Jimenez, Carmen; Purkey, Lynn
University of Tennessee at Chattanooga
Place of Publication
In this essay, I will track the evolution of academic opinions in the late 20th and early 21st century of two main components of the episode: Marcela’s character and what it says about Cervantes’ perception of women’s autonomy, as well as Grisóstomo’s death and the rejection of the notion of suicide by past academics. Marcela’s dramatic rejection of societal demands and Gristósomo’s tragic and confusing death are radically exciting since there is so much left to be assumed about the two main characters that is not explicitly written. The story relies on irony and subversion to enunciate a certain message; this means that, inevitably, the message will be read differently by each reader. By tracing the episode’s critical attention, it becomes clear that Cervantes has made the themes in Don Quixote timelessly liable to interpretation; of course, this doesn’t mean that there isn’t a consensus on the meaning of the story today. Generally, most readers of Marcela’s story can agree that Cervantes has made it clear that Grisóstomo committed suicide; there has also been a sharp decline in the amount of papers published crticizing Marcela’s attitude, and a steady growth of papers instead recognizing Marcela as a pioneer of the independent woman. The ambiguity of the story, alongside the bucolic atmosphere, the parodic nature of the text, and the question of love and honor through Marcela and Gristóstomo’s actions have cemented this story into persistent cultural relevance and discussion.
B. A.; An honors thesis submitted to the faculty of the University of Tennessee at Chattanooga in partial fulfillment of the requirements of the degree of Bachelor of Arts.
Picaresque literature, Spanish--History and criticism
Cervantes Saavedra, Miguel de, 1547-1616--Criticism and interpretation
Jackson, Allison, "Decades of Don Quixote: tracking social progression through Marcela and Grisóstomo" (2023). Honors Theses.