1 Dugul

Thesis Statements For Don Quixote


  1. ,  PM#1

    I need help writing a thesis!!!

    My essay question is: "Discuss the relevance of pastoral novels and poetry in Don Quixote". I want to demonstrate how La Galatea, Diana and Diana Enamorada have influenced the work. I am struggling to write a thesis as i have never done one before. I have this idea for an introduction.

    "As demonstrated by Alpers (), the pastoral is a literary mode which ‘puts the complex into the simple’. Its primary function is ‘hostility to urban life’, and through constant promotion of rustic, natural living, Miguel de Cervantes has created the masterpiece that is Don Quixote. He has drawn on many pastoral elements from other texts such as Montemayor’s Diana, Gil Polos’ La Diana Enamorada and his own, La Galatea"

    Can you please give me some advice?
    thanks
  2. ,  PM#2
    Registered User
    Join Date
    Dec
    Location
    Fremantle Western Australia
    Posts
    9,
    Blog Entries
    62
    Before sunlight can shine through a window, the blinds must be raised - American Proverb
    No. Lol. Is this your thesis statement and are you going to structure your essay around this?

  3. ,  PM#3
    In the fog
    Join Date
    Dec
    Location
    trapped in a prologue.
    Posts
    2,
    Blog Entries
    7
    I wrote a poem on a leaf and it blew away
    I think you need some help with this one: the sort of "don't be afraid to go to your professor and admit that you are having trouble" help, or the "actually read Alpers' book or Don Quixote, if you haven't" sort of help. There is a lot of muddling going on in this thesis, which is unfortunately considering how vague it is. You really have to dig a bit deeper into both Alpers' work and Don Quixote to figure out what is really going on.

    It might help if you don't split your focus. If you want to compare Quixote to the three other works, focus on the similar threads in these works (and just saying that they have elements of the pastoral does not count). If you are focusing on Quixote in light of literary criticism, do that. And if Alpers' work is not wholly relevant to your essay - then get rid of him from the thesis.

  4. ,  PM#4
    Bibliophile
    Join Date
    Feb
    Location
    Toronto
    Posts
    6,
    As vague as the thesis is, it is quite clear in the book. The pastoral scenes, and the crap poetry around them are easily identifiable. As a stretch, you could call the whole chivalric tradition being parodied a form of Medieval Pastoral, though for traditional pastoral, it is still apparent in the book readily.

    As for a thesis, just make sure you are arguing. In general, first theses tend to discuss "what is the significance of x (in this case Pastoral elements) in X book (in this case Don Quixote). So, in order to frame your thesis, you must first answer your question what is the "point" the book is trying to make with Pastoral Elements, or if not point what is the "effect". If you do not know, you cannot even begin, if you do know (meaning you've read the book, and a little background on Pastoral traditions) then you can start to try and figure out where you stand on the issue.

  5. ,  AM#5

    The approach that I was thinking of taking is:

    -Take a key pastoral element
    -Identify its presence in other pastoral texts
    -Discuss how Cervantes' has drawn on this within Don Quixote

    I was going to choose about 5 key features. Could this work?
  6. ,  AM#6

    Yes. I'm trying to write one. Its rubbish, thats why I'm asking for advice!
    Originally Posted by Delta40
    No. Lol. Is this your thesis statement and are you going to structure your essay around this?
  7. ,  AM#7

  8. ,  AM#8

  9. ,  AM#9
    In the fog
    Join Date
    Dec
    Location
    trapped in a prologue.
    Posts
    2,
    Blog Entries
    7
    I wrote a poem on a leaf and it blew away
    That's certainly much closer.

  10. ,  AM#10

    How long should an introduction be, ideally? My essay should be words. I have a tendency to rant and perhaps include information that is somewhat irrelevant. I want to be as straight to the point as possible, without missing details etc.
    Originally Posted by Charles Darnay
    That's certainly much closer.
  11. ,  AM#11
    Registered User
    Join Date
    Mar
    Posts
    3,
    The putting the complex into the simple quote is not from Alpers. He's quoting William Empson.

    Don Quixote being a masterpiece is subjective. I think you could rephrase it so it sounds more critical, such as "widely acknowledged as a masterpiece" or "an important point in the history of the pastoral" or whatever you'd like to say. Unless you are going against the grain by saying that it is a masterpiece, I don't see any need to say it.

    As for your intro, is Alpers a critic you are going to refer to a lot? I don't know how big he is in the study of pastoral literature but I think it's better to be more vague about a definition.

    'Hostility to urban life' (quote from Alpers?) is a bit weak on its own. For a start, it's a widely acknowledged feature of the pastoral anyway and Alpers doesn't phrase it in an interesting enough way so that it's worth quoting. Hostility to urban life is more like hostility to the perceived corruption of urban life and its hecticness, so I would elaborate on "urban life".

    This is quite a good book on the pastoral: Kathryn Hume, Fantasy and Mimesis: Responses to Reality in Western Literature, (New York: Methuen )
    Originally Posted by loscuatrogatos
    My essay question is: "Discuss the relevance of pastoral novels and poetry in Don Quixote". I want to demonstrate how La Galatea, Diana and Diana Enamorada have influenced the work. I am struggling to write a thesis as i have never done one before. I have this idea for an introduction.

