The book, Christ Stopped at Eboli is not about the reflection of the life of Jesus Christ in the Bible, but it is a story about the author, Carlo Levi during the time he spent in a small Southern Italian town called Gagliano. In this story, Carlo Levi brings out the miseries they are undergoing regarding isolated and mistreated conditions due to various stereotype reasons because of where they live, as well as their religion. He stood out to fight for all these because he believed differently as opposed to the way the government and others perceived them.
During the start of Abyssinian war (1935) in a very primitive community in Luciano, a very backward province, which is located in The South of Italy, Carlo Levi lived out a remarkable time ("Acknowledgments" 331-331). His life was not exciting, and many could argue that being in the opposition, he could have faced political witch hunting, arrest, and even assassination, but this did not happen. Instead, Levi Carlos was treated well, but was isolated in an area, which no one could reach or have an interest in and this creates an enormous irony from what most opposition leaders undergo in different countries.
In the book, Fascism may not be necessary, but we find a person who tries to relate the culture have and more so to the group, modern people who have been silenced and oppressed until they cannot come out and talk about the evil things which happening in the country. Individuals who are deemed to be civilized are so fearful to face those who are in power and speak out their duty dealings. These are the problems Carlo Levi is facing in his quest for fairness. The discussion may come that the intention of the book was for national greatness, but that is not the case in this book. The residents of Gagliano community do not fight or hate Fascism, they do not care about it, and they look at it as the usual political way in Rome. The citizens here never thought that this might have some effects on them, and they make it as a trend to any political regime that comes into power
Carlo Levi finds it very difficult to understand the people of Gagliano; they believe the government or state is distinct from them, and this subject is brought out mostly by Levi, who does not believe in oppression. He had to stand firm and fought against the Mussolini Government for being neglected and oppressed. The title of the book shows the magnitude of neglect by the people of Gagliano, Christ Stopped at Eboli the people here perceived themselves as weak and awkward and have nothing to contribute, their religion and morality had no meaning to the outsiders and to the government which should serve and protect them with dignity. They were being excluded on any important issues in the government, be it resource allocation or political appointments, this was just a nightmare to them, and what makes him more bitter is when he recalls the fight, brigandage in the nineteen century where there was a struggle between the emerging Italian state and grassroots Italian brigands, and unfortunately the neglected, oppressed Gaglianoans were on the losing side.
The theme of oppression continued in the government and the author tells us how people were being arrested, detained and sentenced to a compulsory residence in Gagliano. This was shown when he went to Professor Luigi Malone, who was in charge of the prisoners. Here he was not allowed to see any prisoner and that was the state order, which was to be obeyed by everyone. They were prisoners on their land and mistreated not because they were wrong or causing havoc to the government but because the government took them as lesser people who did not deserve any fairness and better treating. Carlo Levi wept inside for them because they could not come together to fight for all the menace they were facing. They become prisoners of know-how and left their destiny to be controlled by the state, but he promised to do something before he went back to his motherland, because he could not watch people suffering and no one is interested in fighting for them.
Gagliano residents were required to pay taxes like any other citizens, the tax which they were not beneficiaries but they had to pay, poor Gaglianoans! The government was so much on them but never cared about their welfare. As much as they were nobody, they bring out the theme of responsibility by being loyal to their state and remitting their taxes. They were not civilized, and the importance of education was not vital to them; something which is the fundamental responsibility of every government.
From the story, Christ Stopped at Eboli is a story that shows people who have not been active in taking responsibilities of their state. The story brings the meaning, and the aspect of the structure of the world lived by the powerless and oppressed people.
Levi, Carlo, and Frances Frenaye. Christ Stopped at Eboli: The Story of a Year. New York: Farrar, Strauss and Co, 1947. Print.
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