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Man Of La Mancha

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People choose to live their lives their own way and some of these people end up unhappy, and feel that their life is not worth living. The choice a person makes on how they want to live their life, ultimately determines their future. A person should choose to live in an illusion which leads to hope, rather then reality which leads them to despair. The musical play "Man of La Mancha", written by Dale Wasserman, is a perfect example of this because in the play, there are characters who live in illusion and characters who live in reality. Illusion leads a person to hope, and hope gives a person something to live for. One persons hope can inspire another to change and to believe. Reality can lead a person to despair, which can lead that person to depression, second guessing themselves and their lives. In the play, some characters go through the transformation from reality to illusion which betters their lives.

Despair leads a person to depression. When Doctor Carrasco showed Don Quixote who he really was, Don Quixote became weak and depressed. When he was on his death bed, he said "why should a man get better when he is dying? It is such a waste of good health." (Man of La Mancha pg 75). His death is upon him and he has no hope for getting better. He is not Don Quixote anymore, but Alonso Quijana. On page sixty of Man of La Mancha, Don Miguel Cervantes says "I have lived nearly fifty-years and I have seen live as it is. Pain, misery, hunger....cruelty beyond belief." He states how life is if you see it as it is, rather then seeing the illusion. "I have been a soldier and seen my comrades fall in battle. I have held them in my arms at the final moment. These were men who saw life as it is, yet they died despairing. No glory, no gallant last words...only their eyes filled with confusion, whimpering the question: Why? I don't think they asked why

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they were dying but why they had lived." (Man of La Mancha pg 60). Reality made these men second guess their existence in this world and that is not a good way to live life.

One persons hope can inspire another to change and to believe. Don Quixote's illusion inspired Aldonza to believe that not all men are bad, the world is not such a bad place and that she is not ugly but in fact beautiful. He inspired her to change. When Aldonza enters the play, she sees life as it is and her feelings about the world and the people in it are revealed. "This I have learned: that when the light's out, No man will burn a special flame, You'll prove to me, before the night's out, You're all the same, you're all the same." (Man of La Mancha pg 19). She feels that there are no nice men in the world and that all men are the same. "The world's a dungheap and we are maggots that crawl on it" (Man of La Mancha pg 49). She thinks the world "stinks" and so do the people that occupy it. Her attitude soon changes and she begins to give into the illusion and see that the world is not such a bad place. When Don Quixote becomes Alonso Quijana, Aldonza and Sanchos hope inspired him to remember the illusion



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