    "As demonstrated by Alpers (), the pastoral is a literary mode which &#;puts the complex into the simple&#;. Its primary function is &#;hostility to urban life&#;, and through constant promotion of rustic, natural living, Miguel de Cervantes has created the masterpiece that is Don Quixote. He has drawn on many pastoral elements from other texts such as Montemayor&#;s Diana, Gil Polos&#; La Diana Enamorada and his own, La Galatea"

  12. ,  AM#12

  13. ,  AM#13

    Ok. I think what I'm struggling with is how to construct an introduction given that I have to refer to the influences of numerous texts upon Don Quixote.
    Should these texts be mentioned in the introduction? Or should they be introduced as the essay progresses?
    Originally Posted by kelby_lake
    Different lecturers like different things. I would make your introduction succinct but clear about the position you are going to take on the influence of other pastoral texts on Don Quixote. You should also show why this is important in our understanding and appreciation of the text. For example, I could do an essay arguing that Hamlet and Horatio are gay, but we don't actually learn anything about the play from that. Whereas if I said that viewing them as homosexual adds to our appreciation of sexuality as a theme in the play, that is a basis for an essay.
Themes are the fundamental and often universal ideas explored in a literary work.

Perspective and Narration

Don Quixote, which is composed of three different sections, is a rich exploration of the possibilities of narration. The first of these sections, comprising the chapter covering Don Quixote’s first expedition, functions chiefly as a parody of contemporary romance tales. The second section, comprising the rest of the First Part, is written under the guise of a history, plodding along in historical fashion and breaking up chapters episodically, carefully documenting every day’s events. The third section, which covers the Second Part of the novel, is different since it is written as a more traditional novel, organized by emotional and thematic content and filled with character development. Cervantes alone reports the story in the first section, using a straightforward narrative style. In the second section, Cervantes informs us that he is translating the manuscript of Cide Hamete Benengeli and often interrupts the narration to mention Benengeli and the internal inconsistencies in Benengeli’s manuscript. Here, Cervantes uses Benengeli primarily to reinforce his claim that the story is a true history.

In the third section, however, Cervantes enters the novel as a character—as a composite of Benengeli and Cervantes the author. The characters themselves, aware of the books that have been written about them, try to alter the content of subsequent editions. This complicated and self-referential narrative structure leaves us somewhat disoriented, unable to tell which plotlines are internal to the story and which are factual. This disorientation engrosses us directly in the story and emphasizes the question of sanity that arises throughout the novel. If someone as mad as Don Quixote can write his own story, we wonder what would prevent us from doing the same. Cervantes gives us many reasons to doubt him in the second section. In the third section, however, when we are aware of another allegedly false version of the novel and a second Don Quixote, we lose all our footing and have no choice but to abandon ourselves to the story and trust Cervantes. However, having already given us reasons to distrust him, Cervantes forces us to question fundamental principles of narration, just as Quixote forces his contemporaries to question their lifestyles and principles. In this way, the form of the novel mirrors its function, creating a universe in which Cervantes entertains and instructs us, manipulating our preconceptions to force us to examine them more closely.

Incompatible Systems of Morality

Don Quixote tries to be a flesh-and-blood example of a knight-errant in an attempt to force his contemporaries to face their own failure to maintain the old system of morality, the chivalric code. This conflict between the old and the new reaches an absolute impasse: no one understands Don Quixote, and he understands no one. Only the simple-minded Sancho, with both self-motivated desires and a basic understanding of morality, can mediate between Don Quixote and the rest of the world. Sancho often subscribes to the morals of his day but then surprises us by demonstrating a belief in the anachronistic morals of chivalry as well.

In the First Part of the novel, we see the impasse between Don Quixote and those around him. Don Quixote cannot, for instance, identify with the priest’s rational perspective and objectives, and Don Quixote’s belief in enchantment appears ridiculous to the priest. Toward the end of the Second Part, however, Cervantes compromises between these two seemingly incompatible systems of morality, allowing Don Quixote’s imaginary world and the commonplace world of the Duke and the Duchess to infiltrate each other. As the two worlds begin to mix, we start to see the advantages and disadvantages of each. Sancho ultimately prevails, subscribing to his timeless aphorisms and ascetic discipline on the one hand and using his rational abilities to adapt to the present on the other.

The Distinction between Class and Worth

Distinguishing between a person’s class and a person’s worth was a fairly radical idea in Cervantes’s time. In Don Quixote, Cervantes attacks the conventional notion that aristocrats are automatically respectable and noble. The contrast between the Duke and Duchess’s thoughtless malice and Sancho’s anxiety-ridden compassion highlights this problem of class. Despite his low social status, the peasant Sancho is wise and thoughtful. Likewise, the lowly goatherds and shepherds often appear as philosophers. In contrast, the cosmopolitan or aristocratic characters like the Duke and Duchess are often frivolous and unkind. Cervantes’s emphasis on these disparities between class and worth is a primary reason that Don Quixote was such a revolutionary work in its time.

More main ideas from Don Quixote

Leave a Comment

(0 Comments)

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *