Bandini Question #10 ~ The Cameo

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DeppInTheHeartOfTexas
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Bandini Question #10 ~ The Cameo

Unread postby DeppInTheHeartOfTexas » Thu Sep 13, 2007 7:51 am

What did you think of the incident when Arturo steals his mother’s cameo to give to Rosa as a Christmas present and the outcome?
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Unread postby Betty Sue » Thu Sep 13, 2007 10:08 am

There wasn't ANYTHING about the cameo doings that I liked!! When Arturo first came across it, this Pollyanna had hopes it would bring some kind of healing between Mamma and son or Svevo and wife. I thought it would represent something good and sweet happening. :cloud9: So it was disturbing that he planned to give it to Rosa, then it was disturbing that she hurt him so deeply by not accepting it and assuming correctly that he stole it (even if he deserved that treatment...). Then for him to turn into Svevo and shove her---pretty shocking! :-O Well, at least he can get that cameo back where it belongs, I thought, but oh, no, he has to sling it away to make the whole episode a nightmare. Yikes! :-/
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Unread postby fansmom » Thu Sep 13, 2007 11:59 am

I'm in complete agreement with you, Betty Sue. It was appalling.

I have not read any of the subsequent books. Did this little episode foreshadow bad decisions to come in Arturo's life?

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Unread postby Liz » Thu Sep 13, 2007 12:28 pm

Well, let’s not go there yet, Fansmom. I’ve been reading Ask The Dust, and he has made some interesting moves….or not moves. But that is all I will say, as it is our next book, and I don’t want to give away anything. (I'm liking it better than Bandini, BTW.)

I agree with both of you about the cameo incident. I was quite disappointed in Arturo’s behavior. But as, Betty Sue pointed out, he was just emulating his role model. I think the difference, though, was that Arturo would have remorse about his actions. I don’t think Svevo thought he did anything wrong.
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Unread postby magpie » Thu Sep 13, 2007 12:36 pm

I agree Betty Sue, the whole thing was a mess. It bothered me that he stole it from his mother, although from his previous behavior that shouldn't have surprised me. I felt I could have forgiven his actions more if he had stolen it from a store. And, yes, his treatment of Rosa sounded exactly like something Svevo would have done. That disturbed me throughout the book, that he was already exhibiting so much of Svevo's behaviors.
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Unread postby Parlez » Thu Sep 13, 2007 12:50 pm

I don't know which is worse ~ being able to do horrible things and hold on to your justification for doing so, like Svevo, or doing a horrible thing and not being able to hold on to said justification, like Arturo. The kid knew what he was doing was wrong from the get-go, but he went a head and did it anyway, so he's going to feel all that mess of guilt and remorse his father so easily skips.

The cameo also seemed to be a symbol representing two possibilities: redemption or damnation. Obviously, Arturo chose the latter, inspite of all his religious training up to that point. He stole, he lied, he coveted what didn't belong to him (both human and material) and he resorted to violence when things didn't go his way. Then, in what seemed like the most sinful act to me, he threw that singular item of beauty and value away! No possibility of redemption there! :mad:
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Unread postby nebraska » Thu Sep 13, 2007 3:27 pm

For a kid who was worried about hell, purgatory, all manner of sinfulness, and getting to confession on time when he did something wrong, I was shocked that he tossed the cameo instead of returning it as he was instructed to do as part of his penance. :-O

It seemed a bit odd to me that the cameo was hidden away in a trunk, as if Maria never wore it. I wondered if by sticking it away somewhere like that, she was making a statement about her relationship with Svevo. And did Arturo think she would never notice that it was gone?

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Unread postby Liz » Thu Sep 13, 2007 3:36 pm

Agreed, Parlez.

nebraska wrote: And did Arturo think she would never notice that it was gone?

He was pretty naive in that regard.

NOTE: We are getting into other question territory. So I may be posting tomorrow's question today (haven't decided yet). So keep a sharp eye.
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Unread postby Bix » Thu Sep 13, 2007 6:07 pm

Betty Sue, I loved your vivid description of the emotional roller coaster ride reading about the cameo incident was! :lol: Especially for those of us who are always holding out that tiny hope that a character who has disappointed us will redeem himself. But there was no redemption here - only more disappointment.

