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Cultures and Traditions

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Both "Vendetta" and "The Schoolteacher's Guest" deal with ideas of justice and revenge. How do you think the writers show the personal and cultural forces that lead to the characters taking their revenge? In your response you should refer closely to the texts. Both stories show a strong bond between the mother and son. The Schoolteacher's Guest uses more dialogue and narrative to give the reader more of an understanding of what is going on whilst Vendetta starts with the description of the setting which tells the reader that this may be a bit of a harsh story. For example, "the barren, stripped of all but a scanty covering of grass, are forever harassed by a restless wind". They all give off a very negative energy. You are fully aware of what has happened near in the first two paragraphs. For example, in Vendetta, "One evening, Antoine Saverini was treacherously stabbed in quarrel by Nicolas Ravolati," They both focus on family honour and blood feud and are set in very insignificant places so you wouldn't think much would be going on. Widow Saverini doesn't seem to show much emotion when her son is brought to her. I think that the idea of her being a widow gives you the thought that she has already had her share of grief for her husband and she knows that crying is not going to solve anything. ...read more.


The Schoolteacher's Guest, Ines "announced" how she had cut off the head of a guest. She doesn't seem to be ashamed and there is no emotion in her voice. "Is he dead?" "Of course." They are still trying to make light of a bad situation. Their history has been described because nobody would go up to a person and say I have just killed one of my guests and I would make sense if she told this to someone closer to her. She has a very bold approach, is not afraid to say what she thinks, she doesn't think before she acts. Her devotion is very strong for her son and is a very independent woman and has a sense of discipline. For example, she "applied to him the same norms of discipline" and "She did not want anyone to be able to say she had brought him up badly". Riad suggests that she should start a guest house. He is like her saviour in a way. She seems to be a very forthright person, "Girls brought their boyfriends for her approval." She isn't afraid to speak her mind and can be a very blunt person at times. When she says, "In one of the back rooms." she shows no fear of being caught, she doesn't even lower her voice. Ines must have had a very strong stomach shown by the description of the murder. ...read more.


Both mothers know what they want and how to get it and both have a level of determination. Their love for their sons is a strong motive to their revenge and are ruthless in their ways of dealing with it. Both mothers don't show a lot of emotion throughout the stories until the very end because they finally know they have done what they needed to do. The endings of the stories are both effective because they are both short and straight to the point and they both end on a happy note and the mothers can live their lives since both of them get their revenge. The characters are firmly rooted in time and place. For example, I think Vendetta had a strong belief about family but not about the community while The Schoolteacher's Guest was the opposite. The communities reacted to the killings in different ways. The people of Agua Santa supported Ines and were right behind her and resulted in violent behaviour by vandalising the perpetrator's house whilst in Vendetta , the community thought nothing of it and just continued with their lives and took no interest. Ines waits and speculates for things to start up while Widow Saverini gets right on with the task of dealing with the problem. In all, the stories both symbolise revenge and on how the mothers deal with the same situation. By Rio Small 10K1 ...read more.

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