The Captain And The Movies Essay Research

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The Captain And The Movies Essay, Research Paper Ada Negri’s two short stories “The Captain” and “The Movies” express the feelings and lives of Italian women during fascism. The fascist regime was very strict and spread propaganda declaring the state more important than the individual. The people of Italy bought into national policy and became like robots in their daily chores. There was no room for imagination and adventure, any places for dreams to be realized. In this essay I will demonstrate how Ada Negri’s short stories were a reflection of women’s lives and ideas under the tyranny of Italian fascism. I will show how women were taught to act and how they were conformed to fascist policies through years of propaganda. Ada Negri’s stories express the views

of Italian women during fascism and show how fascist Italy affected their lives. Ada Negri’s short story “The Captain” demonstrates how Italian women were conformed to the ideas of the fascist dictatorship under Benito Mussolini. The Captain showed many qualities that would lead someone to expect her to become an important person of some sort when she grew up. “With that passion for power?she would reveal and assert a dominating femininity and an intelligent, bold force of will”(30). This quote leads us to believe that the Captain had many goals and ambitions as a little girl. She was always dominating, leading the other, bigger kids around like loyal soldiers. She showed a dominating attitude that expressed her will to take control of a situation. “The little Captain

seized the leadership of every game. She knew how to rule with an iron hand”(29). The Captain was definitely a strong little girl, but five years of fascism changed all that. The gross national conformity of fascist policy kept the Captain, and all women in Italy, from becoming original or standing out. The fascists taught the children that the state was more important than the individual. Women were expected to stay home and take care of the family while the men put food on the table. Five years of this fascist propaganda changed the captain from her once dominating ways. She no longer stood out among the other kids her age. She had conformed to school life and would shortly be conforming to all aspects of Italian culture under the fascist regime. The Captain is a typical

example of most young women during this time. She fell into the depths of the fascist regime and followed its policies that were inscribed into the daily lives of Italian citizens. “The same old thing, the same old wheel that turns for so many?young girls, and it only stops the day when you’re no longer anyone at all. Everything grows dull, becomes deadened, and adapts to necessity. Farewell Captain”(31). The woman in “The Movies” again expresses qualities that could lead one to believe that she yearns for something more. Her consistent pattern of visiting the movies and escaping reality is a sign of Italian woman’s dreams being repressed by fascist propaganda and policy. The woman in this story is plain. She works as a typist and really has no social status or life.

Fascism could be the cause of her sad condition, which tells her she must conform and work for the state. Personal needs are second to the good of the country. Each person is expected to give up their dreams and to work diligently at their jobs for a cause alien to them. “Perhaps this need for flights of fantasy is born from the bareness and poverty of her own destiny”(59). She yearns for something else to help her escape the reality of being a forty-year-old typist working for the state. The woman goes to the movies in order to fulfill her forgotten dreams that would never be realized while subjected to Italian fascist policies. She does not associate with anyone else, she never did. She was alone and wanted to feel secure among the scenery of distant lands where she is just