

You all described the transformation of Alonso Quixano's into Don Quixote perfectly. I agree that he already had some sort of mental illness that was growing and the illness distorted fact from fiction. After reading books about chivalry, knighthood, and saving the damsels in distress Don Quixote assumed that these books were true, and were the way that everyone lived. Reading these books pushed Quixote over the edge into complete mental insanity. The danger in believing in one's own truths is that we all can sometimes forget the difference between our own fantasies and reality. When we start believing our fantasies to be true we fail to see what is actually going on in reality. I thought the tooth fairy was real until fifth grade, when I found my old teeth stashed in my dad's sock drawer.

killer wombat said...

I don't think that Don Quixote was insane, however, I do think that he was delusional. He read so much about others doing great things and becoming dashing knights who wooed innocent maidens, that he began to think that it would be easy for him to have a go at it. He probably went through all of the steps he would have to do in his head, before he even started. He thought about what the others had, armor, horses, and chivalry. So he decided to find some armor, which took a little bit of improvisation involving the helmet. Then he needed a noble steed, so he found his old horse and renamed it Rocinante. With the hundreds of books about knights and their chivalry as reference, he deemed himself chivalrous enough to be worthy of knighthood. Through all of the books that he read, Alonso Quixano began to think too highly of himself, without any of the proof. For all he did was sit in his house and read books, never did he stray out to train for knighthood. He only assumed that the experience that he gained from fairy tales was enough for him to make it as a knight. This however was incorrect.
I agree with Parker Gardner that Don Quixote was on the brink of insanity when he decided to become a knight, but I don’t think that he actually went insane. If he had been insane, then he would have been extremely irrational and come to outlandish conclusions, instead he came to rational conclusions as a result of be delusional and having false information.

Sam Merrens

Meryl said...

I think that Don Quixote is insane. He has this huge fantasy about what knighthood is all about. Then he decides to become a knight himself. He makes a helmet, finds a lady, fixes up his horse and then ends up getting knighted but the inn runner. His own believes and ideas are fairly delusional which makes him seen insane. I agree with Parker that he has some sort of mental illness to start off with and that is probably why he read so many books about knighthood and chivalry. I also agree with Sam that he thought higher and higher of himself from reading the books, but with no formal training, it hardly counts. I think that he didn't start out insane when he decided to become a knight, but the way he did it and what he did when he was a knight was insane.

Emily said...

Alonso Quixano became Don Quixote from reading all about chivalry, knights, princesses, and great adventures. Don Quixote is not completely insane, he just has an amazing imagination and is delusional. He'd read all about knights adventures, and one day he decided to become a knight. He thought that since he'd read all about it he'd be ready to be one. This proved to be false. In this case believing in his own truths can be dangerous. When he tried to attack the merchant for insulting Dulcinea, he almost got himself killed. I used to think j-walking was when you walked in a J across on intersection, until someone told me what it really meant.
I agree with Parker Gardner and Sam in that he is on the brink of insanity, but not quite fully insane.

Carl Tischbein said...

I think that Don Quixote is definitely insane. Not only is it briefly mentioned in the prologue that he read too many books and is at least mentally unstable, but his actions also clearly convey his insanity. When he visits the inn, he does not seem to notice that the pretty maids are actually prostitutes, the castle he is staying in is a dumpy inn, and the royal food he is eating is actually garbage. He seems completely oblivious. He just believes too much in himself and the only time he shows possible sanity is when he worries that he will get in trouble for acting like a knight even though he is not actually a knight. If he continues to believe in his own truths, he will eventually work himself toward trouble (like the fake knight situation). Besides believing in yourself, you have to acknowledge other people's laws that are also necessary to move forward. One time during school, we were assigned to a project. I thought my way of doing the project was better and more creative and I was told to believe in myself and to do what I thought was right. I did go through with it, and as a result, my grade suffered. THis shows that one does need to recognize and follow the rules of others as well as your own. I guess I do agree with Hudson in the fact that he at least has mental issues, but I would take it a step further and say the Don Quixote is indeed insane.

