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Book Report
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The Swindler by Francisco de Quevedo (Book Report Sample)


The Swindler by Francisco de Quevedo. This is a 4 page FINAL paper. Here are the instructions:
1. Provide a short summary of the plot (no more than half a page).
2. Tell me what are the salient themes of the literary work.
3. Analyze two or three of these themes and explain how do they reflect the culture, values, politics, social and economic structures of early modern Spain. You are using these texts as primary sources. What do they tell you about the history of Spain?
4. Place these works within a specific historical context.
Please make this thorough and well thought out. Thank you!

Course title:
The Swindler by Francisco de Quevedo
Francisco de Quevedo’s The Swindler was written between the year 1603 and the year 1608 but published in the year 1626 in Zaragoza, Spain. The work of fiction is considered as a Spanish picaresque novel, and the main character, Don Pablos, is a person who is less than desirable as others view him, since he is a young thief and the novel follows him as he starts to grow up and learn the lessons of life. This briefly summarizes the novel, identifies the salient themes, and analyzes the themes and a description is provided of how the themes reflect the culture, values, politics, economic and social structures of early modern Spain. Lastly, this report places this literary work within a historical context.
Summary of the plot
In this book, the author narrates the life of a boy called Don Pablos as he strives and endeavours to be a gentleman – that is, a man of leisure – notwithstanding the fact that he is of low-class: his mother is a whore and a witch, and his father is a thief. It is intimated that they are actually Jewish, which was in fact considered bad during that time – the 16th and 17th century Spain. Don Pablos fails miserably to become a gentleman. Don Pablos assumes different other names throughout the book. Pablos, a pretentious social climber is doomed to failure in his attempts to become a gentleman. He is also systematically exposed and scorned for his stupidity. As such, he is actually made to experience complete disillusion, devoid of the benefit of the slightest hope, on any level. Don Pablos is made to understand that neither his attachment to the rich, nor a change of name, nor a formal education can actually change his social identity.
Salient themes
The prominent themes in the book are:
Impossibility of climbing the social ladder
Inability to change one’s social identity
The fall into a life of crime
Analysis of themes
Impossibility of climbing the social ladder: the book to a large extent ridicules the social climbing attempts of Pablos, a poor and low-class...
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