Author

Vicki Redmond

Date of Award

4-15-1974

Document Type

Thesis

Degree Name

Bachelor of Arts

Department

English

Abstract

Illusion is an integral part of Miguel de Cervantes' Don Quixote and John Barth's The Sot Weed Factor. It plays an important part in both the characters of the protagonists, Don Quixote and Ebenezer Cooke, respectively, and in the lives and actions of several of the secondary characters. Furthermore, the reader of these works himself is influenced by the aura of illusion and fantasy which surrounds all the actions in these novels. The idea of illusion and fantasy that is so prevalent colors the way in which the reader identifies with these characters and their deeds. In both of these novels it is important to measure the value of the illusions which seem almost to dictate the action. The rise and fall of both Don Quixote and Ebenezer Cooke's illusions parallel in many ways and demonstrate their value to the holder of the illusion in strikingly similar ways. What is more, these illusions are of such strength that they influence significantly the lives of several characters close to the protagonist. The intrusion of reality comes only after the main character has become totally disillusioned--only after every remnant of the illusion is gone, for as long as there is any shred left, both Don Quixote and Ebenezer will cling to it. It is quite significant how dependent the protagonists are on their illusions in order to function.

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