Im Not Scared Character Analysis Essay

“I’m Not Scared” is a novel written by Niccolo Ammaniti which is set in the 1970s; in a small Southern Italy town called Acqua Traverse, going through a sizzling summer. I’m not scared presents fears and morals in a way where they are intertwined with each other. In the face of fear, you still have to be able to make the right, moral decision. Michele and Skull are two very different characters with different stances on their morals and what they consider to be crossing the line. This line, is quite clear for Michele unlike Skull where there is a large “grey area” on what is morally right or wrong.

Michele’s morals are also strikingly different to those of his father Pino’s who in trying to do the right thing by his family, does something morally Michele is a clear example of a character who shows good morals. He shows honesty, responsibility, generosity and caring for others. Honesty is shown in Michele when he tries to tell his father about Filippo. Michele sees his father as this almighty figure that knows all claiming that “Papa would explain it all to me [him]” (49) if he told him about Filippo. Even while being pushed away by his father he still attempts to be truthful, pursuing with “”Papa, its important… (50) and the morning after arguing: “Papa, l’ve got something to tell you. Something important” (59). Honesty is an admirable trait to have that leads to having a good sense of morals. Responsibility can be seen multiple times throughout the novel. This can be seen during the first few pages when Michele and his sister, Maria are in a race and she trips over.

Michele has a choice to continue with the race and possibly come second or to attend to his sister who is calling for him. He tried but did not succeed in convincing himself to continue the race saying, “She was faking, she was ired. … But what if she really was hurt? ” (1). Michele analysed the situation and decided that he was at responsibility without seeking to others for advice. Michele took on the responsibility of Filippo because he related to this weak, stranded and in need boy. Filippo was in an abhorrent state from Michele’s perspective, Michele even assumed that “He was dead” (28) because “He wasn’t moving” (28). Even though Michele was scared, he needed to find out whether he was alive because he couldn’t just leave him not knowing what might happen to him.

Michele chose to protect this defenceless boy. Generosity and caring for others are similar. You need to be generous to care for others. Michele cares for Filippo right from the start. The first word Filippo says to Michele is “Water”. Michele acts immediately looking for some water to hand to Filippo knowing it is going to aid him. Michele packs a piece of sponge cake for Filippo knowing that “Filippo [he] would be pleased” (123) that he stepped out of his way to get something that tastes nice. Michele arrives at Filippo’s hole and he is grateful yet demandable for more food.

Filippo wasn’t attached to the chains meaning he was able to get out. Michele acknowledges that it is wrong to lie, nevertheless he “had to tell him [Filippo] a lie” (140) to get him out of the hole. Michele does this because he feels that Filippo is trapped in the hole, which he is. These traits that Michele possesses, result in him being able to make the right moral decisions in life. Fears and overcoming them are evident throughout the novel. Every character in this novel has some sort or multiple fears. Michele feared what was down the hole, where Filippo stayed.

He overcame this by entering the hole and inspecting the body. Michele overcoming one fear, resulted in another flourishing. Michele had now developed a fear of getting caught with Filippo because he thought that his father “would be very angry” and Sergio “would take him away” (149). When Felice had caught him down in the hole, Michele couldn’t speak. He was in such a shock that he couldn’t find his voice, his “throat was blocked up” (145). Michele’s feels his “ankle being squeezed” (144) by Filippo as Felice starts to talk, Filippo even fears him.

When Felice asked Michele to climb up, Michele “wasn’t sure I [he] would be able to climb up, my [his] legs were shaking” (145). When Michele is placed in the car, he realises that he got scared to the extent that he “pissed” (147) himself. Michele starts to gain his voice back when he is reunited with his mother. Teresa assuaged Michele fears by challenging Felice, calling Felice a “bully”, slamming “Felice in the face” with a “frying pan out of the sink” and giving “him a kick in the balls” (151). Michele fears are subjugated by his mother caring and comforting him.

Michele as a child would, had a fear of monsters – ogres and witches. When Michele informs his father of his fear of monsters, Pino says “its men you should be afraid of, not monsters” (49) and this statement Pino expressed, is talking of his own fears. Pino recognizes that if he is caught and charged with the kidnapping and murder of Filippo, he will be locked away, which leaves his family indigent and on the streets. He fears that this will happen whether he kidnaps Filippo or not. Pino also knows what a desperate man would do for his family and worries what is happening to Filippo could happen to Michele or Maria.

Skull is referred to as the “chief” (3) of the group, who “liked [likes] giving orders” (3) and “was [is] the oldest in the gang” (3), seems like the type of kid who doesn’t fear anything. There is a clear crack to his tough guy act when Michele calls for a revote for who has to do the forfeit. Michele overthrew Skulls order with a vote which shows the group that Skull is not an authoritative figure to be scared of. Skull gains back his dominance by making Michele do an outrageous forfeit to show the other group members the consequences of not following his orders.

Everyone has some sort of fear and it is important to overcome them otherwise they will limit what can be done. In the 3rd paragraph, talk about parents, Skull and their morals. How do their morals compare to Michele’s? Michele’s morals far outclass any other character. Parents: Pino’s family is a religious one and are undoubtedly aware of the Ten Commandments, which are a set of commandments put in place to live and follow by to live a just life. Pino knew that he would be breaking two of the Ten Commandments if the plan about Filippo followed through.

Fortunately Michele’s righteous morals got in the way and he only broke one of the Ten Commandments, however he did attempt to break another. The Commandments are “thou shalt not kill” and “thou shalt not steal”. By following the Ten Commandments, Pino is aware that the act he is planning to commit, is morally wrong. Skull: Skull is a clear example of a character who does not show morals. Throughout the novel, Skull is portrayed as a bully. In order to become a bully, morally wrong decisions have to be made. For instance, bullies are known to be violent and insult people.

Skull does both of those things to a great extent. Skull “never missed a chance to put Salvatore down” (7). Skull also appears to show no limits on who he won’t hit. He even goes to the extent of hitting a girl, Barbara, “across her face” (20) with his hand because she refused to do the forfeit. This shows that he physically as well as verbally abuses his friends which he has morally chosen to do. Skull does not know when he is crossing the line. Instead the morally wrong choices he makes is located in a “grey area” where it is blurred on what is right or wrong.

Michele can easily distinguish what is right or wrong when he is not influenced. In comparison to Michele, the moral choices they have made would be completely different. Michele treats his friends as equals never needing to insult or be aggressive to them; certainly would never hitting a girl. However, Skull has even managed to influence Michele to make the wrong moral decisions. When Michele had found Filippo he “wasn’t going to say anything to anyone” because of two words that Skull had said, “Finders keepers” (29). The dishonesty morality rubbed off on Michele.

Michele is the type of person who can with ease determine the right from wrong. Morals revolve around this novel. All characters have morals, Michele chose the righteous path most of the time leading him to have incorrupt morals, Skull on the other hand chose the sinister path which lead to him having corrupt morals. Pino is slightly alike with Skull because they both are not aware what crossing the line is. Even when afraid, you still have to make the right, moral decision. Pino thought he was doing right by his family however this is not the right moral decision.