Miguel De Cervantes’ Biography

February 15, 2021 by Essay Writer

Miguel de Cervantes was a Spanish novelist born in 1547. Cervantes is best recognized for writing Don Quixote; however, he is also the author of many other notable pieces of literature. Yet, his finest novels were written after the age of 65, including Don Quixote. He was also a soldier who fought in the Battle of Lepanto where he was seriously wounded. Miguel de Cervantes was raised in a family with financial problems, and even during adulthood he couldn’t make enough money to have a comfortable life. He died in 1616, 12 years after written Don Quixote, for which he never received any monetary compensation (McCrory, 2014).

A developmental theory that can well describe Cervantes’ development, is Vygotsky’s Sociocultural theory, which argues that cultural engagement connections demonstrates the social environment significant influence as a vital foundation of development (Daneshfar & Moharami, 2018).

Prenatal development through childhood

Miguel de Cervantes Saavedra was the fourth child of Rodrigo De Cervantes, a Surgeon, and Leonor de Cortinas, from who little is known. His parents got married in 1542, and it’s very probable that Leonor’s parents disapproved the union. During the days prior to Cervantes birth, the family was already struggling with financial hardship, due to Rodrigo’s multiple debts and lack of customers (McCrory, 2014). It is probable that Rodrigo’s inability to get customers on his profession as a surgeon, or stable housing, resulted in significant amount of stress for Leonor. Psychological stress throughout pregnancy has been presumed to be a teratogen (DiPietro, 2012). For example, researchers have discovered that life stressor during pregnancy can result in low birth weight (Su et al., 2015). Other researchers have suggested that prenatal exposure to maternal stress have an important part in the development of the fetus’s brain. Symptoms related to stress are common during pregnancy and constitutes a neurobehavioral disorder risk factor. These infants, are more likely to be born with disorders as, autism spectrum disorder, attention deficit with hyperactivity disorder, major depression and schizophrenia (DiPietro, 2012).

Maternal prenatal stress it’s known to have negative outcome on the child development after birth, in particular on children behavioral outcome. Studies have proposed that, capability to pay attention of children during developmental evaluations, is associated to the degree of stress experienced by the mother throughout the gestation period. Additionally, mothers who conveyed experiencing significant amount of stress during pregnancy, have a tendency to report feeling the same amount of stress after delivering the baby, and tent to perceive parenting as stressful, at difference of those women who didn’t reported any stress during pregnancy (DiPietro, J. A. (2012).

Cervantes was born in 1547 in Alcala de Henares, Spain. During his childhood, the family moved several times, first to the city of Alcala, then Valladolid, Cordoba, Sevilla and finally Madrid, as his father looked for better clientele (McCrory, 2014). Several studies suggest that there is a delicate stage during childhood, usually the first five year, when increased domiciliary mobility can have a damaging outcome on the child’s mental health later in life. Having to move from a house to another can be consider a life stressful event. It has been hypothesized that a disruption of family routine can be detrimental for the child later behavior, especially if the move is not voluntary. In addition, it has been found that excessive mobility during the first years of life is linked to increased externalizing issues. Recent studies propose malleability of intellectual functions associated with adverse environmental factors during childhood through adulthood. Stable housing helps the child cultivate important connections with peers, neighbors in the community, and teachers who can be a factor to the child good socio-emotional development. Moving constantly, could have disturbed these defensive relationships and increase the chance for exposure to hostile environments. Frequent moves have shown to limit the ability of families to accumulate and use age-appropriate enhancement resources and deprive housing conditions can limit parent’s devoted space to involve kids in learning (Rumbold et al., 2012).

The Cervantes family also relayed on the generosity of family and friends for housing in many occasions. In 1551 they rented a house in Valladolid, which Rodrigo was unable to afford and a year latter was forced to request a loan. Unable to pay back the loan, Rodrigo was arrested and the family loss all personal belongings (McCrory, 2014). One significant barrier to healthy child development is inadequate housing. Also, parental economical and emotional stress can make them less available to talk and get involve in mutual exchanges essential for linguistic development. In the other hand, because children remain engaging spatially in spite of environmental commotion, nonverbal task progress more consistently (Fowler et al., 2015).

It’s known that Andres, Cervantes’s older brother, die during infancy (McCrory, 2014). The loss of a child at any age, is a difficult experience. Studies have found that siblings of children who die are at risk for externalizing and internalizing problems when compare to other kids. Quality studies have shown that siblings grief can have lifelong negative outcomes, as feelings of isolation and social withdrawal with peers and at home. For example, in a study, siblings of kids who die reported feeling different from peers as result of their experience. Also, peers’ interest and activities may result less important for them after the death of a brother or sister. They also reported feeling guilty, depressed and anxious. In the same studies, parents reported their kids having lower social activity and higher withdrawal than peers. Additionally, the parents reported sleeping and nightmares problems (Field & Behrman, 2003).

