Summary and Analysis Part 2: Chapter VII-VIII



The housekeeper, in desperation, begs the bachelor Samson to dissuade the senor from his preparations. Instead, the sly student encourages the knight and bids him make haste on his journey. Meanwhile, Sancho has added his voice of dissent to that of the niece. He requests his master to guarantee him a monthly wage. Don Quixote declares that no squire in history has received anything in payment except what fortunes the knight wins during his travels. He dismisses Sancho, saying that he shall find a squire perhaps Samson Carrasco who accepts these terms. The squire is "struck dumb with disappointment; 'twas cloudy weather with him in an instant," and Sancho begs forgiveness, and, after a fond embrace, the two friends agree to remain together. They now continue preparations for the journey; Samson offers the Don an intact helmet that he can borrow from a friend. Well-provisioned, Sancho and his master, equally filled with hope for what the future will provide, ride to their first destination, Toboso.

While they travel, Don Quixote and Sancho discourse on the qualities and deeds that purchase immortality. As Sancho points out, more reverence is shown to barefooted, flagellating friars who become sainted than to many a bolder and more daring knight. Says Sancho, "a dozen or two of sound lashes, well meant and as well laid on, will obtain more of Heaven than two thousand thrusts with a lance, though they be given to giants, or dragons, or hobgoblins." That is true, says his master, but "all men cannot be friars; we have different paths allotted us to mount to the high seat of Eternal Felicity. Chivalry is a religious order, and there are knights in the fraternity of saints in heaven." At evening of the second day, they arrive at Toboso. Don Quixote will not enter the city until late at night, however, and they rest among some trees outside the town.


More serious in this second part, Cervantes firmly states his hero's conviction that his way of life is a religious order, respectful of Catholic orthodoxy in his belief that the works of man on earth are rewarded in heaven. Knighthood is no longer a burlesque to the author, and Don Quixote, suggestively characterized with saintliness in Part One, begins to fulfill his spiritual potential. It seems as if Cervantes has become more and more convinced of the depth of character of Don Quixote as he has continued to work with him.