Don Quixote

Don Quixote

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Food Symbol Analysis

Food Symbol Icon
Food is the thing that Sancho loves and Quixote ignores, it is Sancho’s roundness and Quixote’s skinniness, the embarrassingly simple foundation for Sancho’s realism and Quixote’s idealism. Food is the subject of one of Quixote’s earliest delusions about knights errant, who, he thinks, only eat about once a month, and food is the ground for one of Quixote and Sancho’s first compromises. In the beginning, Sancho loves food and money; by the end of the novel, Sancho is capable of refusing money, but he continues to love food. When Sancho tempers his love for money, he detaches himself from a restrictive, narrow-minded society; but his love for food allows him to remain attached to earthly things. Food is a simple pleasure, but it can also have an effect on the soul. It symbolizes safety, love, the coarser kinds of beauty. But Quixote can never quite see food as symbolic, because he never learns to attach value to earthly things. Until the very end, he prefers spiritual nourishment.

Food Quotes in Don Quixote

The Don Quixote quotes below all refer to the symbol of Food. For each quote, you can also see the other characters and themes related to it (each theme is indicated by its own dot and icon, like this one:
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).
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Food Symbol Timeline in Don Quixote

The timeline below shows where the symbol Food appears in Don Quixote. The colored dots and icons indicate which themes are associated with that appearance.
Part 1, Chapter 2
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...to feed him because he’s using his hands to hold up his visor. The bad food seems to him like a very fine meal. (full context)
Part 1, Chapter 3
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When he finishes eating, Don Quixote falls on his knees and begs the innkeeper to knight him – but... (full context)
Part 1, Chapter 8
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...stays awake all night thinking about Dulcinea, like the knights in his books. He doesn’t eat breakfast in the morning for a similar reason. In preparation for adventures, Don Quixote tells... (full context)
Part 1, Chapter 10
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...the harm done to his helmet, he swears (like a knight of old) not to eat bread or sleep with his wife until he metes out revenge on the coachman. Sancho... (full context)
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Sancho offers Quixote some food, but he replies that knights in books eat rarely, sometimes not for a month at... (full context)
Part 1, Chapter 11
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The goatherds had been boiling goat meat in a pot over a flame, and they invite Sancho and Don Quixote to share... (full context)
Part 1, Chapter 19
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When night comes, the two friends have neither food nor a place to sleep. Suddenly they notice lights coming at them from a distance.... (full context)
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...died of fever, and Quixote is satisfied that he does not have to avenge his death. The man thinks that Quixote has done not good but harm, because he has maimed... (full context)
Part 1, Chapter 23
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...come after them. As they ride along, Quixote dreams of knights while Sancho dreams of food. They come across a rotting bag containing beautiful clothes, a handkerchief filled with very valuable... (full context)
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...mule. He comes out every once in a while in an insane fever to steal food from the goatherds, though sometimes when he visits he seems perfectly civil and sane. Just... (full context)
Part 1, Chapter 29
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In the meantime, Sancho returns and tells them he found Quixote hungry, weak, and unwilling to return to the village before he proves his courage. Sancho is... (full context)
Part 1, Chapter 31
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In a little while, the company sits down to eat. Suddenly a boy runs down from the road and hugs Quixote’s legs in tears –... (full context)
Part 1, Chapter 33
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The next day, Lotario comes to his friend’s house for lunch. Anselmo insists on rushing off on some business matter and leaves his friend and his... (full context)
Part 1, Chapter 37
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Over dinner, Quixote exclaims with satisfaction that knight-errantry must be a marvelous thing if it can bring... (full context)
Part 1, Chapter 38
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Self-Invention, Class Identity, and Social Change Theme Icon
...smaller, so it must be nobler. Don Quixote talks so much that he forgets to eat anything. Soon the table is cleared and everyone asks the new guest to tell his... (full context)
Part 1, Chapter 47
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...say that in his opinion his master is not enchanted at all, because he can eat, sleep, and talk like anyone else, while enchanted people can do none of these things.... (full context)
Part 1, Chapter 50
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As the group eats lunch, a goat and its goatherd leap out at them from the bushes. They invite... (full context)
Part 1, Chapter 52
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...that Quixote must be mad to speak this way and they have a very messy food fight on the picnic blanket. The fighting is interrupted by the sound of a trumpet.... (full context)
Part 2, Chapter 3
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...delightful and harmless because every word is “wholesome” and “Catholic.” Quixote says almost in one breath that a book about his deeds must be glorious and beloved, and that very few... (full context)
Part 2, Chapter 18
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Over lunch, Quixote asks Don Lorenzo to recite some his poetry glosses (verse summaries of other poems).... (full context)
Part 2, Chapter 20
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...him with irritation, noting that if Sancho talked his fill he wouldn’t have time to eat or sleep. They ride into the field where the wedding is to take place: it... (full context)
Part 2, Chapter 21
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...bride and groom to Basilio’s village, though Sancho is sad to leave the mountains of food and wine. (full context)
Part 2, Chapter 23
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After lunch, Quixote describes his adventure. About thirty yards from the bottom of the cave, he decided... (full context)
Part 2, Chapter 31
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...Duke and Duchess are joined by a sullen-looking priest. Quixote and the Duke politely discuss seating arrangements, and Sancho decides to tell a story. A rich hidalgo from his village invited... (full context)
Part 2, Chapter 43
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...He tells Sancho to be clean, tidy, and well-groomed, to buy his servants liveries, to eat and sleep in moderation, avoid belching, and to stop mixing proverbs. Sancho comes out with... (full context)
Part 2, Chapter 44
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...leaves for his island, Quixote misses him so much that he becomes visibly melancholy. He eats dinner, goes to his room, and gets into bed. When he opens the window for... (full context)
Part 2, Chapter 47
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...taken to a dining room in a beautiful palace. The table is laid with mouth-watering food, but a doctor at his side forbids him from eating anything except wafers and quince... (full context)
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...island and that Sancho’s life might be in danger. Just as Sancho is about to eat his dinner, a farmer arrives on a business matter. The man explains that one of... (full context)
Part 2, Chapter 49
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Sancho realizes that the job of governor and judge is difficult and exhausting. He finally eats some dinner, and requests simple and hearty food from then on. He also tells his... (full context)
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After he finishes his dinner, Sancho and his servants go out to make the nightly rounds. They hear two people... (full context)
Part 2, Chapter 51
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On the second day of his governing, Sancho eats a meager breakfast and goes into the courtroom. A man comes in and begins to... (full context)
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Sancho eats a hearty lunch and then reads a letter from Don Quixote that contains more advice.... (full context)
Part 2, Chapter 54
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...them recognizes Sancho – it is his old neighbor Ricote. The company sits down to eat lunch and Ricote describes everything that’s happened to him since the king of Spain expelled... (full context)
Part 2, Chapter 58
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...and explain that they and a group of their friends and family are playing at “creating a new pastoral Arcadia,” and that they hung the nets to catch birds. They invite... (full context)
Part 2, Chapter 59
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Sancho and Quixote wash off the road dust in a stream. Sancho wants to have lunch, but Quixote is too upset to put anything in his mouth. He was born to... (full context)
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As they eat, they overhear some people in the next room talking about the second part of Don... (full context)
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They continue talking over dinner. Don Jerónimo says that the second book depicts Sancho as an unfunny glutton. Sancho tells... (full context)
Part 2, Chapter 66
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...the Duke’s castle. He tells Quixote that he (Tosilos) was never enchanted, that the Duke beat Tosilos for disobeying his orders on the battlefield, and that the duenna’s daughter has become... (full context)