Essay on Cervantes’ Don Quixote and St. Augustine’s Confessions

Essay on Cervantes’ Don Quixote and St. Augustine’s Confessions

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Cervantes’ Don Quixote and St. Augustine’s Confessions


Christianity teaches that in order to be able to truly serve God, one must give up worldly pleasures, which are deemed selfish. Throughout literature, many authors touch on this subject, some in very direct manners. Such is the case in Cervantes’ Don Quixote and St. Augustine’s Confessions. In excerpts from each, the narrator describes how he had undergone a change from relishing in worldly and selfish activities to renouncing such immoral pleasures in order to follow the moral path to God. As each passage progresses, the narrator tells of his past and his new thinking in the present, and ends by praising God for His mercy. Throughout the passages, several dichotomies exist between the past and the present, positive and negative, moral and immoral. In the end, it is the mercy of God that acts as the driving force behind each man’s change in thoughts and actions. The moral laws of religion outweigh man’s desires, as can be seen through the diction in each passage as the narrator contrasts his negative past with the positive present by denying that which he once loved, and as he praises God for granting mercy for his sins.

In the passage from Cervantes, Don Quixote begins his speech by addressing his friends as “good sirs” and informing them that he has “good news” for them. The positive word “good” immediately prepares the reader for what follows: Don Quixote’s repudiation of his sinful past. By saying that he is “no longer” Don Quixote of La Mancha, the man he has claimed to be for the entire novel, Don Quixote, or Alonso Quixano, displays a marked change in thought. This change is expressed positively because the past is considered negative. The same occurs in St. Au...


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...t path to follow.

Thus, the power of God rules over the lives of both St. Augustine and Don Quixote of La Mancha. Without such strong Christian values, these men would have continued living their lives for the pleasures afforded by imagination and art rather than those gained from a loving God. Whether or not the path of God is the right one is questionable. Should a man entirely give up his source of enjoyment and entertainment for the sole purpose of serving God? The specific words used in each passage, when looked at closely, show this version of the answer clearly: yes. According to the ideas expressed in Don Quixote and The Confessions, the right way is the way of God, and any other pleasures are sinful. After all, it is God who put Don Quixote back in his “right senses,” and taught Augustine to reject “shameful deeds” and believe in God’s “purity of love.”

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