Is this novel a “fable” or a “chronicle”?
Don Quixote is a complex work, it can be said to contain both fable and chronicle. Alonso Quixada lived in a real world, as well as his niece and housekeeper, the curate, the barber and Samson Carrasco the bachelor. So it seems to be a chronicle. However, in his transformation into the mad Knight Don Quixote, all his adventures with his Squire Sancho Pança and all other characters (during his madness), the story is switched into fable. So, I think Don Quixote is a fable which Cervantes ‘forced’ us to believe as a chronicle.
What does Don Quixote want? What is standing in his way? And what strategy does he pursue in order to overcome his block?
Don Quixote possesses real Christian quality, as he has an obsession to free the oppressed from their sorrows and troubles by entering the profession of knight-errantry, after having read (too) many books about it. He deludes himself to do what the books said, forces real objects to fit his fantasy, and therefore often meets failures and dangers. But, fails in finding reasonable cause, he takes them as being enchanted by magicians, and therefore he keeps fighting earnestly to fulfill his obsession.
Who is telling you this story?
I think it was told from the third-person objective, that is Cervantes’. He wrote Don Quixote as if it was a biography of the Knight.
What styles does the writer employ?
Complex—using complicated sentence (being written in 17th century)—and quite ornamental. Cervantes included a lot of verses and proverbs—thanks to Sancho—besides his great narrative style to describe the extravagant adventures.
Beginnings and endings
The book begins with introduction to Alonso Quixada’s quiet life in a rural village in La Mancha. But immediately after that his knight-errantry books poisoned him to his delusion. It reveals men’s helplessness against the power of ideas. The ending is a resolution; where Don Quixote is finally woken up from his madness and dies peacefully after confessing that men should not read books which have tendency to delude them. In it Cervantes wanted us to understand that we have choices, but also the power to make a good one.