In Garrison Keillor's short story "Don Giovanni" the main character, Don Giovanni, is portrayed as a self centered, self serving, seducing womanizer. The story focuses on conversations held between "The Don" and Figaro. In these conversations "The Don" attempts to erode Figaro's positive views on marriage. The attitude that "The Don" has about women is negatively viewed by most societies, and it's because of this attitude that he ends up at the fiery gates of hell!
The story begins by setting up, in the mind of the reader, a mental picture of an old seducer preaching his philosophies through clouds of cigarette smoke. "The Don" says, "Figaro, my friend, a man owes it to himself to stop and consider the three advantages of single life. One, if you're single, you can think. Two, you can act. Three, you can feel...there is no prison so deadly as a life of unnecessities, which is what marriage is." In most religions marriage is considered a sacred joining of two people. "The Don's" philosophy undermines the marriage ideology to the point that it is sinful to the religious community. Even if a person is not active in religion, s/he usually has a set of morals that frown upon the "life of a player."
"The Don's" second downfall is his sexual habits. Any person who shares his/her bed with different partners, including the occasional married one, each night of the week, walks with a black cloud over his/her head. At one point in the story "The Don" tells Figaro that "Some men should have two lovers, some three; it depends on the man...I am selfish, Figaro, because I have a larger capacity for pleasure than other people do...this to me is the beauty of the male existence."
The story takes place in Fargo, North Dakota, which is a conservative down-to-earth city. The actions that "The Don" takes are considered immoral, a "highway to hell."
As proof that "The Don's" philosophies don't match those of the society that he lives in, the author us... Continues...