Essay Book and Reference Guide
By EMRE GURGEN
The Formation of True Love in Don Quixote De La Mancha: How Characters Are Led Into Marriage For Romance Not Marriage By Arrangement.
The action of Don Quixote focuses on bringing together many different couples in order to ask the question: “How do we merit true-love and give it in return?” As such, the novel consists, in part, on a series of courtship and sexual tales where characters marry not by arrangement, as expected, but for romantic love, instead. Therefore, in place of marrying for usefulness or convenience, as was typical in 17th century Spain, Cervantes was intent on transitioning the domination-submission pattern of medieval marriages―where the female is a house keeper, lust satisfier, and child begetter―to the love-based pattern of modern marriages, typified by a joining of desires and a merger of personalities. Thus, he defines marriage not as a “master-servant, owner-property connection” but as a relationship of friends where each partner tries to please and advance the other. As such, man’s motives for selecting a wife in Don Quixote are not those of “a householder in search of a housekeeper, but those of a human being in need of emotional satisfaction.”
This new emotional significance of marriage, in turn, is marked by philosophic speculations about the meaning and importance of romantic love, especially in relation to conjugal happiness and stability in marriage. Simply put, since Cervantes sees true love as the best way to choose a spouse and build a marriage, he argues that we need not be trapped by the marital customs that prevail in any given time. Rather, “by upsetting traditional patterns of tribal law and traditional society, [Miguel dramatizes unions that] bring new order and [breathe] new life into a stale social system.”
By challenging the traditional view that marriage is a useful alliance defined by indissoluble law, clanship ties, and social pressures, Cervantes shows readers that any intimate partnership should be defined by a generous wish to give, benefit, and succor the beloved. This is why he diminishes the patriarchal, land-based, economic view of marriage, replacing it with the “romantic conviction that for each individual in society there is a right one out there waiting to be found.”
This one-person-theory, in turn, is combined with Cervantes’s belief in free choice: it is up to men and women alike to choose the right person based on feeling the real thing. On this view, “every unmarried person [should not only] wait or search until [their soul mate] is located” but also they should at last marry for romantic love; not lifelong maintenance, if they want to live a healthy mental life.
Economic marriages, on the other hand, void of love, esteem, and affection, are discouraged by Cervantes when he shows readers that they are largely a manifestation of parental greed likely to create unstable unions. And unstable unions, according to Cervantes, leads to jealousy and infidelity as domestic space becomes the source of discord and anger that spreads from the bedroom to the streets. In brief, marriage for any reason other than love―such as a political alliance or a family fortune―is frowned on by Cervantes when he shows that such unions are defined by mercenary tactics that often lead to marital discord. Aside from painting a picture of married life as “a vehicle of love and emotional security,” Cervantes encourages parents to not allow their daughters to select their husbands among evil and base suitors but rather to propose several good candidates and then give them free choice amongst these.
Short of suggesting that parents should revel in their parental authority over their children by declaring who they should and should not marry, Cervantes reasons that parents should train their sons and daughters to virtue and modesty from an early age so that they do not fall victim to unscrupulous rakes who concoct “their plans, feign their emotions, and play their parts,” with convincing plausibility, so that they can “seduce and abandon without compunction.”
Unsurprisingly, in this regard, Cervantes advises parents to guide and mold the growing characters of their children so that they learn to choose their spouses wisely. Another aspect of romantic-love that Cervantes examines in Don Quixote relates to “how a person can differentiate true-love from false lust since they look the same by producing the same tears, sighs, and groans.”
How, Cervantes wonders, if thoughts and actions are often incongruous, can we know if a lover speaks the truth about his feelings? This question, in turn, leads to broader considerations about the nature of true-love: Like the concern, for example, that the appearance of a relationship actually corresponds to its’ reality: Or the idea that one can conquer lustful relationships by the avoidance and repudiation of powerful emotions that are impulsive and fickle in nature. Instead of acting on the basis of whim-driven, mercurial passions that are subject to sudden ups-and-downs―usually, without rhyme or reason―Cervantes counsels his readers to think out, in full dimension, whether they feel a tender affection for someone because of who they are and what they represent or whether they feel a strong desire to have sex with someone because of their esthetic appeal. If, Cervantes reasons, the latter is true, and a relationship is purely physical, than the remedy for a young lady is to keep busy in a productive activity apart from idle infatuation, so that she thinks not of a boy-toy, or some other adolescent crush, but about finishing the job at hand instead. Another question that Cervantes asks and answers in Don Quixote is whether “physical attraction is a necessary component of romantic love?”
If one’s good looks, in terms of their body weight, physical fitness, self-grooming, dress-style, and how they carry themselves, influences their esthetic appeal to others. To answer this question Cervantes infers that “when you fall in love with a person, you don’t fall in love with a disembodied spirit but with a whole person including their physical appearance.”
To Cervantes, looks matter, since they convey a person’s basic attitude towards themselves. For this reason, how his characters present themselves physically says a lot to their prospective romantic partners. Thus, posture, clothes, and grooming become a significant criterion for considering whether two people are well-suited for each other, or not. That said, however, Cervantes counsels his readers against “the belief that looks are everything. That one should spend their lives in front of a mirror trying to look [perfect.]”
While Cervantes emphasizes that pride in one’s physical appearance is an important element of partnership formation, he also stresses that physical beauty is not everything since there are two kinds of beauty: “beauty of the soul and beauty of the body,” which, to Cervantes, are both equally important (877). In short, Cervantes shows us that “an interesting phenomenon often occurs regarding looks: when you ardently love your partner’s soul, your partner looks more physically beautiful to you.”