Adolescent Development through Adulthood

Due to the family’s constant domiciliary move, little is known about Cervantes childhood and teenage years. Some believed that he studied in a Jesuit School (McCrory, 2014). Scholars propose that religious education aid children develop morality, because of what they are taught, but some others have suggested that this type of education only facilitates the conditions for it, providing skillful teacher that can contribute to such development, but this development could equally be acquire at home. Moral development, can result from religious education grounded integration. However, for this to happen, the school should maintain a whole school perspective on values that includes not only the students, but also the teacher and staff (Thanissaro, 2010). During his days at the Jesuit School, he was also introduced to basics of syntax and vocabulary, and exposed to theatre during schooldays, which facilitated to grow an interest for theatre in him (McCrory, 2014). Studies suggest that art have a positive impact on adolescents. For example, studies shown higher standardized test scores on individuals who studied theater, than peers who didn’t. These results suggest that art studies result on positive developmental outcome that extend beyond adolescence into adulthood (Foster & Jenkins, n.d).

At the age of 19, Cervantes left his family. Some argue that he was forced to run out of Spain due to legal problems, after getting involve on illegal dueling, in which he wounded another man (McCrory, 2014). It’s important to remember that Cervantes faced many adversities during childhood and adolescence developmental stages, due to financial and housing issues of the family. Studies have shown that individuals who experience this type of adverse situations, may react differently to emerging adulthood challenges and may be at risk for problems that hinder their abilities and performance during the transition to adulthood (Marcotte, 2008). In regards to Cervantes’s legal problem, developmental theories suggest that emerging adults have less self-control which leads to less interpersonal motivations to refrain from risk taken behaviors (Smith, Cleeland & Dennis, 2010).

The Spanish empire was growing outside its territorial border during the time Cervantes was presumably running from justice, which gave him the possibility to experience other cultures during his time abroad. Also, at age 23 he enlisted as a soldier and traveled while fighting in several battles (McCrory, 2014). All this travel allowed him to experience people, culture and things that writers consider essential for their education. Recently, neuroscientist and psychologist have started to investigate how traveling can potentially affect mental change. Results of different studies suggest that experiencing new smells, language, sounds, sights and sensations, increase cognitive capabilities and the ability to create new connections (Maddux, Adam, & Galinsky, 2010). It was during adulthood that Cervantes wrote his most famous novels, poetry and plays, which are filled with intellectual satire and expressions (McCrory, 2014).

During the time that Cervantes served as a soldier, he received several injuries, as the one that left him with only partial use of one of his hands. He subsequently fought in the battles of Corfú, Navarino, and Tunis, in which he was capture, spending five years in prison (McCrory, 2014). Despite the multiple support that the military provides for a successful transition to adulthood, the augmented physical and psychological risk of service, could diminish independence and impair interpersonal relations, endangering the transition to adulthood. Military service during war exposes the individual to mental health and physical disabilities, as the one experienced by Cervantes. Also, transition to civilian work could be difficult due to cognitive injuries suffered during service (Kelty, Kleykamp & Segal, 2010). Many argue that enlistment and delinquent behavior are positively linked, since service is an attractive alternative for delinquents to mark their transition to adulthood and distant themselves from delinquent behavior (Teachman & Tedrow, 2014), which could explain why Cervantes enlisted during the time he was apparently running from justice (McCrory, 2014).

In 1580, at the age of 33 and after finishing his military service, the life of Cervantes took a turning point. He got marry with Catalina de Palacios in 1584 at age 37, but didn’t conceive any children. It’s known that Cervantes had an affair during his marriage, with a woman with who he conceived a child (McCrory, 2014). A useful framework for predicting marital infidelity can be found on the attachment theory, which argues that lovers develop psychological representations of the availability of their significant others, that results on solid behavioral and cognitive patterns of reacting to them. Individuals who develop an insecure attachment style, tend to believe that significant others are less available to them and behave accordingly. While those with secure attachments believe that significant others are available and respond in view of that. Those who develop increased level of attachment anxiety are unsure of their significant others availability and manage by latching on to partners and looking for reassurance. Those who develop increased levels of attachment avoidance, are uncertain of their significant others availability and deal with it by evading actions that encourage intimacy. Both types of insecurities could be linked to infidelity during marriage. Those with elevated levels of attachment anxiety, frequently feel as they haven’t met their needs for intimacy in their relationships and seek sex in order to meet these needs with another lover by means of infidelity. They are also more sexually permissive and are less devoted to relationships (Michelle, Levi & James, 2013).

Late Adulthood

Just like his father before him, Cervantes had problems attaining income through his selected occupation and remained extremely poor until the publication of Don Quixote in 1605. Cervantes lived his last years in poverty, having to depend on the help of his only daughter for subsistence, due to the fact that his books didn’t sell well until after his dead (McCrory, 2014). Physical and involved care need is possible the most extreme type of dependency during late adulthood, but it only occurs if an older person is weak, sick or handicapped (Schröder-Butterfill & Fithry, 2014), as in the case of Cervantes.

Theory relevant for Cervantes’s Development

Vygotsky’s Sociocultural Theory, can well describe Cervantes’ development. The theory contends that cultural engagement associations proves the social environment important impact on childhood development. Culture, which is transmitted from parents to children, and social relations are very important to cognitive development. (Daneshfar & Moharami, 2018). This theory could also explain how Cervantes’s early education in art and theater, and multiple trips abroad, allowed him to experience people, cultures and things that influenced his socio-cultural development.


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