Mon 23 Oct 2006
Section 2 portrays Marguerite’s struggle to find who she really is and what she really wants in life. Though she lives in Italy, it becomes clear that she is truly in American. There is a certain negative connotation to the Italian lifestyle, as if living in an “Italian way” would result in a loss of freedom for Marguerite. As a result, this loss of freedom would take away from her personality, and she would be held back from her goals in life. When speaking of having to live in the Italian way with Massimo, the narrator says, “…his coming home at noon to the conventional Italian dinner, which would take up all her morning to prepare and mean sacrificing her freedom as she didn’t with Alberto, who was used to the American ways” (Barolini 261). This quatation explains that changing her life to meet the Italian criteria of a wife would not be beneficial to Marguerite. Her mindset is very American, and her struggle to become more Italian (learning Italian, moving to Italy, and becoming an Italian wife) has left her in a state of confusion. She simply does not know what she wants in life. The narrator alludes to Marguerite’s struggle for a sense of place and of personality when it says, “…now it is time to develop your own personality” (Barolini 261). This quote further emphasizes the struggles that Italian Americans may have when they feel interested in their roots but feel a sense of distance from them as well.