Yet another aspect of true-love that Cervantes explores in Don Quixoteis how good communication between partners fosters a sense of closeness, understanding, and compatibility. By talking to, listening, and observing each other in diverse situations, characters in Don Quixote learn what is important to one another and why, thereby determining if a potential spouse is right for them, or not. What’s more, the whole process of “asking questions, and listening closely,” as shown in Don Quixote, “establishes an atmosphere of receptiveness” in a partner’s mind, which, in Sancho Panza and Teresa Panza’s case, creates a “positive mindset of change”.
Most importantly, by writing letters, crafting poems, and communicating constantly, couples in Don Quixote keep their love for one another alive. In sum, it is through “active listening and assertive speaking skills” that partners come to understand one another’s life context, which, in turn, enables them to identify and resolve any potential sources of conflict.
Also, throughout the novel, there are close friendships of habit between husband and wife, as is the case with Sancho Panza and Teresa Panza, for example. This commonality of identity, and interpenetration of life habits, in turn, shows readers that “with a romantic soul mate you get a mirror of yourself that even a close friend cannot provide.”
In a word, Sancho Panza and Teresa Panza have compatible habits of action, which, in turn, enables them to not only maintain a feeling of “mutual togetherness” with one another but “psychological closeness” to each other as well, thereby exemplifying that a hallmark of companionate love is the merger of personalities: with the cohabitation of male and female as characteristic of a romantic friendship
Indeed, in this regard, conjugal love between Sancho Panza and Teresa Panza owes its existence to the cohesive power of habit, shared experience, and, above all, a similar outlook on life. Finally, Cervantes shows his readers that in some cases, “living alone―in an unmarried state―unattended and unaccompanied by others” is the best option for a young lady. Accordingly, Miguel counsels his readers against forming hasty unions based on an arrangement where “property, inheritance, family, and a title (if there is one) are important constituents.”
In fact, Cervantes reasons that his characters should wait until they are genuinely attracted to and care for a potential spouse: an individual with whom they find a complementary degree of companionship and a comfortable sense of fitness and with whom sensations of love derive from the recognition of these values. Thus, Cervantes shows us that sometimes “remaining single and [learning] to support oneself is better than becoming the wife of a dissipated man.”
Marcela’s example proves that women, especially young girls, should stay single until and unless they meet the right person, otherwise they risk locking themselves into a loveless marriage. By way of background information, Marcela is the seventeen year-old daughter of a rich farmer named Guillermo who dies before his child reaches a stage in her life where the law recognizes her as an adult. Left in the care of her guardian uncle, Marcela is beset by a variety of young men who want to marry her for her stunning looks, enormous wealth, and keen intelligence. Despite the fact that her “great beauty” vast “fortune” and moral integrity bring men from many “miles around [to] beg and pester her uncle for her hand in marriage; [he is] unwilling to marry her without first [gaining] her consent” (92). Even after her uncle “describes the qualities of each of [Marcela’s] many suitors asking [his niece] to marry whoever she prefers” Marcela replies that “she doesn’t want to marry yet since” she is too young (92). Since her uncle believes that “parents shouldn’t provide for their children’s future against their will, [he] stops asking [Marcela to marry deciding] to let her choose a [suitable] companion when she is older” (92, 93). By acknowledging that Marcela should not be forced to marry for expediencies sake but rather should marry for loves sake, her uncle gives primary consideration to her free-choice in romantic affairs, even though his niece’s decision to stay single contradicts what he thinks is right for her. One reason why Marcela’s uncle values her decision to stay single over his will to marry her is because if Marcela marries, she, not he, will be sharing her life with another person, therefore, she, not he, must be happy in her conjugal selection. As such, moral consideration of his niece’s happiness supersedes any practical benefit Marcela’s uncle may gain by forcing her into a marriage she does not want. In other words, Marcela’s uncle elevates his niece’s mental happiness and emotional well-being over the economic and political benefits he may gain by the allegiance his daughter makes. Therefore, with her uncle’s blessing, Marcela is free to decide who she is, or is not, going to marry, and when she should wed him, or not. Thus, to avoid “rich youths, hidalgos, and farmers” Marcela dresses-up as a shepherdess and “goes into the fields” to avoid unwelcome male advances (93). Though she is accused of being “cruel [or] an ingrate [or] hardhearted,” Marcela defends her right to solitude by saying that since “love must be voluntary not forced a woman who is loved for her beauty should not be obliged to love [those who] love her” (93, 109). Why, asks Marcela, “do [people] think [she] should be obliged to love [them], just because [they] say [they] love [her]?” (109). It “could happen, [continues Marcela], that the lover of beauty [could be] ugly, and since that which is ugly is [undesirable], it isn’t very fitting for [an ugly man] to say: “I love you because you’re beautiful; you must love me [because] I’m ugly” (109). Besides highlighting physical attraction as a vital component of romantic love, Marcela also emphasizes the importance of a close mental connection between partners. This is why she says that “even if [two people] are well-matched as far as beauty goes that doesn’t mean that attraction is going to be mutual because not all beauty inspires love” (109). Because Marcela thinks that she has not met anyone who can stimulate her mentally and emotionally, and because she is too young to enter into any serious relationship, she expresses a firm right “to live free [in] the solitude of the countryside [among the] company of shepherds,” with nobody to stop her from living as she sees fit (109). Therefore, Marcela retreats to “the clear waters of streams [and] the [shady boughs] of trees” to escape the “arrogance [and] disdain [and] murderous intent [of disappointed suitors]” (108). This is why she dresses up as a shepherdess and enjoys a bucolic, pastoral life, roaming the countryside, with a free spirit, and a pure mind. In self-explanation Marcela insists that those “who [died for] love [of her] were killed by their own obstinacy” not her “cruelty” since she kept no man’s “hopes alive” by false words or insincere actions (109, 110). Moreover, Marcela says that if she “encouraged [her lovers to continue their courtship] she [would] have been false; if [she] gratified [them with physical affection she would] have acted against her own intentions” (110). Since she “never deceived, made promises, enticed or accepted [her many suitors,] let [her] not, [Marcela says,] be called cruel or murderous by any man” (110). Thus, to defend “her good name and reputation” Marcela “warns her suitors [to] leave her alone; [to] stop courting her; [to] keep [their] distance; [to] stop following [her]” and, above all, to not commit suicide, like Grisostomo does, “because of her” (104, 110). Moreover, to rebuff men who approach her with high ethical principles Marcela says that just because a bachelor says that his “intentions [towards her] are honorable” aren’t her own “honourable intentions,” she wonders, significant as well―like her wish to “preserve her chastity until she is older” (110). In short, Marcela’s robust moral defense of her bachelorettism “disabuses” men of the false notion that she is “disdainful, cold, and heartless,” (107, 103). By depicting the moral reasoning of an ingénue who is unwilling to “bear the [responsibility] of [early] matrimony,” Cervantes shows his readers that sometimes the best course of action vis-à-vis marriage is to only marry the right person at the right time in the right way (92, 93). Conversely, loveless marriages, as Sancho Panza and Teresa Panza’s union almost is, constitutes immediate grounds for divorce: unless differences of opinion can be reconciled through good communication and cooperative compromise.
