Voices by dacia maraini - book
Repeated images of Angela Bari living an imprisoned life in Voices by Dacia Maraini play an important role in book. The internal and external forces surrounding Angela Bari lead her to a life of confinement and domination. If Angela Bari had broken away from her confinement she may have prevented her untimely death by exposing the ill ways of her stepfather, Glauco Elia. Angela’s secretiveness, self-doubt, and compliance with others lead her to victimization.
It is not until her unfortunate murder that Angela’s imprisonment gets unraveled. Her distorted emotions are revealed as this relatively unknown young woman’s death is investigated. Journalists trample inside Ms. Bari’s life without any regards to her in an attempt to solve this murder mystery (17). Angela’s body was discovered by the porter of her apartment who is “astonished that there should be so little blood on the floor” when he discovers that she is lying on the ground dead after being stabbed several times (18). This is the first clue that Angela is cornered in her own little world. She has little blood, which is regarded as the seat of emotions, and her lack of such nourishment suggests that perhaps she was never nurtured. Furthermore, her cause of death, internal hemorrhage, suggests that those feelings imbedded within her were lost rapidly and uncontrollably (19). The obscure grasp Angela has of her emotions is just one facet of her imprisonment.
Angela’s imprisonment is traced back to its roots in adolescence, when at the young age of eight her father dies leaving an “empty gap” in her life “that couldn’t ever be filled” (189). Shortly thereafter her mother remarries, and her bondage evolves. Her new family life is the main source of her isolation. It is, as though her family remained “cocooned inside its own cultural and linguistic bunker” (6). Similar to many, her family was like a “minefield” (39). The most explosive is Angela’s new father who sexually abuses her (214-215). “He loved her without respecting her . . . and treated her as if she belonged to him” (213). He felt as though he were taming her (233). He obviously sees nothing wrong in what he is doing as he claims, “I’m very content with my household of women” (190) as though they were objects. In addition, he does not see anything wrong with Marco beating Angela’s sister, Ludovica. “I know he beats her up but I think with good reason” (234). Glauco’s acceptance of this behavior further emphasizes the agony his daughters were subject to throughout their lives. Though Glauco Elia may have been Angela’s “torturer” (219) she loved him because growing up, captivity is all that she knew.
Augusta Elia, Angela’s mother is a second piece in the minefield composing Angela’s life. The key to this component lies in Ludovica, Angela’s sister’s question, “why daughters so often repeat detail for detail the story of their mother” (157). Angela’s mom also lived in a prison. For example, when she has an onset of eczema or headaches she barricades herself in the house with the blinds down. Ludovica even suggests that she “find herself another husband instead of shutting herself up in a room to suffer” (29). The mother also gives off different vibes at different times similar to her daughter. When Michela interviews Angela’s mother she feels that she is cold over the phone and then friendly in person (88). Even the taxi driver who drops Michela off for the interview exclaims, “This looks like a prison!” (87) Furthermore, the mom does not even care if they find Angela’s murderer (89) suggesting an isolation from her daughter.
Ludovcica, Angela’s sister is also seen “shutting herself off” at times (156). The two sisters grow up together and face the same problems including an abusive father and mother who was “blind and deaf” (214) to their problems. Ludovica gets confused between what happens to her and what happens to Angela (211) so the problems of the two sisters essentially are infused within one another. Like Angela, Ludovica has an abortion to end a pregnancy with her stepfather. She also goes to a psychiatric clinic and ends up sleeping with Angela’s husband