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Throughout the course, I have noticed a shocking number of similarities between the novels and theories that we have examined and Don Quixote, which I am reading for my Spanish class. This may not seem surprising since Don Quixote is often considered a candidate for the title of “the first novel,” but it is interesting to me because Don Quixote was first published well over a century before the first novels that we examined in this class. It is also intriguing to look at the different traditions that our novels and Don Quixote evolved out of, as well as the cultural elements that influenced the novels. I have made a lot of interesting connections between our novels and Don Quixote throughout the class, but I have narrowed my ideas for the final paper down to two potential options. My first idea would be comparing and connecting Don Quixote to Northanger Abbey. They are an unlikely match, since Don Quixote is a legendary work in its own right that essentially made Cervantes, whereas Northanger Abbey is a lesser-known work by a famous writer. Additionally, Don Quixote was published more than two hundred years prior to Northanger Abbey, and there are obvious gender differences (authors and characters) as well. Nonetheless, I noticed a lot of striking similarities between the two novels which I think would be really interesting to explore, including: • Both novels parody the conventions of their genre • Yet at the same time they make a case for the novel o And they are both better versions of the previous novels that they are lambasting. In mocking the genre, they are simultaneously improving it. • Both protagonists are not naturally-born heroes. They are unlikely heroes who must develop into their protagonist role, which is a rupture with the previous literary traditions. • They both also establish an interesting relationship between novels and real life. Through their protagonists, they make fun of those who would try to see novels as exact representations of real life. Yet they also prove that novels still hold value without attempting to adhere directly to reality. o This is related to the debate/evolution of reading as pure entertainment or something more involved/useful. Both novels definitely deal with this theme, although I believe their messages diverge a bit. I am not 100% sure how I am going to synthesize all these connections into a clear takeaway about the impact of comparing Don Quixote and Northanger Abbey on the rise of the Anglo-American novel. However, I do think there is a lot to be said about the work that these novels do in terms of advancing the novel, tweaking and developing its existing conventions, and dealing with the task of reading. If I do not go that route, I would like to look at Don Quixote as it connects to Daisy Miller. There are fewer overlaps between these two novels, but a particularly striking connection between them is the idea of a character’s hidden subjectivity and an unreliable narrator. I think I could say a lot about the way that these elements, present in different ways in both novels, deal with subjectivity on the part of the reader and the advent of reading as an involved, interpretive task, rather than pure entertainment. Don Quixote especially goes even further than Daisy Miller in this area, so it would be interesting to look at the implications of that on the rise of the Anglo-American novel. Obviously, like my other idea, I still need to think through an exact synthesis of the impact of these connections.