Originally, I thought this book was slow moving, dull and with a huge lack of substance. After a very informative class discussion, however, my opinion changed completely.  My objections settled mainly around the characters attitudes and the slow moving tempo of the book. I did not appreciate Don Abbondio’s worrisome and whiney attitude and I thought it was all too cliché for the young Italian man to be hotheaded and rash. However, an interesting question was asked of me.

I was told to think about what was going on in Italy during the time the novel was being written. Manzoni was writing in the time of uncertainty and turmoil. The Spanish were bullying the peninsular citizens and as a result, the city-states and kingdoms we have come to know as Italy were unifying.

All of that information being pointed out, it becomes quite apparent that Manzoni was I Promessi Sposi as a political commentary. Don Rodrigo plays the part of the overbearing Spaniard who is inhibiting the unification. Whiney Lorenzo represents the soon to be Italy—immature, unstable and generally unprepared for unification. When you think about all the things in the first few chapters that Manzoni says without actually saying it is apparent that the books is actually full of substance that the uninformed reader could easily miss.

I was amazed by how much I could look past when taking the reading at face value. To be honest, I am rethinking most things I’ve read up to this. Maybe there was a point to all of those high school readings after all!


03/06/2013 8:06pm

Are there other "aha" moments, or new findings (new symbols, etc...) that have grabbed your attention as you have progressed in reading the novel? It would be interesting to hear about the new findings and "lightbulb" moments that the class has had upon moving along in the book.


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