As the story continues to progress, I continue to wonder how much mistreatment Sancho will continue to take before he loses his calm? Sancho is no sidekick to Quixote, but rather he is simply his whipping boy. Sancho has been traveling along with the Quixote in hopes of gaining governorship of an island. However, this is most likely another one of Quixote’s false promises to continue to get Sancho to do his bidding and take his beatings. It’s unclear to me whether Sancho doesn’t have the smarts to realize that Quixote’s promises are highly improbable, or he simply is hanging on to hope. Either way, Sancho is doing more than his fair share in this “partnership.” There were two specific examples of Sancho’s mistreatment in this section of the book.
The first of Sancho’s mistreatments was when he was left to foot the bill for the duo’s misadventure at the inn. Quixote refused to pay the bill, as he had never heard of a knight having to pay for anything in any of his books. He promptly decided to leave on his trusty steed, leaving Sancho S.O.L. Sancho is then seized by the innkeeper and some of his buddies. They tossed Sancho up in the air over and over again in a blanket, threatening to let him fall and break all of his bones. Quixote never came to Sancho’s aid.
The second of Sancho’s mistreatments comes shortly after his incident with he blanket. Quixote sees large dust clouds off in the distance, which he assumes are two warring armies, which means that he of course must step in. In reality, these “warring armies” are simply a flock of sheep being moved through the desert. Quixote was convinced, but Sancho couldn’t understand how he could see them from that far away. Quixote then listed all the names of knights he had read about in his books, “Saying this, he dashed into the middle of the squadron of sheep and began to attack them with his lance with as much ire and daring as if he were really fighting enemies. The shepherds with the flock shouted at him to stop, but since it was doing no good, they took out their slingshots and began to greet his ears with stones as big as your fist.” These slingshots did not affect Quixote in the slightest, so the shepherds decided to attack Sancho instead.
Sancho Panza, the dutiful sidekick, or the poor whipping boy?