Don Quixote

Don Quixote

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Don Quixote Part 2, Chapter 5 Summary & Analysis

Summary
Analysis
The translator says as preface to chapter five that he considers the events of the chapter to be mere invention, because they show Sancho speaking too wisely and sensibly. Sancho comes home in a very happy mood and tells his wife Teresa that he’s excited to join Quixote on his third sally. He speaks so elaborately that at first she can’t quite understand him, but soon she gives her blessing and tells Sancho to come back with more money and perhaps a husband for their daughter Mari-Sancha. Sancho promises to marry her to a nobleman, but Teresa says it’s better to marry an equal, so that no one mocks her or tells her she’s out of place; she believes that people should generally stay in their place. Sancho replies that that their daughter would soon learn to act like a lady, and that it’s stupid to turn down nobility and wealth.
It seems that the translator (neither the supposed author, Cide Hamete, nor the narrator/editor Cervantes) has had little experience with character development, because he can’t seem to believe that Sancho’s conversational skills have improved so much since the beginning of the first sally. Character development was a relatively uncommon literary technique at the time of the novel’s writing. Yet we have seen Sancho learn many ideas and turns of phrase from Quixote. Here, he jumps at the opportunity to show off a little.
Themes
Literature, Realism, and Idealism Theme Icon
Self-Invention, Class Identity, and Social Change Theme Icon
They bicker for a while but they stick to their positions. Sancho explains that the present matters more than the past, and one’s good deeds and fine character can matter more than one’s lineage. He speaks very well and even corrects Teresa’s diction. The thought of her daughter married to a nobleman makes Teresa cry, but Sancho comforts her as best he can, and the conversation ends peacefully.
Sancho corrects Teresa’s mistakes just as Quixote often corrects his mistakes. Sancho’s efforts to speak and think well affirm Quixote’s idea about social equality (which Sancho faithfully repeats to Teresa) – the idea that people can choose their stations in life, because character is more important than heredity.
Themes
Literature, Realism, and Idealism Theme Icon
Self-Invention, Class Identity, and Social Change Theme Icon