Bandini Question #18 - Maria's & Svevo's Reactions

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Bandini Question #18 - Maria's & Svevo's Reactions

Unread postby Liz » Fri Sep 21, 2007 9:53 am

What do you think of Maria’s reaction to Svevo’s affair and also of his reaction to her behavior?
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Unread postby Bermuda » Fri Sep 21, 2007 2:33 pm

It was a terribly upsetting and ugly scene. Maria was like Mt. Vesuvius and was just waiting to erupt in anger. She had been bubbling below the surface for quite some time. She became a cat who was badly injured and her claws definitely came out in an unbelievable display of rage when she finally saw her husband proudly walking into the house. Svevo, on the other hand, behaved like a proud peacock parading his feathers with his new shoes and pocket full of money. After Maria scratched his face, he soon became like a frightened puppy and went whimpering back to his mistress. What did Svevo think was going to happen? Did he think his wife was going to run happily into his arms? He disappeared for 10 days without telling his family where he was living or what he was doing. He then had the audacity to have an affair with a rich woman. Finally, he walks into his home on Christmas Eve and proudly holds out his hands full of money after cheating on his wife! :grr: Did he really think that everything was going to be ok after what he had done to his wife and children? Maria was totally out of control with anger by then, and so she acted like a wild animal. It was an extremely disturbing passage to read in the book. What a terrible thing for their children to witness. Once again, the children began to take up sides against each parent. It was very sad and disturbing for everyone involved in that family, and I'm sure that none of them would ever forget that terrible Christmas Eve night for as long as they lived. :tear:
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Unread postby gemini » Fri Sep 21, 2007 2:57 pm

Well its hard to add to Bermuda's summation. That was pretty much how I saw it too.
I do think that it may have been more than just the affair that sent Maria over the edge. She had put up with poverty, a childish husband, and the embarrassment of all the merchants they owed. I think she thought that it was her duty as his wife to put up with whatever life he provided but in return she expected his love. When the one thing she clung to was gone she had a breakdown.
As for Svevo, what can you say, he never changes and accepts no responsibility for anything he does.
Last edited by gemini on Fri Sep 21, 2007 7:38 pm, edited 1 time in total.
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Unread postby Liz » Fri Sep 21, 2007 3:18 pm

Bermuda wrote:It was a terribly upsetting and ugly scene. Maria was like Mt. Vesuvius and was just waiting to erupt in anger. She had been bubbling below the surface for quite some time. She became a cat who was badly injured and her claws definitely came out in an unbelievable display of rage when she finally saw her husband proudly walking into the house. Svevo, on the other hand, behaved like a proud peacock parading his feathers with his new shoes and pocket full of money. After Maria scratched his face, he soon became like a frightened puppy and went whimpering back to his mistress. What did Svevo think was going to happen? Did he think his wife was going to run happily into his arms? He disappeared for 10 days without telling his family where he was living or what he was doing. He then had the audacity to have an affair with a rich woman. Finally, he walks into his home on Christmas Eve and proudly holds out his hands full of money after cheating on his wife! :grr: Did he really think that everything was going to be ok after what he had done to his wife and children? Maria was totally out of control with anger by then, and so she acted like a wild animal. It was an extremely disturbing passage to read in the book. What a terrible thing for their children to witness. Once again, the children began to take up sides against each parent. It was very sad and disturbing for everyone involved in that family, and I'm sure that none of them would ever forget that terrible Christmas Eve night for as long as they lived. :tear:


A great way to remember Christmas, isn’t it? :-/ And well said, Bermuda! :applause: I don’t want to lump all men together, BUT I really do think that many of them live on Mars. Some of them are so clueless……and Svevo was the epitome of clueless. And that is because he was so egotistical that he thought his wife would be overjoyed to see him—that a handful of cash and new shoes for himself would be enough to make amends for his behavior and that, of course, his wife would forgive him because he’s Svevo Bandini. :banghead:
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Unread postby Liz » Fri Sep 21, 2007 3:23 pm

gemini wrote: I think she thought that it was her duty as his wife to put up with whatever life he provided but in return she expected his love. When the one thing she clung to was gone she had a breakdown.


