Spanish classic teaches confidence and courage
Taking on windmills
Published: Dec 13, 2023 08:13 PM
Editor's Note:

"Read ten thousand books, and your pen will be guided as if by the gods" is an ancient Chinese idiom that can be seen in students' textbooks. China's Ministry of Education has published an action plan to further promote reading among students across the nation. With new and diverse book recommendations, the reading scene is expected to be revived not only at schools, but also across society. To contribute to this endeavor, the Global Times launched "My Reading Life" essay contest for middle school students.

Please pick up a pen and share your stories with us at

Participants will be rewarded once the article has been selected.



My favorite book is Don Quixote, by Spanish writer Miguel de Cervantes Saavedra. The first time I read this book was when I was a little kid. At first I thought the protagonist was ridiculous and crazy, because of his behavior. But this time, I realized the writer's ideas and I now know why the book is regarded as the pride of Spain. It taught me a lot. Since then, I have become more careful and braver. I choose to overcome and solve difficulties in a positive attitude.

The protagonist Don was a gentleman of La Mancha, who liked to read knight novels. After he read hundreds of novels, he decided to become a knight himself. 

Therefore, he started to have an adventure with his neighbor, Sancho, who left his family to become a servant. During the adventure, they met many interesting people, such as the owner of a hotel, a priest, Cardenio and Don's beloved, Dulcinea. And they sparked incidents that are funny and silly, like Don seeing a windmill as a giant or thinking a sheep was an army. Finally, Don calmed down, but at that time he was ill and weak. He made a will and then he died. This moment he wasn't Don Quixote but his original identity, Alonso Quixano.

In the novel, Don was crazy, silly and ridiculous. His mentality and crazy behavior often got him into trouble or made other people ridicule him. But I think he is brave; he can do things that he wants. He can do these crazy things at leisure. He doesn't care about what other people think. Just like Don entreated the owner of the hotel to dub him a knight. During the ceremony, he didn't care that two girls laughed at him and was actually thankful. I think this point is important for me, that I could do something at leisure bravely.

Sancho is Don's servant. He always follows Don faithfully. Like once, they met Yanguesans. If Sancho followed Don to fight them, he might get hurt. However, he still followed Don. That's how faithful he was! Once Don ordered him to dispatch a letter to Don's beloved. When Sancho stood outside of the village, some people asked him to find Don, but he said nothing, because Don didn't want them to find him. I think we should be faithful and honest to our friends and family, which is the foundation of happiness.

The writer lived in a special time. It was a time when the knight spirit was obsolete. 

The writer judged this spirit and the rules by this book. The plot shows the writer's ideas, like Don helping a farmer. He was a fan of justice.

Through this book, I learned I should do things bravely. 

No matter what other people say, I will just be myself. Through reading, I have learned about different cultures of different countries. It has given me a goal.

The author is a student at Beijing Wenhui Middle School