Marlou Taenzer said...

According to the dictionary the definition of insanity is as follows, the state of being seriously mentally ill; madness. I agreed with Carl, Don Quixote seems to be insane. Don Quixote read many many books about knights, princesses and adventures. His obsession with these books continued to grow and grow, until it became the center point of his life. Eventually he decided the he could/should be a knight. I also agree with Carl, that Don Quixote only believes his own truths.
Believing only ones own truths is very dangerous. Because as people we often base our decisions on what we believe to be true or correct, however if what we based our decision on is incorrect it can lead to further danger not only to oneself but also to others. I believe that it is our duty to not be selfish when making decisions especially those that effect many people, and discuss decisions with others.
Last week I had a lab report for my chemistry class that was due on Friday. On Tuesday I came home after a long day at school, drivers ed, and a tennis lesson. I knew that I should probably start the lab but I didn't because I told myself that I still had two days to do it. My parents told me that I would be up late on Thursday night if I didn't get started. On Wednesday I went out with friends, and told myself that I could do it Thursday and it wouldn't take that long. My parents once again told me to get a move on, but I didn't. The result being I was up until 1am on Thursday night writing the lab report, and was very tired on Friday. If I had listened to my parents and started earlier, I would have been much better off.
Sometimes it's best to accept others opinions as true even if at the time it doesn't seem to be the more appealing choice. In the long run it could be the better choice.

Monica said...

In the beginning Alonso Quixano is an obsessive fantasy reader. You can tell he starts to lose touch with reality when he begins selling large chunks of income-providing property in order to buy more books. This is where someone should have stepped in. However it never mentions any people who look out for him, other than servants, so there was no one who could step in. As a result he continues to read these books until he completely loses touch with reality, renaming himself Don Quixote. Still, I'm not sure if this is insanity or severe obsession. One could argue that he convinces himself, rather then actually sees, the inn as a castle, the prostitutes as fair maidens, etc. The danger of believing one's own truths is, obviously, not being in touch with reality, and that has consequences of its own. A common example where you thought one thing and a someone convinced you otherwise is when recounting a story and other people who were there will often add in. Sometimes you agree, meaning they were right and you remembered incorrectly, or sometimes you hold to your own opinion.
I disagree with Carl Tischbein's comment that Don Quixote believed in himself to much. I think he believed in the stories too much that he lost his sense of self. In that way he truly believes himself to be a knight, but he doesn't necessarily believe in himself - only the made up image his mind has created for himself.

erbear508 said...

I think Alonso Quixano became Don Quixote because he wanted to. Alonso was a pretty boring and homely person, but then he decided to take control of his life and become a more adventurous and fun person. It definitely shows a lot of courage to complete change yourself without caring what others say or do! I think Alonso was bored of his life, so he was just trying out a different lifestyle and he liked it so he stuck with it.

erbear508 said...

I agree with killerwombat, that Alonso was not insane at all, just the books he read made him want to do things he had never done. So, he started acting insane because he thought that would fit the part and in a way it did because it enabled him to be what he wanted to be...a knight.

Daniel said...

I disagree with Killer Wombat that Don Quixote is insane. Don Quixote did read lots of books about knights and chivalry but that still does not mean that he can go out and act crazy. Don Quixote is insane when he thinks that the inn was a castle where he was going to be knighted. Don Quixote is insane and does not know what he is doing. He did read lots of great books about great knights but that does not mean he can go out and act crazy because those great knights were not crazy people.

Charlie said...

I believe that Don Quixote is insane. I agree with Daniel that he is not in his right mind. He is riding around thinking he is a knight. He is oblivious to the real world. I think that he is for sure insane. The danger in believing in only one's own truthes is that they will have a difficult time adapting to situations and learning. People need to approach life with an open mind. Often times when speaking with my brother we will get in a bit of a disagreement, and I will be stubborn with my opinion no matter what, despite how foolish it may be. Sometimes I'm wrong and he's right and this makes me feel quite dumb.

Kate Kerin said...

