June 20, 2011
“But this doesn’t matter much, as far as our story’s concerned, provided that the narrator doesn’t stray one from the truth.” (Cervantes 25)
This quotation sheds light on the novel Don Quixote by Cervantes. The reader is confused as to whether we have a reliable or unreliable narrator when we read the text. Who should we trust? The narrator is considered reliable if he or she does not “stray from the truth”, but if they somehow do this then they are deemed unreliable. At the same time, since the narrator is actually warning the reader that there is a possibility that there will be a stray from the truth, this can make the narrator some what reliable since it is a warning. The narrator is therefore helping the reader. It is a contradiction that creates confusion for the reader but overall it makes the novel more entertaining because its an introduction to Don Quixote’s character. Quixote cannot differentiatereality from imagination. He believes everything that he reads so he can be labeled as impressionable. We (the reader) are unaware of what the truth is and what fiction is. As the reader, we are reading through the perspective of the narrator but if the narrator is unreliable then what he/she is seeing can very well be fiction while Don Quixote’s perspective is the truth. Quotations like this that are throw in at the perfect moment really cause the reader to question everything that they read and it creates a more twists and turns in the book. The reader is constantly on his or her toes because the action is unpredictable, whether it is the truth or not, in terms of the speaker of the narrator.