Books and Movies Reviews

Bread and Wine

Throughout the novel Bread and Wine, author Ignazio Silone uses different stories and anecdotes of peasant characters as both a break from the main plot and to help understand the main character, Pietro Spina/Don Paolo Spada better. Two examples of these subsidiary stories are Pietro Spina's interaction with Uliva, a former violinist and revolutionary affiliate, and Don Paolo's association Murica, a young impressionable revolutionary. Both of these stories illustrate the disappointment expressed towards the fascist government in power in Italy, and the disillusionment or cynicism felt with the revolutionary attempt to overthrow this government. The roles the characters of Murica and Uliva play in Bread and Wine allow Silone to tell his personal experiences of his involvement in the Communist party in Italy through different attributes of each character.
Luigi Murica grew up in the small peasant town of Rocca dei Marsi. He was a sickly, pale boy, who could not work the fields, so his parents encouraged him to focus on his studies so he could be thefirst one of their family to receive a formal education (232). Upon graduation, he traveled to Rome to pursue the faculty of the arts based on Don Benedetto's recommendation (232). His family did not make much money to support him so food was scarce and he was "permanently hungry" (232). He was not politically activated until he saw an unprovoked attack that made him want to take action:
"About a dozen students belonging to my faculty beat a young workman till the blood flowed. I can still see the scene in my mind's eye. The workman lay on the pavement with his head on one of the tramlines while students who had surrounded him went on kicking and hitting him with sticks.'He didn't salute the flag,' they shouted. Some policemen arrived on the scene, congratulated the aggressors on the patriotic action and arrested the injured man. A crow…


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