Social Satire In Lazarillo De Torme

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Lazarillo de Tormes is an anonymously written pseudo-autobiographical novel that details the calamitous events of a young, poor boy’s journey to maturity, the plot of which provides a stage for Lazarillo’s moral rise and decline to be set. Said by many, including Franciso Márquez Villanueva to be a entirely a sharp social satire, “ferozmente sacrástico y pesimista por sistema,” this interpretation is diametrically opposed to Marcel Bataillon’s interpretation that the work is “un livre pour rire, de burlas,” that is, a novel that falls short of the acerbic satire of later picaresque novels and instead prioritises humanity and individuality, especially in the case of Lazarillo. I will apply these two conflicting viewpoints to the events and themes…show more content…
This, as Márquez Villanuena states is “the most important confidential statement made to the read” due to its self reflecting nature, works together will the sympathy and identification with Lazarillo during the hardships of his young to give a symbolic and universal value to the protagonist. The fact that Lazarillo becomes so morally reprehensible can therefore be seen to represent Lazarillo as a parable of all men in society. Even the lack of details concerning his moral fall acts to treat errors of society rather than of the individual—by not personalising the fall, and remaining extremely brief and vague (“Y por esto y por otras cosillas que no digo, salí del”) the author asks the readers previously manipulated into identifying with Lazarillo if they too will continue on the same moral trajectory, as the reader cannot now apply ‘situational ethics’ to justify Lazarillo’s decline since we are given no context, no
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