Everyone has recounted Alonso Quixano’s transformation into Don Quixote quite well. Reading way too many books on chivalry caused Alonso Quixano’s transformation into Don Quixote. He drives himself mad in his readings, which causes him to believe he is a knight in his old family armor. Soon after obtaining the armor he saddles a horse, decides to make an ordinary farm girl his lady and adopts the name Don Quixote for himself. I agree with Monica when she says he might be insane or he might just have convinced himself of everything. I think that if people tell themselves something over and over they can start to believe what they are telling themselves. It can be risky when you only believe in your own truths. You can have a very distorted and narrow image of yourself and the world, just like in Don Quixote’s case. Things can turn out bad for you if you don’t listen to others opinions. I remember that I was once at a track race on a hot day and my coach told me a time to warm up. I was not used to warming up at the time he said so I just did my usual warm up. I was wrong and as a result I had a terrible race. It can be very useful to listen to other’s advice, especially when they are much more experienced than you.

Eleanor S. said...

At the point we are at in the story, I do not think that Don Quixote is acting insanely. He made the choice to read the books, which then sparked his choice to become a knight because he believed in their moral code. I agree with Erin's opinion that reading the books opened him up to a whole new world he never knew existed, and as a result he wants to experience sone of that adventure. He is doing what he believes to be the right thing to do, and even if we as readers don't neccesarily agree with his reasoning, we can still se the logic behind it. He is still coherent and functional, so I would qualify his behaviors as obsession rather than insanity. Sure, he has gone overboard with his devotion to knighthood, and I agree with Kate when she says that he has begun to believe in his own truths about how the world is rather than seeing what is really there all of the time. I think that people's reactions to his perspective on life will determine whether he snaps out of it or falls even deeper into his obsession and loses his grip on reason entirely.

Oren said...

I think that perhaps the most grievous consequence of being completely immersed in you own world is perhaps that you are not fully aware of what is going on at the time and place, and that you might loose everything that you have; respect for you, your house, and your connections with people just to be in this dream state or this imaginary world. I personally think that Don Quixote is not necessarily insane yet, but I think that if he continues on the road that he has taken, eventually he will be so immersed in the is fake reality, that he will appear mentally insane and his reactions to people and to contact with the world itself will be in a completely irrational and illogical nature. The transformation from Quixana to Don Quixote stems entirely form his reading of the poems and the books of chivalry. In the beginning he had enough land and money to purchase a great quantity of these books slowly and over the course of his reading all of them, he began to become delusional, and construct a fake world which his imagination built out of love for these tales and epics of chivalry.
I agree with what Eleanor says on his his obsession, in that other people's reactions of him will determine if he is to continue on in his knight-errant world, or whether he is to somehow break free, and restore his hold on reality.
One story that I had with being corrected, is that I was pronouncing a name wrong and I thought I was right, but the person corrected their name when i tried to say it. I was embarrassed at first, but then I was grateful, because they had helped me, and saved them further frustration.

David Desaulniers said...

He is at least mentally unstable, and possibly insane. DQ thinks that a innkeeper can knight him, and his behavior changes because of it. Once  realizes that he is not a knight, his behavior might change throughout the novel. It seems he can't handle the truth about the world anymore so he substitutes it with his novels fantasies. He is delusional and can't handle reality. But the part that puzzles me is how he did have a nice house and a previous life before the book started. But what made him become delusional?

anthony said...

I think that he was fine at one point but his obsession grew over time as he was reading his books. There was a long period of time where he was just reading books by himself which led to him being what he is now. Therefore, I think it started while he was reading and he had to read more and more and eventually reading was not good enough so he had to become a knight. I think Monica had a good point about how someone should have noticed when he was selling large pieces of land so he could buy more books.

Alli said...

I think that he is a crazy old man. He read many books about chivalry which he later became obsessed with and tried to live like the knights he has been reading about. Reality does hit Don Quixote sometimes but he tries to ignore it because he believes the way he's living his life is the way everyone should live. I agree with Charlie and Daniel because he is going around trying to make this better when nothing really needs to be done and he ends up hurting himself.