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Section 1: Ways into the text

FAMILY
Niccolo Ammanitis Im Not Scared depicts the lives of the village families. The first glimpse at family life is seen when Michele feels the burden of big brotherly responsibilities while racing his peers up the hill. Micheles relationship with his parents suffer through his discovery of the actions of those whom he thought he knew, when he tragically loses his childhood and begins his initiation into a world where greed and cruelty are commonplace. Pino and Teresa both exercise discipline on Michele at different stages of the text, Teresa in a physical manner by beating him, and Pino in a psychological manner by withdrawing of affection, banishment and more physical threats. o How important is Micheles family to him? o To what extent do family responsibilities restrict him?

SMALL TOWN LIFE


In small towns rumours have a way of springing up from nowhere and taking on lives of their own, with little or no regard to the accuracy of the information. Life in the village can be peaceful and serene and the way that children are able to wander around the area with little concern for their safety demonstrates this. However, there are also restrictions to small town life. Small communities can be numbing places for the occupants, where questions arise around what will happen if they stay in the community and fail to explore the world. o Do you think that the text shows that small villages are positive places to live or places to be avoided? o Why do the children and villagers invent and spread rumours about each other? Indicate whether you believe the statements below to be true or false. Find a quote or event from the text to justify your response Inhabitants of a small town have great trust in one another. Choices are limited in a small town Secrets are harder to keep in a small town Inhabitants of a small town are likely to be bored unless they create heir own trouble True/False True/False True/False True/False

BULLYING/ EXERCISE OF POWER

There are child and adult bullies in the text. Among the children Skull has physical and psychological dominance over the younger children and he exercises this power at whim and has scant regard for the feelings of the others in the gang.

Among the adults, there is also a pecking order with Sergio Materia at the top of the heap and the villagers in varying lesser degrees of importance and influence. o Arrange the characters in the characters in the text along a continuum from most powerful to least powerful. o How do those with power maintain their status?

LOYALTY
Throughout the text there are many challenges to loyalties, not only to friends and family, but also to principles and values. When loyalties are set aside it leads to feelings of betrayal and abandonment and when the test of loyalty fails there are frequently longer-term consequences. o Why is Michele so upset that Salvatore told Felice about Filippo? How does this affect their relationship?