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In the novel "Broken April" by Ismail Kadare, the reader witnesses a relatively static attitude

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Kishore Mehta Q. Compare and contrast the attitudes of Bessian Vorpsi and his wife, Diana, to the Kanun. Explore whether their attitudes remain static or eventually change, and explore how their respective attitudes affect their relationship. Ans. In the novel "Broken April" by Ismail Kadare, the reader witnesses a relatively static attitude of adulation toward the Kanun from Albanian writer Bessian Vorpsi, in stark contrast to the constantly changing attitude toward the Kanun from Diana, his wife, who towards the end, fears and loathes the Kanun. This has a tremendous impact on the relationship between Bessian and Diana, because Diana's disgust of the Kanun contrasts with the worship that Bessian constantly heaps upon the Kanun, and this eventually leads to Diana being estranged, and distracted. She soon falls for Gjorg, and this leads to a rather distasteful experience for the honeymooning couple. As the novel progresses, the reader notices these changes in Diana's attitude, both towards the Kanun and Bessian, and the reasons behind her subsequently strange behaviour. Bessian Vorpsi is introduced to the reader in Chapter 3 as an Albania writer, visiting the Northern High Plateau for the first time and yet more knowledgeable than most about the Kanun. Diana is his newly-wed bride who was notably younger than Bessian. She "was happy", and is excited about "escaping the world of reality for the world of legend" (Pg 63). ...read more.


(Pg 71) She later clarifies that it is because of the atmosphere of death coupled with the lives of the local men, that she felt the ways she did. Nevertheless, this is definitely a hint of her future estrangement from Bessian. Subsequently, a hint of conflict is mentioned when she seems offended by Bessian's failure to respond directly to her question about whether the code, i.e. the Kanun, is "good or bad" (Pg 73). She exclaims "You needn't be sarcastic!" Instead of answering the question, Bessian condescendingly tells her about the Kanun, asking his wife if she remembers what he had told her earlier about the code, and stating that "the Kanun is beyond good and evil." (Pg 73) Bessian then apologizes, but continues his lecture about the Kanun, on their honeymoon. He says "the Kanun is universal", and believes that it has not "forgotten a single aspect of economics or ethics." His appreciation of the Kanun is apparent, even more than before. Bessian's condescending nature comes to light again when he refers to Diana as a "child", because she laughed at his joke about the Kanun. The Kanun thus affects Bessian, because his obsession with the Kanun causes him to reveal his 'dark side' to Diana, and thus contributes to her estrangement later on. ...read more.


Later, Diana goes into the tower of refuge. Bessian is completely shocked, and questions his wife after rescuing her from it. He realizes, however, that Gjorg is most likely the reason she went inside the tower, and suddenly "he felt a weariness he had never known". (Pg 201) It is at this point that the relationship seems doomed, and as "they were leaving the High Plateau" (Pg 202), the reader can speculate the fate of the relationship. The most likely ending will be a permanent separation, or a divorce, between the two. However, they may choose to put this behind themselves, go on another honeymoon, and move on. There is no clear evidence of the possible outcome; however, based on Diana and Bessian's interactions with each other throughout the novel, the more likely outcome is tragic, rather than 'forgive and forget'. Thus, the Kanun, the High Plateau, Gjorg and Bessian's arrogance contributed to the damage caused to the newly-wed couple's relationship. Bessian's adulation of the Kanun remains static throughout the novel; it could be argued and speculated, however, that he may take, or may have taken a dislike to the Kanun towards the end of the novel, because of what it did to his wife, albeit indirectly. Diana's attitude, as the reader witnesses, turns from one of excited admiration to fearful disgust, and it is partially because of this that she becomes estranged from Bessian. ...read more.

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