Im Not Scared

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In Niccolo Ammaniti's masterpiece, I'm Not Scared, we explore the plight of human endeavour against all odds. We learn of the climate and poverty that makes the inhabitants of Acqua Traverse victims of circumstance, and ultimately drives them to persecute other people in the continuous pursuit of money and exceptional livelihoods. Clearly, Michele is not the only victim in Ammaniti's text, but it is through his endless determination to restore justice that ultimately demonstrates his morality, and separates him from everyone else in the story. Set in "that damned summer of 1978" in a small southern town in Italy, we immediately witness the umelenting landscape in which the members of Acqua Traverse are bound by. The children who travel to the outskirts of the town are "swallowed up by the wheat that covered the hill," and "as far as the horizon" there is "nothing but wheat, sky, crickets, sun and heat." The isolation is so immense that Michele describes it as a "place forgotten by God and man." Acqua Traverse has always been Michele's whole world, as we can see during the harvest when Michele comments, "it was as if God had given the whole world a hair cut". The wheat hills "rolled over me and buried" Michele. We also see that most of the families in Acqua Traverse aren't financially comfortable, which supplements Michele's comment that "the north was rich and the south was poor". It is only the Scardaccione family that appear to be wealthy, but we learn that this is because Mr. Scardaccione actually travels North for work. As well as the scenery and poverty that restricts these people, it is also the harsh climate that rules them. We witness the endless days that "followed one another, scorching, identical and endless," and further understand the influences that limit these people. It is so unremitting, that "no twenty-year-old could live in Acqua Traverse without ending up like Nunzio Scardaccione, the hair-tearer." The circumstances that cannot be controlled,...
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