Sancho Panza and Teresa Panza’s potential divorce proves that the “just ground for conjugal separation is indisposition, unfitness, and contrariety of mind, arising from a cause in nature unchangeable, hindering and ever likely to hinder the main benefits of conjugal society, which is solace, peace, and mutual [advancement].”
It seems that divorce almost applies to Sancho Panza and Teresa Panza’s relationship since they dispute over Sancho Panza’s career drive, their daughter’s rank-elevation, Teresa Panza’s social-station, and, basically, staying in their comfort zone as modest farmers versus advancing themselves in life through hard work. Teresa Panza, on the one hand, is determined to stay in her comfortable station as a peasant due to her fear of the alternative; while Sancho Panza, on the other hand, wants to enhance his career, better his life prospects, and elevate his daughter’s good standing (515). This flashpoint of conflict, in turn, sours Sancho Panza and Teresa Panza’s feelings for one another: until they grow to resolve their opinion-differences amicably. Indeed, in this regard, Sancho Panza and Teresa Panza dispute over whether to find a spouse for their daughter who is “so high-up that nobody will be able to get within sniffing distance of her without calling her your ladyship” or whether she should “marry someone who’s her [social] equal [since] uneven matches never retain for long the happiness of their first days” (516, 255). Sancho Panza, it seems, favors the view that as a Governor’s daughter Sanchita should marry someone high-up while Teresa Panza opines that it is “better [that she have] a poor husband [rather] than a rich lover” (516). In defense of the view that her daughter can only love her social equal, Teresa Panza says that “taking [her daughter] out of her grey-brown homespun skirt and [putting her] into a farthingale and bright silk petticoats, [thereby] turning her from ‘Sanchita’ and plain ‘You’ into ‘Dona’ and ‘Your ladyship,’ [will] render her confused [since] the poor girl won’t know where she is, and she’ll put her foot in it with every step she takes, and keep showing her true colours, which are humble grey and brown” (516). Concerned by his wife’s unwillingness to help Sanchita grow into an affluent, respectable, young woman, Sancho Panza tells Teresa Panza that “all Sanchita needs is two or three years practice, and then grand and grave manners will fit her like a glove” (516). Unwilling to acknowledge that her daughter can retrain herself in this way, Teresa Panza says “a fine thing it would be [if] Sanchita [married] a high and mighty earl, or some other fine gentlemen, who when the fancy took him would drag her through the mud and call her peasant wench and clodhopper’s daughter and tow-spinner’s brat” (516). Not only does Teresa Panza assume that her daughter’s future husband will abuse her if he is wealthy but she also tries to thwart Sancho Panza’s career drive by urging him to “stick to [his] own station” and to not “be looking to get above [himself]” (516). In fact, Teresa Panza is insistently shrill when she says that “[she did not] raise [her] daughter” to be abused by a rich husband (516). What’s more, Teresa Panza tells Sancho Panza that he shouldn’t “go marrying her at those [high] courts and grand palaces of [his] where nobody will understand her and she won’t know what she’s doing,” while Sancho Panza avers that he will not “stop [his] daughter from marrying someone who’ll give [him] grandchildren who’ll be called your lordship” (517). In response, Teresa Panza says that she has “always been in favour of equality [in marriage since] she can’t stand people getting above themselves for no good reason” (517). In fact, Teresa Panza applies this concept to herself when she says that “Teresa [she] was christened, pure and simple, without any frills or flounces or titles stuck on the front [and she is] well content with [her] own name, without any Donnas piled on top of it” (517). Hesitant to assume the responsibilities of an aristocrat, Teresa Panza makes excuses by saying that she “doesn’t want to give people seeing her dressed up as a countess or a governor’s wife the excuse to say ‘Look what airs the slut’s giving herself now! Only yesterday she was busy spinning her tow from morning to night and there she goes today in her farthingale and her brooches and her fine airs as if we didn’t know who she is’” (518). “Unwilling to expose [herself] to all that,” Teresa Panza tells Sancho Panza to go ahead and be “a governor of an island, and give himself all the airs [he] likes – but [she] swears by the eternal glory of her dear mother that [she] and her daughter aren’t going to budge one inch from [her] village [since] a woman’s place is in the home” (518). Disappointed that Teresa Panza views a woman’s role as a domestic caretaker, frustrated that his wife is unwilling to better herself and her daughter, off-put by her unwillingness to strengthen the overall prominence and cohesiveness of their family, Sancho