Good point, Gemini! :thumbsup: I believe she voiced that a couple of times in the book--that she knew he would be faithful to her. When she finally accepted the fact that he hadn't, that's when she lost it.
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Unread postby Betty Sue » Fri Sep 21, 2007 3:35 pm

Beautifully expressed, Bermuda and gemini and Liz! It was grisly but somewhat satisfying to see Maria get savage, but I think if she hadn't been so passive all along, this might not have been necessary. I think she traced the money to the Widow, and this really inflamed her. She, in turn, inflamed the money which sure did inflame Arturo! :grin: I was surprised and pleased to see that even before Maria struck, Svevo "realized he was afraid of her." :eyebrow: Merry Christmas! :-/
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Unread postby Parlez » Fri Sep 21, 2007 3:47 pm

Yes, this is a disturbing scene, but I loved it! I was totally with Maria as she finally let that :censored: of a husband have it! I thought it was high time and long overdue. I agree that Svevo's fidelity was the one thing that made Maria's life bearable to her; it was the cornerstone of their marriage. Without it, there was nothing left and she went over the edge.
Svevo, of course, didn't see it coming because he didn't think he'd done anything all that wrong. Go figure! He was so used to acting like an amoral :censored: , and to Maria putting up with it, why would he suspect this offense would be met with anything other than more prayers on her part? I loved it that he got such a shock!
Ordinarily it would be traumatic for children to witness such a violent scene, but in this case, with this family, I thought it was a good thing for those boys to finally see their mother act in a powerful way, as opposed to just passively taking it. They all needed to witness the fact that even Maria had limits to what she would tolerate.
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Unread postby DeppInTheHeartOfTexas » Fri Sep 21, 2007 5:53 pm

I think you all have expressed it very well. It was the straw, or the 2x4, that broke Maria's back. I was glad to see her come alive and let Svevo know she couldn't take it anymore. I was sad for the family that it had to happen on Christmas Eve and that her reaction was so violent in front of the boys. I think Svevo was shocked and his stupid male pride couldn't fathom that she would react that way. Instead of trying to make any kind of peace or ammends with the family he went slinking off. What a mess.
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Unread postby nebraska » Fri Sep 21, 2007 10:51 pm

I can't think of anything to add.........you have all said it so well!!!!!!!:disco:


What the heck was he thinking??????????

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Unread postby Linda Lee » Sat Sep 22, 2007 12:22 am

DeppInTheHeartOfTexas wrote:I think you all have expressed it very well. It was the straw, or the 2x4, that broke Maria's back. I was glad to see her come alive and let Svevo know she couldn't take it anymore. I was sad for the family that it had to happen on Christmas Eve and that her reaction was so violent in front of the boys. I think Svevo was shocked and his stupid male pride couldn't fathom that she would react that way. Instead of trying to make any kind of peace or ammends with the family he went slinking off. What a mess.


I like your analogy a 2x4 rather than a straw, Svevo didn't stint when he strayed -disappearing for10 days!!!!

I don't have anything to add. Well said, Ladies.
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Unread postby suec » Sat Sep 22, 2007 4:28 am

I think he knows full well that he has done wrong. He just doesn't expect her to know it. "Svevo Bandini was coming home, new shoes on his feet, defiance in his jaw, guilt in his heart". The defiance shows in the way he reassures himself: "He was no boy caught stealing marbles, nor a dog punished for tearing up a shoe. This was Svevo Bandini, a full grown man". But he still finds it hard to face her. He's afraid of her silhouette in the street, "the evil inside him twisted inside Bandini", and then there is the build up in the house where he has his back to her, turns to face her but still looking at the money, and then, though eventually he looks up, he is afraid: "the evil he had done weakening his courage". He waves the money around as a distraction for his absence and guilt. He knows its importance to the family, after all, and bringing in money is a mark of his manhood - which is a bit ironic, really, considering how he has earnt it. He has under-estimated Maria in more ways than one. He can't undertand how she knows, thinks someone must have told her.
Her reaction is very satisfying, though at the same time, shocking, in its intent. I think this enables us to appreciate his shock, too. But he sure was asking for it.
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