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The Bicycle Thief Essay

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The Bicycle Thief




"The Bicycle Thief" is a deeply moving neo-realist study of post-War

Italy which depicts one man's loss of faith and his struggle to maintain

personal dignity in poverty and bureaucratic indifference. Antonio Ricci is a

bill-poster whose bicycle, essential for his job, is stolen by a thief. Joined

by his son Bruno, Antonio vainly searches for his bike, eventually resorting to

the humiliation of theft himself. Throughout this paper, I will attempt to

trace the character through "The Bicycle Thief." The film opens with a montage

of early morning urban activities ending on a crowd of unemployed laborers

clamoring for work. Sitting to the side is Antonio Ricci. Beaten down by

despair, he has lost the energy to fight. His spirits are lifted, however,

when his name is called out for a job. Invigorated, he damns poverty. His joy

however, is fleeting, employment depends on one condition -- that he owns

a bicycle. To provide for his family, Antonio long ago pawned his bicycle

and now, in one day, he raise the price of the pawn ticket. Not knowing

where he will get the money, he turns to his wife Maria. In their stark home,

the only thing left to pawn is a remnant of her dowry and the family's last

vestige of comfort -- the bed sheets. Bravely, Maria strips the bed and

begins to wash the linens. At the pawn shop, it becomes evident that the

Ricci's misery is not unique. Their sheets are added to a mountain of small

white bundles, and Antonio reclaims his bicycle from the rack of hundreds

like it.

Delighted by the prospect of a good fortune, the couple happily ride

away. Antonio pi...


... middle of paper ...


...easing tendency to see his own culture

(India) or other cultures, i.e. European, Spanish, Asian, etc., in highly

conservative terms, for purposes of preserving them from the "pollution" of

western ideas and thought. He was also willing to enjoy and to learn from

ideas, art forms and styles of life from anywhere, in India or abroad. Ray

heterogeneity within local communities. This perception contrasts sharply with

the tendency of many communitarians, religious and secular, who are willing to

break up the nation into communities and then stop dead there: "Thus far and no

further." The great film maker's eagerness to seek the larger unit - - to talk

to the whole world - - went well with his enthusiasm for understanding the

smallest of the small, i.e. the individuality, ultimately, of each person.

(Mamartya, p, 27)


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