Panza faults her for “turning [her] back on good fortune” (518). Why, Sancho Panza asks her “won’t she agree [to] fall in with [his] wishes” (518)? Evidently, one of Teresa Panza’s anxieties of becoming a governess is her notion that she will be slandered by “gossips [who] nit-pick,” that she has found a way to go from “poor” to “rich” undeserved (518, 519). In response, Sancho Panza tells his wife to forget about her modest origins since “if [a] person that fortune has pulled out of the snow of his pond to the height of prosperity is well-mannered, generous and polite to everyone, and doesn’t go trying to vie with those who’ve been noble for ages, then [she] can be sure that nobody’s going to remember what [she] used to be, but instead they’ll stand in awe of what [she] is – all except envious people, and nobody’s good fortune is safe from them” (519). Simply put, Sancho Panza tells his wife that she should not worry about conducting herself properly in high society since “what we can see in front of us with our own two eyes comes into our mind, is present there and stays there much better and more clearly than what’s in our past” (519). Refusing, however, to agree with Sancho Panza’s line-of-reasoning, Teresa Panza avers that sometimes she “doesn’t understand him [therefore he should] stop making her head spin with all his highfalutin palaver” (519). Though Sancho Panza does not like his wife’s defeatist attitude, he gives her time to think about what he has said to her, in hopes that either Teresa Panza comes to her good senses in time, or, alternatively, they agree to divorce. In fact, Don Quixote reinforces the rationality of divorce by telling Sancho Panza that sometimes divorce is fully justified if a man is unable to “teach [his wife], instruct her, polish all that natural coarseness of her, because everything that is gained by an intelligent [husband] is often lost and wasted by a foolish, boorish wife” (768). Moreover, Don Quixote insists that since the behavior of a leader’s wife redounds on the moral characters of her followers, one in “high office” should “acquire a better wife,” if needed (768). In short, discussion centered on Sancho Panza and Teresa Panza’s potential divorce is based on a contrariety of mind as it relates to their social station. But since Sancho Panza and Teresa Panza develop “a healthy communication style” they come to work out their problems in an intense yet amicable way: which, in turn, serves as “good fuel for change.”
By “giving specific examples of their grievances, limiting their complaints to concrete issues, [and] expressing strong emotions,” Sancho Panza and Teresa Panza talk-out issues causing anger and resentment between them thereby resolving their problems.
Together, they adopt the attitude that “Yes, we have problems, but we can work out these problems, if we find the strength to change together.” In fact, their benevolent way of relating to each other allows Sancho Panza and Teresa Panza to: manage each other’s vulnerabilities; resolve their joint problems; and formulate an action plan of change. To explain, Sancho Panza and Teresa Panza find a way to reach “an agreeable mindset for change” by: listening carefully to one another; asking questions to clarify their understanding of each other; and, most importantly, talking out their problems.
Instead of “leaving their problems vague, or pushing them out of their awareness,” Sancho Panza and Teresa Panza “nail-down their specific grievances in words, thereby eliminating floating feelings of anger and frustration,” which, if unchecked, could cause an open rift in their relationship
This, in turn, fosters a healthy and happy marriage between them. What’s more, when Sancho Panza and Teresa Panza communicate they do not “monopolize the conversation but share the airwaves so that both partners feel that their voices and values are important to one another.”
Such, open, two-way dialogue between husband and wife, characterized by a series of candid conversations and defined by a set of serious actions, emphasizes that good communication is vital for sustaining any successful, romantic, relationship. Evidently, Sancho Panza and Teresa Panza’s face-to-face conversations, coupled with their frank epistolary communication, proves that they have a variety of joint concerns which they talk out together to not only see what is best to be done for themselves and their lives but also so that they reach joint spousal agreement on certain issues. This, in turn, fosters true-love between them. And while Sancho Panza and Teresa Panza have certain conjugal disputes that are part and parcel of any connubial relationship, ultimately, they resolve their differences by talking out their problems together. In this way, Sancho Panza and Teresa Panza are able to reach a unity of life-energy because they speak to one another, in an assertive not in an aggressive manner to learn what is important to one another and why―thereby learning to adjust their behavior accordingly.
