The second volume of Don Quixote is Cervantes showing his anger toward the book/author of a fake volume two of the novel. The lines between reality and fiction are continually blurred, but in this volume Cervantes tries to distinguish his version as the real volume (and as a different novel from the first) by changing don Quixote.
Reality or Fiction
The lines between reality and fiction are blurred because when the priest and barber go to talk with don Quixote he initially seems sane to them, but as the conversation progresses don Quixote becomes triggered and is seemingly pulled back into his fantasy of the existence and heroism of knights. Similarly, the Knight of Mirrors seems to blur the lines between reality and fiction. His initial task is to get rid of don Quixote and pretend to be the Knight of the Wood along with his Squire of the Wood, however, after losing a joust to don Quixote the line for him is blurred because the “injustice” was done to a character he was portraying in order to manipulate don Quixote. This is understandable because he is supposed to both literally and figuratively reflect don Quixote.
Don Quixote is changing because he seems to be more concerned with his honor and reputation than with just randomly traveling and fighting villains, saving damsels, and doing other knightly things. At the beginning of the second volume don Quixote is told that there has been a book written about him and Sancho’s adventures, don Quixote is worried about what people think of the book and Sansón seems to criticize the book. Sansón then tells don Quixote that if he is after fame then he should go to a jousting tournament and don Quixote believes that is what he shall do.
Later, don Quixote and Sancho are on their journey when Sancho’s donkey is taken from him and ridden around on, initially don Quixote goes to fight the person who is riding Sancho’s donkey but Sancho is able to talk him out of it, this shows that don Quixote may have learned from his past experiences, may be a small bit more rational, and be more concerned about how people will view his actions.
Cervantes asserts his claim over don Quixote and the novel by continually taking jabs at the author/ book of the fake volume two of Don Quixote, this starts in the prologue because Cervantes tells the author of the false Quixote to stop writing and publishing bad books. When Sancho, don Quixote, and Sansón are talking about the novel published on their adventures Cervantes writes the scene so that he is able to comment on how he feels about the author of the false Quixote, “To which Sancho said: ‘The author is just looking for profit and income? It’ll be a wonder if he can succeed, because he’ll just work fast like the tailor the night before Easter, and work you do in a hurry is never done with the perfection that it requires.’” (Chapter IIII)
The second volume of Don Quixote seems to be very different from the first, Cervantes main focus in writing the novel was to express his thoughts about the false Quixote novel that was published, which is different from the first volume where Cervantes was mocking the tales of knights and chivalry. This may have changed how he wrote the book and how he wrote his characters, for example don Quixote is changing into a more reasonable person.