Essay on Analysis of Pirandellos The Late Mattia

1209 Words Dec 10th, 2014 5 Pages
Analysis of Pirandello’s The Late Mattia Pascal
In his novel “The Late Mattia Pascal”, Luigi Pirandello tells the story of Mattia Pascal, a man that, after having lost everything and recognizing his unhappiness, has the opportunity to start over. The events of Mattia’s life are dictated by a mixture of fortune and decision making during unusual circumstances, where death, especially of the people he loves the most, constantly surrounds him. This leads to a crisis of identity, which is the main focus throughout the novel while at same time directly correlating to Pirandello’s life. In his novel, Pirandello explores the theme of identity, which is a symbol of the universal moral and existential crises that were taking place at the time.
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He contrasts this chaos to the classical values in Anselmo’s analogy of the difference between ancient and modern tragedy, which he says is a hole torn in the paper sky. He imagines a marionette theatre production of Orestes, suggesting that if there was a hole torn in the paper sky while Orestes was trying to avenge his father, he would become Hamlet. Orestes was a classical “hero”, who had a specific set of values, especially Honor, and was determined to live by them. But the hole in the sky would make him question all the absolute things he believed in and become Hamlet, a very indecisive and troubled person. “Lucky marionettes, I sighed, over whose wooden heads the false sky has no holes! No anguish or perplexity, no hesitations, obstacles, shadows, pity-nothing!” (Pirandello 140). Pirandello relates Orestes to the classical values like Honor, Beauty, Bravery, which had become Hamlet, who he associates with uncertainty and modern chaos.
These existential and moral crises deeply affected Pirandello’s life and his writing. Another important factor mirrored in Pirandello’s novel is his own life. One can see some similarities between the protagonist Mattia Pascal and the author Luigi Pirandello. Pirandello’s greatest misfortunes, which were the loss of his family fortune and a very unhappy marriage with a poor relationship with his three children both are in Mattia’s life. Mattia’s