The dramatic action of Don Quixote proves that Teresa Panza reforms her basic nature, repurposes her driving energy, and reinvents her life’s purpose via: a Duchess’s political out-reach efforts; a page’s encouraging comments; her husband’s conversational guidance; and her own self-persuasion, as well. This, in turn, merits Sancho Panza’s true love. First, the Aragonese Duchess eases Teresa Panza’s anxiety about her husband’s governorship by sending a letter to Teresa Panza in which she praises Sancho Panza’s “most excellent qualities of goodness and cleverness” (825). This reassurance, in turn, relaxes Teresa Panza by showing her that Sancho Panza is capable of being a good governor. Her apprehension is further lowered by the Duchess’s: complimentary letters; good-will gifts; and, most of all, by her frank, down-to-earth, nature. Since the Duchess solicits a shipment of “fine fat acorns to be had in her village” Teresa Panza says that the Duchess is “a good, straightforward, down-to-earth lady [who does not] put on [any] airs or graces” but, who, instead, calls her “her friend” thus “treating her with respect” (825, 826). What’s more, Teresa Panza even persuades her daughter to get used to being called “my lady” because her father is now a “governor” (830). Before Teresa Panza was adamantly opposed to her daughter becoming a lady; now she seems neutral, even excited by the prospect. Still hesitant, however, about whether such a salutation is appropriate for her daughter,Teresa Panza is unable to decide if what she “says makes any sense” (517, 830). To make her feel comfortable again, the Duchess’s page reassures her that “Senora Teresa is making more sense then she realizes” (830). Encouraged by the page’s praise, Teresa Panza writes a return letter to the Duchess in which she says that it “made [her] really happy to get [her opening] letter [and that she] decided to not sit [around] waiting for opportunity to knock twice [but] to go to the capital, instead, [to buy] a loaf [of bread and] a pound [of meat]” (842). Excited by the prospect of conducting activities associated with a governor’s wife, Teresa Panza asks the Duchess to “tell her husband to send her a good fair bit of money” (842). This assertion shows readers that Teresa Panza’s basic attitude towards bettering herself has changed dramatically since she now wants Sancho Panza to become a Governor and her daughter to become a lady. In fact, Teresa Panza is so excited by the prospect of becoming a governor’s wife that she dictates an opening letter to her husband in which she not only says that she is delighted at his being made “governor” but also that she “wants to do him credit in the capital [by] going around in a carriage” (844). Evidently, Teresa Panza starts to warm to her role as governess, for she even asks her husband to “send [her] a few strings of pearls” (844). Not only is Teresa Panza enthused about becoming a governess herself but she is also enthused by the advantages Sanchita will receive as a governor’s daughter: Like not “having to work” for her marriage “trousseau,” for example (844). Sancho Panza acknowledges this fact when he tells the Argonese Duchess that she “raised great hopes in [his] wife [by relaying] the news of [him] being [made] governor” (869). Here, we see that Sancho Panza is pleased by his wife’s willingness to become a governess, despite her previous hesitation. In brief, Teresa Panza merits Sancho Panza’s true-love by: willing herself to be a governess; assuming the responsibilities of a governess; and, lastly, by showing a willingness to prepare Sanchita for her role as a governor’s daughter. It is through these remedial efforts that Sancho Panza and Teresa Panza reach a commonality of purpose, a commonality of belief, and, most importantly, a commonality of values required for any successful relationship to work. Thus, they joyfully stay together, as lifelong husband and wife.
Evidently, Sancho Panza and Teresa Panza love each other very much as their repeat love declarations prove; as their separation-longings show; as their tender nicknames exemplify; as their sympathy for one another merits; as their willingness to please each other illustrates; as their good-will gifts exemplify; and finally, as their happiness at each other’s good fortune represents. Clearly, Sancho Panza “loves Teresa Panza [more] than [the] lashes over his eyes” for he tries “to please [his] wife” by bringing home money (960). Obviously, Sancho Panza’s attempt to satisfy Teresa Panza’s financial needs shows readers that love for his wife induces Sancho Panza to create positive cash flow for her. What’s more, Sancho Panza and Teresa Panza miss each other greatly since Teresa Panza declares that she is “cheered-up [to see him since her] heart [has] been so sad and out of sorts all [the] age’s he has been away” while Sancho Panza declares that his “happiness at [venture questing with Don Quixote] is mixed with sadness at leaving” his wife (473). In fact, Teresa Panza declares to Sancho Panza that she “was so happy” at getting “dearest Sancho’s” letter (843). Such a yearning for one another shows readers that husband-and-wife value one another’s life presence. Moreover, husband-and-wife refer to each other affectionately with tender salutations like “my dear, [or] dearest, or my good Sancho,” etc. (514, 829). By using terms of endearment, or special nicknames, Sancho Panza and Teresa Panza keep tenderness in their relationship alive. Moreover, husband and wife foster their love for one another by giving goodwill gifts. For instance, Sancho Panza sends Teresa Panza a “green hunting outfit of [very] fine worsted” thereby showing her that even when he is away from home he thinks of her kindly (828, 843). And when Sancho Panza declares, out of frustration, that if he “wasn’t expecting to be in control of an island before very long [he’d] drop down dead on the spot” Teresa Panza tells Sancho Panza that not only should he not “do that” but rather he should “live on” because “she would not want to live in this world without [him]” (844). This candid display of affection, in turn, shows Sancho Panza how important he is to his wife. What’s more, Sancho Panza tries to comfort his wife when she is dejected. For instance, when Teresa Panza cries at the prospect of Sanchica Panza marrying a rich man “Sancho comforts [her] by saying that even though he [is] going to [suggest that his] girl [marry] an earl, [he’ll] put it off [for] as long as he can,” out of respect for his wife’s feelings (520). Such consideration of his wife’s sentiments shows readers how much Sancho Panza loves Teresa Panza. In fact when Teresa Panza solicits “a few strings of pearls [to wear] (on Barataria)” Sancho Panza sends her a “string of corals,” instead, thereby satisfying his wife’s esthetic longings (844, 828). Another concrete indication of their mutual love is proven by the fact that they are overjoyed at each other’s good fortune. For example, Teresa Panza declares that she was “so happy” when she got Sancho Panza’s “letter” announcing his future governorship (842). Likewise, Sancho Panza is delighted when [insert example]. In brief, all of these factual self-evidencies, when taken together, prove that Sancho Panza and Teresa Panza marriage is salvageable because it is based on true love.