In his fevered passionate fantasy of his love for Rosa, I'm sure Arturo was elated to find a thing of beauty and worth that he could give to her. No matter that he knew he was stealing one of the few things of beauty his mother owned, he had to do it. Rosa may even have considered keeping such a beautiful thing, but her mother recognized that neither family could afford such things, so it must have been stolen, and made her give it back. And things go downhill from there. I found this scene really emotionally painful to read because Arturo is so raw and bleeding in it. (Not that he isn't that way in every scene!)
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Unread postby nebraska » Thu Sep 13, 2007 7:10 pm

Liz wrote:Agreed, Parlez.

nebraska wrote: And did Arturo think she would never notice that it was gone?

He was pretty naive in that regard.

NOTE: We are getting into other question territory. So I may be posting tomorrow's question today (haven't decided yet). So keep a sharp eye.


Ooops.......sorry :dunce: Forget I mentioned it.

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Unread postby gemini » Thu Sep 13, 2007 7:23 pm

What did you think of the incident when Arturo steals his mother’s cameo to give to Rosa as a Christmas present and the outcome?

This incident with Arturo is what made me think of him as a rotten kid instead of a troubled one which I have since accepted from discussing this story with you ladies. Its how I also got into trouble before with my opinion of confession so I am being careful here to make my point and not offend. I feel he was stealing and throwing away something valuable with no remorse. Even more horrible considering they were next to starving while Svevo was away.

The first page of chapter 5 tells Arturo's view on confession
Arturo B andini was pretty sure that he wouldn't go to hell when he died. The way to hell was the committing of mortal sins. He had committed many, he believed, but the confessional had saved him. He always got there on time, that is, before he died.

It goes on to show that he does believe because he is afraid of Purgatory. It is odd to me that he does believe but even the consequences are not enough to make him behave. It bothered me immensely that he would steal from his mother but even worse when he got it back, he would throw it away instead of returning it where he found it.
Last edited by gemini on Fri Sep 14, 2007 1:47 am, edited 1 time in total.
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Unread postby Bermuda » Thu Sep 13, 2007 7:51 pm

I totally agree with Bettysue, Magpie, and Parlez. I have been so angry with Svevo and Arturo in this entire story. :grr: I've been looking at his question all day and debating on how to answer it properly. I was so angry with both of them on so many different levels. Arturo acted like a selfish, spoiled, arrogant, brat! :grr: I kept trying to convince myself: 1. That he was just a young boy of 14 and didn't know any better 2. That he was just trying to get Rosa's attention and 3. That he didn't know how to act properly towards a young woman because of his father's despicable behavior towards his own mother and family. Sorry, I just have no sympathy for Arturo in this matter whatsoever. He took something that did not belong to him and was of a highly personal and sentimental value to his mother. He then pushed Rosa down and could have really injured her. Finally, in a fit of rage he throws the cameo away with no consideration for anyone but himself and his hurt pride. My final conclusion: Svevo gets 2 hits on the head with the rolling pin. One for his own obnoxious behavior and one for not being around to properly teach his son right from wrong. (Well, maybe I'll throw in an additional hit on the head with the rolling pin just for myself, because he really agitated me in this book. :biglaugh: For Arturo, your punishment is to sit outside in the cold air, count to 500, and cool yourself down boy! P.S. Arturo was very lucky that Rosa did not have any big brothers or he would be running for his life every day after school. Big brothers do not look too kindly on boys who push their little sisters down in the snow! :grr: And that is my calm opinion to this question. :biglaugh:
Last edited by Bermuda on Thu Sep 13, 2007 10:05 pm, edited 2 times in total.
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Unread postby Linda Lee » Thu Sep 13, 2007 8:25 pm

Well, I'm in agreement with what has been said. I went on that rollercoaster as I read this too. I could not believe he took it in the first place and then when it came back in his possesion, I thought at the very least he would return it to where he "found" it. Then grabbing Rosa, pulling her back outside, pushing her, and frightening her enough that she backs up and falls off the platform into the snow, it's unbelievable that he should behave this way to someone he "loves”. His behavior is appalling from start to finish.

gemini wrote:
It goes on to show that he does believe because he is afraid of Purgatory. It is odd to me that he does believe but even the consequences are not enough to make him behave. It bothered me immensely that he would steal from his mother but even worse when he got it back, he would throw it away instead of returning it where he found it.


I think in his mind the consequences are too far off to affect his behavior. I think like most young people, he thinks he's invincible. The consequences are so far in the future there will be plenty of time to do something about the time in purgatory later.
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Unread postby Bermuda » Thu Sep 13, 2007 9:59 pm

Oops! Double post. I was so busy bopping Svevo with the rolling pin, I hit the incorrect post button! :yikes: :biglaugh:
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Unread postby Parlez » Thu Sep 13, 2007 10:08 pm

Where's the rolling pin emoticon when you need it, right Bermuda?! :lol:
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