June 18, 2011
Don Quixote de la Mancha is written by Miguel Cervantes but it is unclear who is narrating the entire story. It is evident that the narration switches from first point of view and to the third point of view. The stories which are addressed in the novel are framed within each other and all include some sort of dialogue. This then raises a question for the audience of who is telling the story. The text states, “But this doesn’t matter much, as far as our story’s concerned, provided that the narrator doesn’t stray one inch from the truth” ( Cervantes 25). The text also states that “… and if anything worthwhile is missing from it, it’s my belief that it’s the dog of an author who wrote it that’s to blame, rather than any defect in the subject. At all events the second part began like this according to the translation:” (Cervantes 76). Both lines from the novel show that there is an unreliable narrator. The earlier portion of the story warns the reader that the narrator is likely to tell the truth, but the fact that this statement is written on the first page of the first chapter is extremely weird. Sure the narrator could be telling the tale of Don Quixote but there is no way for the audience to find out the truth. It seems that both statements are from the first person point of view. Words such as “our” and “my” connect directly to the reader and let the reader know that whoever is telling the story is speaking from experience. Although the narrator is not someone we can identify, we do know that he or she is getting information from an additional source. The second quote explains that the continuation of the story of Don Quixote is able to occur because the original text has been found. The narrator is using the original Arabic text of Don Quixote to finish the story that we are being told. The statement calls upon “the dog of an author” who can be assumed to be the actual creator of the story. Again, one cannot go with this assumption because the first statement is warning the reader that the rest of the story may be a fabrication.
De Cervantes Saavedra, Miguel. The Ingenious Hidalgo Don Quixote de la Mancha. Trans. John Rutherford. Columbus, MT: Penguin, 2003. Print.