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How Is Italy And / Or Being Italian Portrayed In The Stories You Have Studied Compare And Contrast At Least Two Short Stories.

2089 words - 8 pages

This essay will discuss the portrayal of Italy and being Italian in the short stories I have studied. I have split this broad theme into smaller themes which are most prominent in the stories, they are also the themes that reflect Italy and the notion of being Italian.Italy as we know it has only been in existence for just over 140 years. Before this time it was a feudal unbalanced, divided collection of separate kingdoms. Before 1860 when Giuseppe Garibaldi and his red shirts set out to unify the kingdoms. Many kingdoms had their own rulers, languages, customs and Identities. These geographically enhanced differences still occur in Italy. It is quite possible for two Italians from different locations to speak very different forms of Italian and to have a completely different notion of what it is to be Italian. The North South divide is well noted as being one of the most dramatic divisions in any European country. Today there is even a northern separatist party called the Liga Nord. The North with its arable land and closer links to opulent Europe always had a better chance of being rich. These favourable conditions have made the north and the golden triangle especially wealthy and is in stark contrast to the south. The depiction of Sicily and Sicilians in ' Il Lungo Viaggio ' exemplifies what it is to be southern Italian. While the north raced ahead with modernisation the South remained poor and many inhabitants dreamt of a better life and leaving for America. This story brings out a warm but very stereotypical view of an average poor Sicilian. They are even described as backwards by Nick Roberts, ' Il Lungo Viaggio, the story by Leonardo Sciasca, was published in 1973 in the collection ' Il mare colore del vino ' and deals with the hopes and aspirations of still-backward Sicilians of a life in the new world.' (P. viii)I feel this story really shows that Sicilians at the time of the story felt very excluded from this notion of ' Italy '. The characters sell up all of their possessions in order to pay the boat fare ,They had sold all their saleable possessions in order to scrape the sum together : the house, the miserable plot of land, the mule, the ass, the years store of provender, the chest of drawers, the counter panes. The cunning ones among them had borrowed from the money - lenders with the secret intention of defrauding them, just this once, in return for the hardship they had been made to endure over the years by the usurers' greed, and drew immense satisfaction from imagining the expression on their faces when they heard the news. ' Come and see me in America, bloodsucker : I may just return your money - without interest - if you manage to find me. ' Their dreams of America were awash with Dollars.( P. 5)This quote very concisely illustrates what the average Sicilians life would have been like. If they wanted a better life surely they could have gone to the more affluent north with less risks and more guarantees. They speak Italian ,...

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