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First Sorrow by Franz Kafka
How Much Land Does A Man Need by Leo Tolstoy
The Bet by Anton Chekhov
The Guitar by Federico Garcia Lorca
Two Memories of Sido by Colette
War by Luigi Pirandello
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War by Luigi Pirandello
Luigi Pirandello, born in Sicily, Italy in 1867, was one of Italy's most famous playwrights and modern authors. He became interested in literature at a very young age and wrote his first play at the age of twelve. His father, however, enrolled him in a technical school but that changed almost instantly as he transferred to an academic secondary school to study oratory and literature. He did agree to marry his father's business partners' daughter, Antoinetta Portulano. He then earned his doctorate in Romance literature, married, and moved to Rome, where he began publishing his short stories and poems. In 1903, Pirandello suffered a terribly financial devastation as his family's sulfur mine was destroyed. Antoinetta suffered a mental breakdown and was institutionalized after battling mental illness for years. He then immersed himself in his writing to free from his troubles. Later on, he invented "grotesco", a form of theatrical expressionism that sacrifices realism in order to portray psychological experience. In his lifetime, many of Pirandello's works were considered controversial. His work is known for its atmosphere of mystery and tension, along with the questions he raises about the "fictions we create for ourselves". In 1934, he was awarded the Nobel Prize in Literature. Luigi Pirandello's works are still strongly influencing playwrights and writers who explore life's ironies and paradoxes.
"War" by Luigi Pirandello is a short story about a couple whose son has been sent to war. They board a train to leave Rome, the departure spot for their sons and young men going off to war. The wife felt she was the only mother who grieved about her son leaving. All the passengers on this train have one or more loved ones on the front in the war. This couple, who boards the train last, has their one and only son in war. The wife, especially, is grieving the most. The other passengers ask what is the problem, only to be able relate to her sadness. One woman speaks up and says that her son had left for the front the first day of war, was sent back twice because of injuries and was sent back yet again. Another woman stands up and adds in that she has two sons and three nephews at the front. The original husband relates back that it was their one and only son. This starts a conversation between the passengers about the love for their sons and the suffering one may have to go through because she has two sons at the front. One woman adds that their sons do not belong to them, but to the Country. A fat man stands up and makes the point that their sons, including his, will die happy because they were fighting for the love of their Country and they died with dignity and inflamed. He seemed so strong and proud of his son. Then the very first wife, all bundled up in the corner, rose from her seat and asked the fat man if his son was really dead. The fat man had no words, but tears began to roll down his face and he soon found himself in sobs, to the amazement of everyone on the train.
"War" by Luigi Pirandello focusses on the real problems of ordinary people, which makes this story relatable to realism. Realism is present in this story because the people are truly grieving about their boys going of the The Front. That is a real problem and many of them are depicted by themselves and wearing very heavy clothes, as to suggest that the conditions may not be fair and they have lost their spouse also. This story is like World War II because many people were mourning their loss of their sons or mourning their departure. They had real problems. Some lost their jobs, some lost their houses and their belongings, and the conditions were terrible.
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