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Social Class in Relationships in Don Quixote

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What is more, Sancho’ s “ arrival in the story logically causes the exchanges with Don Quixote to slot into the standard patterns of master/servant dialogue in sixteenth-century comedy” (Close 90).   In other words, without Sancho, the story would be very different indeed.   Although Sancho does serve this structural sort of role in the novel, acting as a more comedic relief to Don Quixote’ s very sort of depressing delusions, other scholars prefer to focus on his class to the exclusion of other aspects.   He is sometimes even used by scholars to represent the conflicts between the upper and lower classes  (Flores 150).   Something this type of scholar often points to are the rewards Sancho is supposed to earn for his service, part of the reason he goes with Don Quixote on his adventures at all.   One theme which clearly defines the two characters in different ways is Sancho’ s salary.   What his “ eventual reward for his services” will be “ runs through the dialogue between him and his master from beginning to end” (Close 114).   What is most interesting about this relationship aspect is the promise of being a mayor of an island, which is obviously a ridiculous one.   However, it is the only thing Don Quixote doesn't completely forget about when he is on his deathbed towards the end of the novel (Close 115).   This may be because his promise of the mayorship represents social reality in that “ it reflects his real obligations, moral and social, towards a faithful servant whom he originally enticed into his service on an illusory promise of reward” (Close 115).

One interesting aspect of the novel is that parts of it “ reveal cultural assumptions that consuming certain foods was a sign of social identity and maintained proper social equilibrium” (Nadeau 59).   One particular episode is the part of the novel that involves Sancho Panchez going to Barataria to become mayor.   Before Sancho eats at a feast, Don Quixote gives him a good bit of advice on how to behave and what kinds of food he should eat.  

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