"Homeland" by Anna Maria Dell'oso

Essay by apple_producerHigh School, 11th gradeA, April 2003

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In the article "Homeland" by Anna Maria Dell'oso, the issue of identity; in particular, cultural identity, is thoroughly explored by the composer. It is mainly about how identity is passed on from generation to generation, changes over time and is influenced by a person's surroundings. The composer conveys this through her use of symbolism and sharp and often humourous contrast. It is about her search to find her Italian identity, while at the same time her mother loses some of her Italian identity because of changes influenced by time and surroundings.

The composer shows that cultural identity is passed on from one generation to another and that it may change or be lost due to a person's surroundings, by the intertwining structure of this article. She reminisces about her childhood, while at the same time telling how her mother's perception of Italy is not living up to expectations; she searches for her identity, while her mother loses some of hers.

The composer's use of emotive language evokes a sense of nostalgia in responders; "My father's dream was to sit in the sun with the old men...lighting candles in a wind-swept church...sit in the sun of sepia photographs". Then, the truth is slowly revealed, often through the form of letter excerpts from her mother; "She didn't recognise her sisters...winded by the force of time. Finally, there is the final sharp contrasting image; "It was all McDonalds' and pigeon shit". This continues on throughout the text, each time emotions and nostalgia is induced by the composer and each time, it is shattered by the startling contrast of reality. Through this contrast, the composer is gradually finding her sense of identity, while her mother realises that her Italian identity has changed over time, finally coming to terms with it in the...