In the book Clash of civilizations over an Elevator in Piazza Vittorio, change and crises are highly represented through the characters. The elements of change and crises exist with regard to the various cultures presented in the novel. Following the title of the book, it is evident that the different civilizations face difficulty living in harmony. The paper analyses three characters including; Parviz Mansoor Samadi, Benedetta Esposito and Elisabeta Fabiana to determine how the clash of civilizations represent change and crisis in the novel.
Parviz Mansoor Samadi expresses the aspect of crisis as presented by the novel. The character is among the immigrants represented in the story. Since he originates from Iran and is an Arab, he is significantly different from the other characters. The differences presented by the character result in him being referred to as “Other” or “immigrant”. The crisis presented by the character is that due to the significant differences that he posses in relation to the other characters. The other characters tend to associate him with any other country, except his real country. He also depicts the crisis due to the interest that he possesses for his care. He aspires to become a chef in Italy. However, he hates Pizza and pastor, which are the primary Italian foods. He also experiences a significant crisis and profoundly fears for his life following the switch of his first name and his last name in his identification card. The crisis exists as in his country of origin; names remain constant.
The other character presented in the novel is Benedetta Esposito. She is from Naples and is the manager of the building. The crisis presented is the thought that she holds regarding the rest of the immigrants. According to her, all the immigrants are criminals. Her view is that all the immigrants should be deported from Italy. Her phrase that, she is not a racist but likes telling the truth, elaborates the crisis. Her version of the truth would be interpreted as kind, serious and dedicated to her work. She projects herself as a woman who would not employ the use of racial slight and then attempt to vindicate herself as not racist (Lakhous 38). The character she presents highly prejudices the immigrants and engages in high racial profiling. She believes that all the people from all the other countries are similar in their actions, behaviours and characters. She believes that all the other people from other countries are bad. As a result, the government should not tolerate them, but instead, round them up and deport them back to their countries.
The Italian tenant in the building, Elisabeta Fabiana presents the aspect of change and crisis in the way she views and thinks about the immigrants. With regards to the representation projected by the character, change is an aspect that is difficult to implement in society. According to the Italian, the immigrants from other countries are stealing jobs from the Italians. She elaborates the element of crisis through her suggestion that the country does not need the immigrants (Lakhous, 59). She suggests Italians should get the jobs, and the low-level jobs should remain to the well-trained dogs.
Following the representation of the thoughts and viewpoints of various characters, there is an elaborate depiction of change and crisis. It significantly elaborates the difficulties and the challenges that immigrants face when they move to new countries. The novel illustrates that the change and the crisis are mainly eminent as the immigrants attempt to adjust to the new societies. The immigrants face difficulty in the adjustment process. Similarly, inhabitants and citizens of the countries also face challenges in the process of accepting the immigrants into their societies.
Lakhous, Amara. Clash of Civilizations over an Elevator at Piazza Vittorio. Europa Editions UK, 2012.