Don Quixote

Don Quixote

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Don Quixote Part 2, Chapter 72 Summary & Analysis

Summary
Analysis
The following day, Quixote and Sancho overhear a servant address a guest at the inn with the name Don Tarfe – a name Quixote remembers seeing in the false second volume of his history. Quixote asks the new guest about the history, and the guest claims that Quixote is a good friend of his, and that he has recently spent time with Quixote and Sancho in Saragossa. But when the two friends correct his mistake, Don Tarfe claims that the wrong version of Don Quixote, “Don Quixote the Bad,” is the work of evil enchanters, and that the man in front of him is “Don Quixote the Good.”
The episode with Don Tarfe further blurs the line between fictional and worldly reality. Don Tarfe doesn’t say, “I lied, I have never known any Don Quixote and Sancho Panza”; he says “I have known the wrong Quixote and Panza.” Both fictional and real people can have reputations in the world, can exist in certain ways in the communal imagination. Now, Quixote exists alongside Avellaneda’s Quixote.
Themes
Truth and Lies Theme Icon
Literature, Realism, and Idealism Theme Icon
Self-Invention, Class Identity, and Social Change Theme Icon
The village mayor stops by the inn, and Quixote convinces him to notarize Don Tarfe’s statement that he, Don Quixote, is not the man described in The Second Part of Don Quixote de la Mancha, written by a person named Avellaneda from Tordesillas. In the evening the three men take to the road. Don Quixote tells Don Tarfe about his recent adventures and then they part ways. Later that night, Sancho lashes nearby trees until he finally completes his punishment. Quixote is overjoyed, and in the morning he imagines that every woman walking down the road is Dulcinea – until he looks at her closely. Finally they see their own village in the distance.
Quixote is reaching out to the outside world for confirmation of his goodness and trueness – to the authority figures that have been mocked so often throughout the novel. These figures have always insulted and disparaged him, and he has always held fast to his inner certainty about the world and about his vocation. Now, he has lost faith in himself.
Themes
Truth and Lies Theme Icon
Literature, Realism, and Idealism Theme Icon
Madness and Sanity Theme Icon