When the Dust Settles

Right off the bat, I like the author’s style of writing. The way the author likes the dialog makes the conversation quick and nimble. I also like how he transitions the character’s psychology from a brave and charismatic soul to one that is despondent, really down in the gutters. The character, Arturo Bandini, is a poor aspiring novel author in the Great Depression. You can really feel the how the economy has had its toll on the citizens. Coffee is only a nickle in that time, and Bandini still dislikes it even though it is relatively cheap. Throughout the book, you are reminded about Arturo’s lack of money. He constantly mentions it, and his life revolves around it. Although, in many scenes he tries to convince himself that money is really not a big deal. There is a scene in the beginning of the book where Bandini convinces himself to go to a prostitute and he gives her eight dollars for no apparent reason. Judging from his distraught state after the affair, “Oh Jesus kill me dead and ship m body home, kill me dead and make me die like a pagan fool with no priest to absolve me, no extreme unction, eight dollars, eight dollars…”(26 Fante). It is quite fascinating to see such a sudden shift in his personality. There is also the fact of him calling himself atheist, but constantly asking mercy from God. This reminds me of that short title story in Hemingway’s In Our Time, where the soldier prays to God that he survives the ordeal, but when he does survive, he completely forgets it.

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