The Life of Lazarillo de Tormes

Wine Symbol Analysis

Wine Symbol Icon

Wine plays an important role throughout the book as a symbol of the bittersweet: the entanglement of virtue and vice. As a drink which is sweetly intoxicating and also fermented (and therefore slightly toxic to the body), wine has a dual nature. In keeping with this dual nature, wine gets Lazaro into trouble as often as it saves his life. Although Lazaro is injured badly as a punishment for stealing wine from the blind man, wine is also the disinfectant the blind man uses to wash Lazaro’s wounds afterwards. Most notably, the blind man makes a prophesy that Lazaro will have more to thank wine for than any other man—a prophesy that comes true in the final chapter, when Lazaro has become a town crier who makes his money advertising wines. Here, wine is the source of Lazaro’s livelihood even as his life is a deeply flawed and unlucky one. Wine is present throughout the text as a staple in the lives of poor people, bringing them temporary happiness in a world full of pain—not by providing any lasting solutions to their problems, but rather by numbing them to the pains of their everyday reality.

Wine Quotes in The Life of Lazarillo de Tormes

The The Life of Lazarillo de Tormes quotes below all refer to the symbol of Wine. 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

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:

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“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:

Lorem ipsum dolor sit amet, consectetur adipiscing elit, sed do eiusmod tempor incididunt ut labore et dolore magna aliqua. Ut enim ad minim veniam, quis nostrud exercitation ullamco laboris nisi ut aliquip ex ea commodo consequat. Duis aute irure dolor in reprehenderit in voluptate velit esse cillum dolore eu fugiat nulla pariatur. Excepteur sint occaecat cupidatat non proident, sunt in culpa qui officia deserunt mollit anim id est laborum.

Lorem ipsum dolor sit amet, consectetur adipiscing elit, sed do eiusmod tempor incididunt ut labore et dolore magna aliqua. Ut enim ad minim veniam, quis nostrud exercitation ullamco laboris nisi ut aliquip ex ea commodo consequat. Duis aute irure dolor in reprehenderit in voluptate velit esse cillum dolore eu fugiat nulla pariatur. Excepteur sint occaecat cupidatat non proident, sunt in culpa qui officia deserunt mollit anim id est laborum.

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Wine Symbol Timeline in The Life of Lazarillo de Tormes

The timeline below shows where the symbol Wine appears in The Life of Lazarillo de Tormes. The colored dots and icons indicate which themes are associated with that appearance.
Chapter 1
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... (full context)
Poverty, Crime, and Violence Theme Icon
Mercy and Compassion Theme Icon
...days, Lazaro is nursed back 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... (full context)
Chapter 3
Truth, Deception, and Loss of Innocence Theme Icon
Mercy and Compassion Theme Icon
...offers Lazaro a drink from his jug and Lazaro refuses, explaining that he doesn’t drink wine, but the squire explains that it’s just water. (full context)
Chapter 7
Social and Religious Hypocrisy Theme Icon
Poverty, Crime, and Violence Theme Icon
Growing Up Theme Icon
...finds work as a town crier in Toledo. His job is to advertise the local wines and announce the news, crimes, and lost property. One day Lazaro is helping to hang... (full context)
Truth, Deception, and Loss of Innocence Theme Icon
Social and Religious Hypocrisy Theme Icon
...archpriest of San Salvador takes notice of Lazaro for his skill in selling the archpriest’s wines, and he arranges for Lazaro to marry one of the maids in his service. Lazaro,... (full context)