Book Notes

Volume 1, Chapter 19 Notes from Don Quixote

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Don Quixote Volume 1, Chapter 19

Sancho tells Don Quijote that he believes that their misadventures stem from his master's failure to fulfill his oath to get the helmet of Mambrino. Don Quijote agrees, and although he admits that he had forgotten; he nevertheless blames Sancho for not reminding him and for his own blanket-tossing. He absolves himself of leaving his squire high and dry; by reasoning, that if Sancho had reminded Don Quijote about the helmet he wouldn't have had the horse blanket misadventure at the inn.

Topic Tracking: Scapegoat 8
Topic Tracking: Helmet Imagery 7

As they continue their hungry trek in the dark, a great many lights appear in the road ahead. Watching from the side of the road they see twenty white-robed men on horses and six black-robed men on mules. Don Quijote quickly sorts through the stories in his mind, (like a cook with recipe cards), and cooks up another recipe for disaster. But this time it is a disaster for the travelers, who are carrying a dead man on a bier to his tomb in his homeland. Situating himself in the middle of the road, he demands the travelers inform him of their identities and plans for they look as if they are either criminals or victims and he needs to know whether to punish them or avenge them.

Topic Tracking: Grandiosity 13

They tell Don Quijote that they have no time to explain themselves to him. Irritated, he grab's the bridle on one of the mules spooking it and causing it to throw its rider. A muledriver curses at Don Quijote and he attacks one of the riders with his lance and charges at the rest of the unarmed men driving them away from the bier and path. He returns to the fallen man (who has a bachelor's degree and has just taken holy orders), instructing him to surrender. The man points out that he is well past the stage of surrendering since he cannot move since his leg is broken.

He gives Don Quijote the information he wants, and we learn that the man in the bier died from an illness. Don Quijote then explains who he is and that his mission is to right wrongs and undo injuries. The man, whose name is Alonso Lopez, complains:

"I don't see how you could be righting wrongs...because you've turned me from right to wrong, leaving me with a broken leg." Volume 1, Chapter 19, pg. 107

Don Quijote says it is Lopez's own fault for going about at night in this manner. He and Sancho help him up on his mule after Sancho finishes stealing from the traveling party's food stores. Sancho dubs Don Quijote, "The Knight of the Sad Face". Lopez informs Don Quijote that he may consider himself excommunicated from the church. Squire and knight chow down with the food they have stolen; only to find their hunger now replaced by a ferocious thirst.

Topic Tracking: Scapegoat 9

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