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“I must pluck up the courage and look”. Although Michele experiences fear, he never lets his fear override his moral convictions. Discuss.
Though in the idioms of fantasy, with fictional characters like the witch, it in fact replicates the horrors Michele now knows are going on in the real world. Monsters do exist after all: but they are men, and worse people he knows, his very own father. Having lost trust in the adults around him, Michele looked within his moral direction. It is the heroic actions of the pre-teen in conquering his fears in order to save a life of Fillippo that sets him apart from others His journey towards moral maturity compels himself to disregarded vows made to his corrupt father and imperial on his own life. He is clearly not just dependent on what his father says and does- a key point- but able to make his own assessments. He can now see his own father as wrong, guided by his innate empathy for the boy and grasp of morality. In this respect, the novel is making a very important point about what is involved in growing up- not just getting wiser and sadder but defining a moral code independent of one’s parents. The adults and Michele’s parents are all frightened of feeling the physical and emotional poverty and lack material advantages of adequate food and clothing. The isolation and being stuck in Aqua Traverse “a place forgotten by god and man’ and frightened by humiliation in front of others are all felt by the adults. These fears are equally alike to Michele’s, only Pino and his friends let fear override their moral convictions, unlike Michele. Children should be able to trust their parents to protect them from fears. But in Aqua Traverse, the adults have an agenda of their own. They have dug themselves into a hole where there is no way out. Their justifications and vague excuses that Michele is too young to understand demonstrate the moral chasm between the child and his parents.
Associations with career criminals such as Sergio Materia have left Michele’s parents morally bankrupt. They have lost their humanity. The allowing fear to override moral convictions is most clearly evident when the carabinieri circle in helicopters, the fear of the grow-ups is blatant. This fear compels them to respond in most desperate and extreme of fashions. The callously determine that self survival can only come through murdering the helpless child. By employing this role reversal, where parents do not protect children and it is the child who is forced to make moral decisions, it demonstrates that it is not a simply matter of age but more an essential character trait that helps determine the right path. Individuals who face their fears and who can choose wisely between loyalties in difficult situation, grow to a moral maturity that rises them to heroic heights, as Michele did. Unlike his elder, Michele did encounter fear, but never did he let hid fear be overridden by his moral convictions- instead he usually finds himself compelled to act by his sense of moral obligations.
This essay has been provided by Emma Roache who gave approval for this work to be made publicly available on this website. Please respect the author's copyright.
Emma Roache was a VCE student at Hawkesdale P-12 College in 2006. She is currently studying Commerce at Deakin University. She received an enter score of 84.9 (English-42, Further Maths- 38, Accounting- 34, Biology-32, Environmental Science-34)
Posted on 03/12/2008 at 03:00:00 PM