Im Not Scared

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“Poverty is the mother of crime.” (Marcus Aurelius) Contrary to the chrome yellow of the boundless wheat fields is the darkness of poverty in which the hamlet of Acqua Traverse is wreathed. Niccolo Ammanity consummately describes the pervasive poverty of the place “forgotten by God and man” throughout this enthralling novel “I’m not scared”. The villagers do not only fall victim to poverty, but also to the subsequent fears with which they are afflicted after committing the crime – kidnapping a boy of a wealthy family and holding him to ransom. Fears are correspondingly intertwined with the villagers; they play a tremendous role in the adults’ actions and motivations and become one of the primary themes of this novel. The most palpable fear of the adults in the novel is the fear of being apprehended and incarcerated as they have done such a sordid deed – kidnapping a boy. Therefore, extreme poverty and the yearning to get out of the current life from which the kidnap springs from can be deemed as the roots of the most significant fear in “I’m Not Scared”. “In 1978 Acqua Traverse was so small that it was practically non-existent.” This statement of Michele, to some extent, depicts the penury which the villagers undergo. Apart from the formidable palace of the Scardaccione family, there are four drab little houses. The situation of Michele’s family is illustrative of the appalling poverty of the hamlet. To exemplify this, his father has to leave the house quite often to seek employment in the North and that is where he meets Sergio – head of the “culprits”. The villagers have been so disenchanted with their quality of life of Acqua Traverse that they later allow their voraciousness for materials to override their sense of morality and societal values. All in all, the most significant fear – fear of being brought to justice – arises out of the extreme poverty that the villagers are confronting. The degree of fear amongst the villagers varies throughout the novel;...
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