Carlo Levi’s Memoirs, Christ Stopped At Eboli Essay

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Carlo Levi’s Memoirs, Christ Stopped At Eboli

Carlo Levi’s memoirs, Christ Stopped At Eboli, describe his time spent as a political prisoner in the isolated and desolate village of
Gagliano in southern Italy. He tells of the village itself and the surrounding settings and what it is like to be forced to live in a completely different environment to that which he is accustomed. In this literary reminiscence, Levi addresses the themes of impoverishment, religion, social divisions and the ever-present issue of death. The author discusses his own personal struggle with imprisonment and how he interacts with the bewildering individuals from the extremely Fascist mayor to the rough but quiet natured Giulia to the simple,
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He says this in the second chapter and comments on this while stating his first impression. From this line only we get the image of a physical prison but he believes it to be worse than an actual gaol cell. Also in the same chapter he mentions his physical borders. ‘I wanted to take stock of the limits beyond which I was not allowed to go, although I already knew that they coincided with the boundaries of the village’. This line also gives a strong illustration of the limits of his movement and shows the physical imprisonment of Levi.

Mental imprisonment plays into Levi’s life significantly and is very much a result of his physical imprisonment. At times it seems as though his mind is not challenged enough and he gets bored with the surroundings and the every day activities. Levi shows this by saying
‘days passed by monotonously’. One matter that concerns both physical and mental imprisonment is that the letters coming to and going from
Levi have to be first censored by the Mayor, Don Luigi. This censorship of the letters shows imprisonment in both ways because he is kept from writing what he wants and the Mayor has the ability to read personal mail.

Priest Don Trajella is imprisoned in a way that Levi recognizes all to easily. The priest, once a

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