HomeLiterature Study GuidesDon QuixotePart 2 Chapters 34 Summary

Don Quixote | Study Guide

Miguel de Cervantes

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Don Quixote | Part 2, Chapters 3–4 | Summary

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Summary

Part 2, Chapter 3

Samson Carrasco arrives and tells master and squire about the book detailing their adventures. The Don thinks a book about him "couldn't have pleased very many," but Samson disagrees, saying that the number of readers who have enjoyed the book "is infinite, though there are some who think the author was forgetful, or playing tricks."

Part 2, Chapter 4

Sancho Panza tells Samson how his donkey was stolen and returned, and what he did with the gold coins he liberated from Cardenio's suitcase. Samson tells master and squire that the author of their story is currently looking for a manuscript to use as the second part. Both Sancho Panza and Don Quixote are ready to hit the road again.

Analysis

The published adventures of Don Quixote referenced in Part 2 are actually Part 1 of Cervantes's Don Quixote. This meta, or self-referential, reference allows Cervantes to address the criticisms brought forth by readers from the first part of the book, which was published 10 years before Part 2. Printing errors resulted in the omission of key parts of the story, such as the theft and return of Sancho Panza's donkey. By presenting Part 1 as a book-within-the-book, Cervantes is able to answer the questions readers had been asking for a decade.

Cervantes also makes a sly comment about the fake Don Quixote sequel written by Alonso Fernández de Avellaneda. Sancho Panza, discussing his hopes that the pair's adventures had been accurately documented, says that authors should be careful what they "write about ... people, and not just [use] the first thing that gets into their head." This is Cervantes's rebuke to Alonso Fernández, who included unkind, and supposedly untrue, remarks about Cervantes in his own version of Don Quixote's exploits.

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