Is Lazarillo de Tormes a Subversive Text?
In this essay I am going to discuss whether or not we can consider Lazarillo de Tormes as a subversive text and the reasons behind why or why not we may believe it to be so. To accomplish this, I will explore the background behind Lazarillo, the different methods and literary devices used to convey dual meaning and give the text an undertone of subversion.
The word ‘subversion’ is defined as “a systematic attempt to undermine, overthrow or cause the destruction of an established or legally constituted government or political system.” 1 Lazarillo de Tormes is thought to have been written during 16th century Spain, a time of oppression and exploitation of …show more content…
Another subversive device used by the anonymous author, is the use of self-denunciation as a tool to humble himself in the prologue of the novella. “que confesando yo no ser más santo que mis vecinos, de esta nonada, que en este grosero estilo escribo,” 9 In this excerpt, Lázaro uses a technique called ‘captatio benevolentiale’ (lit. 'capture the benevolence of your audience')10 to make himself seem modest in his writing. He describes himself as not being of holy character, his writing style as being 'grosero’ and his actual writing as being a “little bit of nothingness”. This is the beginning of a string of rhetoric that will subvert the audience into pitying him for his misfortune and forgiving his