The Life of Lazarillo de Tormes



Teachers and parents! Struggling with distance learning? Our Teacher Edition on Lazarillo de Tormes can help.

The Life of Lazarillo de Tormes: Chapter 4 Summary & Analysis

Lazaro’s neighbors help him find his next master, a friar from the monastery who loved wandering around and visiting people, and hated spending time at the monastery. The friar gives Lazaro his first pair of shoes, but the pair doesn’t last longer than a week because of all the friar’s running about, which Lazaro finds exhausting. Because of this, and other reasons that Lazaro says he prefers not to mention, Lazaro leaves the friar after a short time.
The fourth chapter of the book marks a sudden and dramatic shift in the style of Lazaro’s storytelling. Whereas the previous three chapters gave long and detailed accounts of Lazaro’s suffering under each of his masters, this chapter is vague in its details and very brief. If the previous chapter marked a moral highpoint for Lazaro’s character, this chapter might be understood to mark the beginning of a shift in a different direction—away from kindness and compassion, toward a more cynical and opportunistic way of looking at the world. This hardened outlook finds expression in Lazaro’s more restrained and economical storytelling style. Furthermore, it is notable that the friar Lazaro serves is so preoccupied with “worldly matters”–which might be taken as a euphemism for sexual affairs—considering he is supposed to be confined to the monastery. This serves as yet another example of blatant religious hypocrisy.
Social and Religious Hypocrisy Theme Icon
Growing Up Theme Icon