Since Sancho Panza and Teresa Panza are alike in many fundamental ways―illustrated by their folksy proverbs, rustic metaphors, homely similes, and body weight―their life energy synchronizes into a personality merger, of sorts. This, in turn, connects their hearts together into a merger of co-functionality. First, as the book proves, Sancho Panza and Teresa Panza have similar speech style identities, since both individuals intersperse their oral explanations, of people and events, with agrarian metaphors. For example, when Sancho Panza tells Teresa Panza about his governorship, she says, in her typical country way, that “honey wasn’t made for the mouth of [simpletons]” (473). Again, when Sancho Panza tells Teresa Panza that if he “wasn’t expecting to be in control of an island before very long [he’d] drop down dead on the spot,” Teresa Panza tells him to not “do that [for] the hen [should] live on though she has got the pip, and [therefore he should] live on too” (515). In reply, Sancho Panza says “that it’ll be a good idea if [he] ends up in control of something worthwhile that will pull [them] out of the mire” (517). Thus, by referring to a hen’s medical state, on the one hand, and rising out of a mud-bog, on the other, husband-and-wife both use natural imagery to make their points. Moreover, when Sancho Panza talks about her daughter’s marriage he uses terms like “a brace of shakes,” and the “twinkling of an eye,” while, Teresa Panza, for her part, also refers to natural images by saying that “there are gossips everywhere in the streets like swarms of bees” (518). In a word, by using natural observations and animal imagery to make their points about lived experience, Sancho Panza and Teresa Panza’s common speech-style identities bonds them together into a loving, long-term, relationship. One last example of husband-and-wife using rustic metaphors to describe natural phenomenon occurs when Sancho Panza says that “there isn’t a mallet that tightens the hoops on a barrel as tight as [Teresa Panza] tightens the screws to make you do what she sets her mind on” (531). Again Sancho Panza draws analogies between manmade farm objects he uses and his wife’s behavior while Teresa Panza, for her part, also analogizes Sancho Panza’s behavior by referring to farm implements. This like mode of expression bonds them together. What’s more, husband-and-wife both intersperse their speech with witty proverbs. Textually, this is evident when Teresa Panza not only tells her daughter that her “dear father is the father of proverbs” but also when she uses proverbs herself: like when she says that “when you’re offered a heifer [its best to] make haste with the halter” (829). Even the priest, father Pero Perez, agrees that “every member of [this] breed of Panzas was born complete with a sackful of proverbs inside him [for he] hasn’t met a single one who doesn’t reel them off at all hours of the day and in all his conversations” (829). Hence, all of Sancho Panza and Teresa Panza’s agrarian proverbs shows readers that they have similar speech style identities, which, in turn, provides a connection-point of commonality between them. But this is not the only way that husband-and-wife interpenetrate one another’s characters, since Teresa Panza’s “fatness [goes] well with her real name” and Sancho Panza is also “short, squat, and rotund” (941). Evidently, both conjugal spouses, as illustrated by their fleshy anatomies, like to eat heartily, to excess even, thus, they infuse one another’s life-habits with an excessive yearning for food. In conclusion, since husband and wife co-operate and co-habitat in like ways, they come to love one another because they are similar to each other. Most importantly, though, all of Sancho Panza and Teresa Panza’s likenesses show readers thattrue love, between a husband and a wife, comes, in part, from shared life-habits, common life-experiences, and a sense-of-life affinity, which, in turn, brings them closer together. In other words, the longstanding marriage between Sancho Panza and Teresa Panza renders them like one another in rather fundamental ways, thus showing readers that the joining of personalities, and the merging of life habits, is part-and-parcel of any long-term, romantic, relationship.
Another point of commonality between Sancho Panza and Teresa Panza that earns one another’s true-love, is their mutual concern for and striving after money, which they talk about throughout the book, quite comprehensively. Such monetary interdependence, in turn, enables husband-and-wife to foster their romantic union through fiscal two-way support. To emphasize the importance of money to their relationship, Teresa Panza repeatedly asks “what [Sancho Panza] has got out of all of [his] squiring, how many fine skirts [he has brought back] for [her;] how many pairs of shoes for [her] children” (473). In response, Sancho Panza says that though he has brought back no money on his first sally he expects to earn money as “an earl or a governor of an island” (473). In response Teresa Panza asks “heaven [to] grant it [since] they need [money] badly enough” (473). Later, we learn that the Duke of Aragon gives Sancho Panza “two hundred gold escudos” for governing Barataria well (870). Additionally, when Sancho Panza finds Cardenio’s dead donkey lying in a stream he finds “100 gold escudos” in its “saddle bags,” which he eventually brings home to his wife and children (190). Sancho Panza also provides money for his wife by providing her tangible, physical, goods, like “two donkey-mares,” for example, gifted to him by Don Quixote (214). These pack-animals, in turn, enable his wife to: travel from her home to surrounding villages; transport groceries from the market place to her home; till the fields by dragging an iron plow attached to their backs, etc.. Moreover, Sancho Panza specifically asks Don Quixote for fixed wages for his squirely work so that he can “calculate pro rata what [he is] owed [in order to] be his own paymaster” (679). Don Quixote says that since Sancho Panza carries his money in a waist pouch, he can pay himself his back wages for the “twenty five days” of his second sally, which monies he shares with his wife and children when he gets home (679). Also when Senor Quixote composes his last will-and-testament he stipulates that: “it is [his wish] that in respect to certain monies in Sancho Panza’s possession whatever remains after he has paid himself what [he is] owed should all be his” (978). Therefore, Sancho Panza not only receives fixed income for his job with Don Quixote but he also receives a lump, capital-sum, for his squireship, as well. In sum, since Sancho Panza acquires 300 gold escudos, 3 donkey mares, an unspecified squirely salary, and a last will bequest, he wins Teresa Panza’s respect, love, and esteem for him by being a good monetary provider. Teresa Panza, in turn, also contributes money to the relationship by using the capital sum that Sancho Panza sends her to purchase seed-stock which she uses to sow the fields. In fact, we learn that what Teresa Panza and her family do not eat, she sells at market for a profit. This is why she plants corn, sows barley, and milks cows and goats and other milching-animals, which milk she churns into butter to sell at the local bazaar for a profit. Additionally she collects and sells her hens eggs for a tidy capital sum. Therefore, by individual monetary initiative, one in one way the other in another, Sancho Panza and Teresa Panza come to love one another because they both co-finance their relationship.
