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Abstract

The sixteenth century, known as the “Golden Age”, in Spain proved very prosperous for a small percentage of Spaniards. However, for the multitudes, it was a time of poverty and suffering. The unknown author ofLazarillo de Tormes presents this dark side of Spain’s history by recounting the journey of a rogue named Lazarillo. This study explores the decision Lazarillo must make between satisfying his very basic need of obtaining food or satisfying a very prevalent societal need to appear as a man of importance and honor. It focuses on the social conditions confronting him, his experiences while the servant of a prideful squire and his situation as a cuckold at the end of the novel. Through these elements, it is explained how Lazarillo comes to terms with his role in society and chooses to alleviate the hunger in his belly rather than chase the impossible dream of being “honorable”.

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