The Life of Lazarillo de Tormes

The blind man Character Analysis

The blind man is Lazaro’s first master, about whom Lazaro writes the most. A miserly and streetwise old beggar, the blind man earns a living by travelling from town to town saying prayers and blessings for whoever will pay him. He beats Lazaro and doesn’t feed him well, but he teaches Lazaro valuable lessons about how to protect and provide for himself. Like other blind men in literature, he seems to have a gift for prophecy, predicting the two most notable developments of the book’s conclusion: that Lazaro’s livelihood will depend on wine, and that he will become a cuckold.

The blind man Quotes in The Life of Lazarillo de Tormes

The The Life of Lazarillo de Tormes quotes below are all either spoken by The blind man or refer to The blind man. For each quote, you can also see the other characters and themes related to it (each theme is indicated by its own dot and icon, like this one:
Truth, Deception, and Loss of Innocence Theme Icon
). Note: all page numbers and citation info for the quotes below refer to the NYRB Classics edition of The Life of Lazarillo de Tormes published in 2004.
Chapter 1 Quotes

It seemed to me that at that moment I awoke out of the simplicity in which I had remained like a sleeping child. And I said to myself, “He’s right. I’d better keep my eyes open and my wits about me, for I’m on my own, and I’ll have to figure out how to manage for myself.”

Related Characters: Lazaro de Tormes (speaker), The blind man
Related Symbols: Horns
Page Number: 12
Explanation and Analysis:
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He put wine on the places where he’d cut my face with the broken jug, and he smiled and said, “What do you think of that, Lazaro? The same thing that got you hurt heals you afterwards and gets you back into shape.”

Related Characters: Lazaro de Tormes (speaker), The blind man
Related Symbols: Wine
Page Number: 19
Explanation and Analysis:
Quotes explanation short mobile

“Oh wicked object, the fruit of worse behavior! How many there are who would like to see you on their neighbors’ heads, and yet how few want to have you for themselves, or even want to hear you mentioned in connection with them! … It’s a bad dinner and supper I’ve got in my hand here, but I’ll give it to you one of these days… What I’ve said is true. You’ll see, if you live long enough.”

Related Characters: The blind man (speaker), Lazaro de Tormes
Related Symbols: Horns
Page Number: 24
Explanation and Analysis:
Quotes explanation short mobile

“Honestly, I waste more wine washing this boy in one year than I drink myself in two. Lazaro, to put it at its very least you owe more to wine than you do to your own father. He only gave you your being once, whereas wine has brought you to life a thousand times. … I’ll tell you, if there’s anyone in this world to whom wine will be a blessing, it will be you.”

Related Characters: The blind man (speaker), Lazaro de Tormes
Related Symbols: Wine
Page Number: 29
Explanation and Analysis:
Quotes explanation short mobile
Chapter 3 Quotes

“He’s poor,” I said to myself, “and nobody can give what he hasn’t got. Whereas that miserly blind man and that niggardly skin-flint of a priest had both done alright for themselves in the name of God, the one with his hand-kissing and the other with his line of patter, and they starved me half to death. So it’s perfectly fair to be down on them and to take pity on this one.”

Related Characters: Lazaro de Tormes (speaker), The blind man, The priest, The squire
Page Number: 73
Explanation and Analysis:
Quotes explanation short mobile
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The blind man Character Timeline in The Life of Lazarillo de Tormes

The timeline below shows where the character The blind man appears in The Life of Lazarillo de Tormes. The colored dots and icons indicate which themes are associated with that appearance.
Chapter 1
Poverty, Crime, and Violence Theme Icon
Growing Up Theme Icon
One day a blind man comes to the inn and, thinking that Lazaro could be of use to him, asks... (full context)
Poverty, Crime, and Violence Theme Icon
Growing Up Theme Icon
The blind man realizes that he isn’t making any money in Salamanca and decides that he and Lazaro... (full context)
Truth, Deception, and Loss of Innocence Theme Icon
Poverty, Crime, and Violence Theme Icon
Growing Up Theme Icon
As the blind man and Lazaro are leaving Salamanca they come across a statue of a stone bull by... (full context)
Truth, Deception, and Loss of Innocence Theme Icon
Social and Religious Hypocrisy Theme Icon
Poverty, Crime, and Violence Theme Icon
Lazaro describes how the blind man is able to collect a fair amount of money by affecting an air of religious... (full context)
Truth, Deception, and Loss of Innocence Theme Icon
Poverty, Crime, and Violence Theme Icon
During this time Lazaro also learns to steal swigs of wine from the blind man ’s jug, but the blind man notices the jug getting lighter and learns to always... (full context)
Truth, Deception, and Loss of Innocence Theme Icon
In their travels, the blind man and Lazaro come to the town of Almorox where a kind stranger gives the blind... (full context)
Truth, Deception, and Loss of Innocence Theme Icon
Poverty, Crime, and Violence Theme Icon
In Escalona, Lazaro and the blind man stay in a shoemaker’s shop where ropes are hung from the ceiling. The blind man,... (full context)
Truth, Deception, and Loss of Innocence Theme Icon
Poverty, Crime, and Violence Theme Icon
One night while they are staying in Escalona, the blind man is roasting sausages and cooking a stew. He gives Lazaro some money and asks him... (full context)
Poverty, Crime, and Violence Theme Icon
Mercy and Compassion Theme Icon
...to health by the friendly innkeeper’s wife, who uses the wine Lazaro stole from the blind man to clean his wounds. The blind man jokingly makes another prophesy that Lazaro, more than... (full context)
Truth, Deception, and Loss of Innocence Theme Icon
Poverty, Crime, and Violence Theme Icon
Growing Up Theme Icon
They leave Escalona a few days later, passing through a town where the blind man stops to beg. As night falls and it begins to rain, the blind man decides... (full context)
Chapter 2
Social and Religious Hypocrisy Theme Icon
Poverty, Crime, and Violence Theme Icon
...to help with mass and Lazaro says that he does—a skill he learned from the blind man —and so the priest agrees to take Lazaro as his servant. Almost immediately Lazaro realizes... (full context)
Chapter 7
Social and Religious Hypocrisy Theme Icon
Poverty, Crime, and Violence Theme Icon
Growing Up Theme Icon
...thief is of high quality. The sight of the rope reminds him of what the blind man had said about the ropes in the shoemaker’s shop in Escalona, and the memory makes... (full context)
Truth, Deception, and Loss of Innocence Theme Icon
Social and Religious Hypocrisy Theme Icon
...archpriest’s chambers, causing Lazaro suspicion. As a result, Lazaro is often haunted by what the blind man said to him long ago in Escalona about the horns on the wall of the... (full context)