Joint nurturing of their children also gives Sancho Panza and Teresa Panza a purposive-bond that connects husband-and-wife together into a respectful, romantic, relationship, which, in turn, enables them to earn and maintain their true-love for one another. Firstly, both parents would like to see their son Sancho gainfully employed and their daughter Sanchita productively engaged. Textually, this is explicit when Teresa Panza tells Sancho Panza “that if [he is] so set on being in control of an island, [he] should take [his] son Sanchico with [him], to start teaching him to be in control too, because it is a good idea for a son to learn and inherit his father’s trade” (519). In total agreement, Sancho Panza says that “as soon as [he is] put in [a governorial position he’ll] send for him post haste,” in order to train him for political leadership (519). As a future leader, Teresa Panza is concerned with educating her son, which she expresses thusly: “Sanchico’s fifteen now, and it’d be a good idea if he went to school, [especially] if his uncle the priest is going to make a churchman out of him” (516). In tacit agreement, Sancho Panza discusses Sanchico’s future governorship with an eye to seeing that he is well-educated. This concept, in turn, extends to their daughter Sanchica’s economic independence, evidenced by the fact that when Teresa Panza writes to Sancho Panza that now that “Sanchica [is] making lace [and] earning eight clear maravedis a day that she puts in a piggy bank towards her trousseau” she is on her way to being financially self-sufficient (844). Thus, Teresa Panza and Sancho Panza’s common desire to find a job for their son, their abiding concern for his developmental education, as well as some evidence regarding their daughter’s economic activity, display joint concerns for their children, which, in turn, endears one to the other. Another way Teresa Panza and Sancho Panza provide for their children’s material needs is by giving them clothing and food, for example. This is why Teresa Panza asks Sancho Panza “how many pairs of shoes [he] brought [back] for [his] children” upon returning from his second sally (473). Though he does not have shoes for their children at this time, later, Sancho Panza makes up for it by sending his wife “a green hunting outfit [for her to] make up into a skirt and some bodices for [their] daughter” (735). Also both parents come to love one another by suggesting an appropriate spouse for their daughter since they think that “Sanchita [would be delighted] if they searched for a fitting husband for her” (516). Obviously, Sancho Panza does not neglect his wife and children when he is away for he not only declares his intention to “stick a Dona and a ladyship on top of [his daughter’s name]―thereby “fetching her out of the stubble fields and putting her under an awning onto a platform with plush pillows on it”―but also he avers that when he is away he is “sad at having to leave [her] and the children” (518, 515). In conclusion, Sancho Panza and Teresa Panza’s concern for and up-keep of their children―in terms of their education, occupation, material well being, and marital status, generates true-love between them. To further answer the question of whether a young woman should choose a socially accepted and parentally sanctioned lover or whether she should choose a man she really loves, Cervantes juxtaposes marriage-for-love versus marriage-by-arrangement, ultimately favoring the former over the later. Take Basilio and Quiteria for example. Since Basilio and Quiteria are next door neighbors in the same village Basilio falls in love with Quiteria when he is a “boy of tender years” (610). In return, Quiteria shows her affection for Basilio with “a thousand innocent displays of affection” (610). As they grow up Basilio and Quiteria’s mutual love is so pronounced that “people amuse themselves in the village by telling each other about the love affair of [these] two children” (610). Despite this fact, however, Quiteria’s father is more concerned with the “material side of marriage wanting his daughter to marry a man who is able to provide for her comfort.”
Thus, he “arranges for his daughter to marry Camacho the Rich,” not Basilio the Poor, since he “does not think it wise to [let her] marry [a spouse] less well endowed by fortune” (610). Even though Basilio the Poor can: wrestle expertly; play pelota well; “run like a deer; jump further than a goat; sing like a lark”; play the guitar wonderfully; and “knock down skittles like magic”; Quiteria’s father is unmoved since he thinks that these skills and talents aren’t saleable (616). Since Quiteria’s father is “looking for the best [economic] provider for his daughter” what impresses him most is not Basilio’s athleticism but Camacho’s wealth which can literally “bury Basilio in gold coins” (616).
This contrast, in turn, leads to discussion of whether “marriages should be arranged by parents―divorced from romantic attraction and usually for economic reasons―or based on the personal, romantic desires of a couple”.
Sancho Panza, it seems, favors the view that people, such as Quiteria’s father, should not “stop people who love each other from marrying [since love] looks through spectacles that make copper seem like gold, poverty like wealth, and water in the eyes like pearls” (611, 612). Basically, Sancho Panza helps readers to the perspective that since “true-love is an emotion in which the soul is incited to join itself willingly to objects which appear agreeable to it;” it supersedes the cash value of a romantic partner
To refute the view that marriage is largely a business transaction motivated by economic benefit and political gain, Sancho Panza believes that “romantic attraction is an adequate, and indeed the only basis for choosing one’s lifelong partner.” Don Quixote seconds Sancho Panza’s stance by saying that “for people in love to marry [is a] most excellent end [since] love is pure joy, delight, and happiness, [especially when] the lover is in possession of the loved one” (631). Marriage, [to Don Quixote,] is a way of gaining the highly valued commodity of happiness, since love meets the emotional needs of the individual, gives him a sense of security, and provides him with much of the impetus and inspiration to effort. This is why he counsels “Basilio to stop devoting his time to those special skills of his, which brings him much renown but does not make him any money, and to apply himself to earning a living by honest, hard work, an option that is always available to diligent and prudent people” (631). Far from holding the view that “marriage is a phase of feudal business-management consisting of the joining of lands, the cementing of loyalties, and the production of heirs and future defenders,” Don Quixote reasons that true love should be fostered by a strong work ethic, especially since “need and poverty are absolute enemies” of romantic love (631).
