Book 2, Part 15: Now returning to their native village, Don Quixote and Sancho begin discussing fate or providence versus free will. The Don rejects Sancho's view of arbitrary fortune, attributing, instead, all earthly events to divine providence.
Finally, Quixote even offers to pay Sancho to flog himself. Sancho agrees, but when the time comes to get on with it, he simply beats some nearby tree branches instead of his own behind, though his master, who doesn't see him in the darkness, believes that the penance is actually being completed.
Believing that Sancho has finished, Quixote hopes that Dulcinea will now appear to him, but also contemplates the idea of becoming a shepherd during his one year of "exile."
Book 2, Part 16: Cervantes finishes off his protagonist once and for all in his final chapter. Quixote dies of fever, but first loses his madness and innocence. He takes up his former name-Alsonso Quixano-and expresses his extreme disdain for books of chivalry.