Female Voices In 20th Century Italian Literature Essays Example

Type of paper: Essay

Topic: War, Women, Literature, World, World War 2, Novel, Character, Attitude

Pages: 3

Words: 825

Published: 2020/12/13

Among Women Only, by Cesare Pavese, was published only a few months before the author’s suicide in 1950. As a consequence, it has become one of Pavese’s most important and sought-after novels. Like most of this author’s novels, this one contains a main character who is a loner thanks to her need and her hunger for success. Clelia is a renowned couturier who returns to her hometown, Turin, after seventeen years of being away due to the end of World War II. One of the most notorious and obvious things to observe on the novel is the way females are portrayed nevertheless, the most interesting thing about these female characters may be the way they are used in order to represent the way Europe had divided after World War II.
As we have previously stated, the female characters in this novel represent the different attitudes that the people in Europe seemed to have taken after World War II. However, we are only able to realize this when the main character, Clelia, first runs into the other two more important female characters: Momina and Rosetta. Driven by her ambition and need of success, thirty-four-year-old designer decides to open a branch of her Rome patron’s dress shop. This is the event that eventually leads her into a nihilistic circle of young, hedonist women who squander their days away in parties: Momina and her friend Rosetta. These two young characters seem to be portrayals of the two attitudes that were taken by Europeans after World War II. Momina is cynical and sexually liberal: “’The world is beautiful,’ Momina said, coming up behind us. ‘If only we weren’t in it.’” (Pavese 264). On the other hand Rosetta is like a shadow of the young woman she should be, she is depressed and suicidal. The very same attitudes that seemed to pervade through the postwar. They lead an anarchic way of living that tend to border on chaotic, the certainty of Death being around the corner all the time for those who had been in war times for way too long.
Since Clelia is the narrator, we are experiencing the text through her eyes solely. We are experiencing the view of the future, from the future. Not only do we experience with her the perception of her environment, which has long changed since the last time she was there, but also of the other characters. It is hard for her not to judge other characters based on her perception given that she is the perception of Twentieth Century Women suffrage and the two sisters happen to still be consumed by the sequels left by the war. Clelia judges on the two sisters on the same way history judges on the victors and losers on every war that it studies. On the other hand, Pavese consciously causes a certain juxtaposition by putting these characters side by side together. Clelia is what can only be described as a perfect portrayal of postwar existentialism. Existentialism, as proposed by Kierkegaard, explains that each person is solely responsible for giving meaning to life and living it passionately and sincerely. Which happens to be exactly what Clelia is always doing, despite having been seduced by Momina and Rosetta’s lifestyle.
The way the novel is written is part of what manages to catch my attention, it is lyrical and detailed and the narrative voice is very observant and poised. “Again I was amazed at Nene, sculptress or painter or whatever, thick-lipped and banged, and her shameless way of laughing like a baby. And yet she was thirty at least, only a little younger than I” (Pavese 242). Hers is an honest voice, her thoughts and feelings are passionate. She is the kind of strong character that leaves her mark in the mind of the readers.
The novel is very interesting in itself. I especially like the way the story is told. I think it was due to the character’s vivid portrayals and reflections. It was fun to be in her head and it was really fun to be in her shoes during the ride she takes us in. While there is no denying the somber nature of the book, somehow it is a less depressing picture to be presented after the World War II. Normally we are used to a much more depressing and grey landscape when talking about the postwar in literature. But here while Death is still around, and while chances are most people will not be able to make it, there seems to be hope at the very end of the tunnel. Clelia is a sweet depiction of the potential in said future.

References

Pavese, Cesare. Among Women Only. Blackboard. 2015. PDF file.
Stanford Encyclopedia of Philosophy. Existentialism. Aug 23, 2004. 2015 Web.
Ponzi, Mauro, La critica e Pavese,Cappelli, 1977.

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WePapers. (2020, December, 13) Female Voices In 20th Century Italian Literature Essays Example. Retrieved September 29, 2022, from https://www.wepapers.com/samples/female-voices-in-20th-century-italian-literature-essays-example/
"Female Voices In 20th Century Italian Literature Essays Example." WePapers, 13 Dec. 2020, https://www.wepapers.com/samples/female-voices-in-20th-century-italian-literature-essays-example/. Accessed 29 September 2022.
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"Female Voices In 20th Century Italian Literature Essays Example." WePapers, Dec 13, 2020. Accessed September 29, 2022. https://www.wepapers.com/samples/female-voices-in-20th-century-italian-literature-essays-example/
WePapers. 2020. "Female Voices In 20th Century Italian Literature Essays Example." Free Essay Examples - WePapers.com. Retrieved September 29, 2022. (https://www.wepapers.com/samples/female-voices-in-20th-century-italian-literature-essays-example/).
"Female Voices In 20th Century Italian Literature Essays Example," Free Essay Examples - WePapers.com, 13-Dec-2020. [Online]. Available: https://www.wepapers.com/samples/female-voices-in-20th-century-italian-literature-essays-example/. [Accessed: 29-Sep-2022].
Female Voices In 20th Century Italian Literature Essays Example. Free Essay Examples - WePapers.com. https://www.wepapers.com/samples/female-voices-in-20th-century-italian-literature-essays-example/. Published Dec 13, 2020. Accessed September 29, 2022.
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