Cervantes inevitably leads women and men into “marriage-for-love [not] marriage-by-arrangement” by having them marry their childhood sweethearts, even if they are relatively poor.
One way he does this is by having Basilio the Poor stop Quiteria the Fair from marrying Camacho the Rich by: ramming the steel spike of his walking stick into the ground; pulling its scabbard off to reveal a medium length rapier hidden inside; and, most astonishingly, throwing himself onto its jutting blade with such firm resolve that it seems to pass through his body. Then Basilio lies wallowing on the ground, stretched in a pool of his own fake blood, sighing pitiful moans and groans from time-to-time, pretending to come in-and-out of consciousness all to convince Quiteria that she should follow her heart by marrying him instantly. One argument Basilio uses to convince Quiteria to marry him is to “not turn [her] back on his own pure love for another man’s riches” because wealth alone will not bring her happiness (626). Moreover, Basilio declares that since “his own efforts [will eventually] increase [his] fortunes” she should not be off-put by his temporary lack of money (625). After waiting for Quiteria to gather her thoughts Basilio tells her that if she is “willing to give [him her] hand as [his] bride it [will] enable [him] to attain the bliss of being [hers]” (626). It seems that Basilio believes that his “identity is now entwined with” Quiteria’s, since, only with her, will he be whole, because “the portion of his self that belongs to her” will only be complete if he is with her.
More largely, the action of this scene raises the question: “Does love depend on parent’s arranging suitable matches among their children or should marriage be governed by personal affection instead?” Evidently, Quiteria thinks that husbands and wives should freely find and freely choose each other; and that true love should be the principal bond that holds romantic partners together. For this reason she “kneels by [Basilio’s] side, asks him for his hand, and says that since ‘no force would be sufficient to bend [her] will, it is with total freedom that she gives [him her] hand as [his] lawful wedded wife’” (628). In return, Quiteria will “accept [Basilio’s] hand, [only if he], too, gives it [to her] of [his] own free will, unimpaired and underanged by the calamity that [he] has brought upon [himself] by [his] wild ideas” (628). Such emphasis on love and mutual attraction between bride and groom shows readers that husbands and wives should be as two sweet friends in the golden book of love. Just the fact that Quiteria and Basilio “choose their own lovers rather than marrying for convenience indicates their strength.”
In Cervantes’s world, true-love, on the one hand, is shown to be powerful enough to mend social rifts, while arranged marriages, on the other hand, catalyze hostility, conflict, opposition, and antagonism between rival suitors, especially when parents try to force a match that their children do not want. Take Basilio’s, Quiteria’s, and Camacho’s love triangle, for example. Since “Camacho feels humiliated” that Quiteria loves a poor county shepherd better then himself he “entrusts [his] vengeance to [his] own hands [by] unsheathing [his] sword [and] falling upon Basilio” (629). Immediately, “many more swords are drawn,” both by Camacho’s supporters and by Basilio’s friends, and, in an instant, an armed conflict almost ensues (629). Had not Father Pero Perez and Don Quixote intervened―one by speaking many “wise and well-meaning words” the other by brandishing his sword―these antagonists would have certainly injured each other, perhaps fatally (629). But since the creative passion of true-love conquers the destructive rage of a spurned lover, calmer heads prevail. In fact, as Camacho sees it, “more thanks are due to heaven for having taken Quiteria from him than for having given her to him” since she would “have continued to love Basilio [even] after he married her” (629). With these words, both groups of men “return their swords to their proper places,” and once again the streets are safe and quiet (629). The larger point here is that “rather than presenting a carefree image of marriage [between Quiteria and Camacho, Cervantes] intertwines images of love and death; vignettes of joy and sorrow,” to emphasize the point that if parents insist on forcing their children into matches they don’t like, what can, and often does, result, are intense pre-marital disagreements that can spill-over as violence erupts in the streets.
And, this, in turn, can lead to nasty blood feuds: like the clash between the Caplets and the Montagues in Romeo and Juliet, for example. Another illustration of this concept in action occurs when Luscinda’s parents force her to marry Don Fernando against her will. Due to their “persuasion that Don Fernando will be a better match” for their daughter they inadvertently create a dangerous situation where her rival suitors almost battle (237). But Don Fernando’s true-love for Dorotea stops him from unsheathing his sword, since she “clasps his legs, kisses them, and holds onto him,” all the while saying, with “tears flowing down her cheeks,” that since he has, at his “feet,” his true and lawful “wife,” he should be content with that and not jeopardize his life out of a mistaken sense of honor (351, 343). Due to the wisdom of this plea “Don Fernando brings himself to tranquility, thereby showing all the world that reason has more power over [him] than passion” (343). As these examples prove, a repeating theme in Don Quixote is the idea that true love restores tranquility between and among lovers so that peace, law, and order prevails.
Another point that Cervantes explores in Don Quixote is the idea that when two-human beings enjoy a very special, loving, relationship, they should not test one another’s love by administering unnecessary love tests...
Length- 18, 817 Words or 75 pages.
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